When I was in Thailand last year, I had a whole month to enjoy the local culinary specialties.
Coming straight from Bali where finding some of the best vegan and vegetarian food I have tasted in my life was a blast, Thailand was different.
I remember from my first trip to Thailand that the food was amazing, but that was many years ago when I was eating everything, so it was easy.
This time in Thailand I often noticed that even when some dish was described as being vegetarian, it was made with fish sauce or shrimp paste. It meant an extra few rounds on the scooter with a hungry stomach until we found what we were looking for, but eventually we always did!
I never miss eating meat. The only thing I miss sometimes is the sense of freedom and surprise when you’re in a new country and are able to try out any new dish.
Our food consumption in Thailand was something like: Pad Thai – Coconut lemongrass soup – Green curry – Red curry – Jackfruit curry – Massaman curry – Repeat.
We also ate lots of fresh fruit and coconut ice cream in between.
After discovering an amazing local vegan place, we got a bit more variation. Unfortunately most dishes were too spicy even for me and my hot taste, so I couldn’t eat it too often.
As much as it seemed a bit repetitive back then, thinking about that Thai food makes me want to go back right now.
I mostly enjoyed the curries. Curries are some of my favorite dishes in the world, especially Massaman curry.
We often make curries and this vegan Massaman curry with sweet potatoes is one of the best.
I found a very natural curry paste that tastes amazing. It’s one of the few things in our house that isn’t homemade and while I definitely want to make my own curry paste one day, for now I’m really happy with the ready made one.
This delicious dish is rich and creamy with a great balance of sweet potatoes, potatoes and mushrooms.
Hungry yet? I am!
Vegan Massaman curry with sweet potatoes
1 can coconut milk
1 cup / 250 ml coconut cream
3 tbsp massaman paste
3 medium potatoes
2 sweet potatoes
1 cup / 120 grams veg stock
4 kaffir lime leaves
1 tsp coconut oil
sea salt or himalaya salt
2 cups / 370 grams Thai jasmine rice
1 cup fresh coriander
handful peanuts (optional)
Chop the onion and lightly fry it in coconut oil until golden.
Add the Massaman paste while stirring.
Add the coconut milk and coconut cream and stir until the paste is fully dissolved.
Mix in the vegetable stock.
Cut the potatoes and sweet potatoes in squares and add them to the pan.
Slice the mushrooms and add them as well.
Add the kaffir lime leaves and salt.
Cook on a low fire for about 25 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
Steamed Jasmine rice:
Use 1.75 cup /430 ml of water for 1 cup / 185 grams of rice. For this recipe I used about 3.5 cups /875 ml of water for 2 cups /370 grams of rice.
Rinse the rice well and add to a pot with cold water with a dash of salt. Bring to a boil.
Reduce to low temperature once it boils.
Cook the rice for about 20 minutes.
If your pot isn’t fully air tight, seal the lid with a small towel between the lid and the pan to keep the steam inside.
Let the pot sit with the lid on for another 5 minutes
Remove the lid and air fork the rice, by turning the rice a little bit around.
Serve the vegan Massaman curry with sweet potatoes with rice and fresh coriander. A handful of roasted peanuts is optional.
The perfect dessert to go with this Thai classic is homemade Thai coconut ice cream.