Posted by: thedirtybaker | September 2, 2011

Simple Asian Deliciousness

Soup is one of my favorite classes of food to cook – it generally does well as leftovers, can be very healthy, has great flavor, and typically isn’t hard to make, unless you feel the need to make your own broth.  My mother does that – it’s delicious, but more work than I want to do, not to mention taking up too much freezer space.   One of my sisters does so, too, but she blends the solids in and turns it from liquid into smoothie-texture.  I just buy chicken or vegetable broth from Trader Joe’s.

I’d been craving the Thai tomato soup, and decided to make it, but didn’t feel like having buttered toast on the side, as I did in the past.  I thought about doing something with rice – cooking it in or making veggie fried rice?  Maybe brown rice pudding (because I rarely miss the opportunity to make a dessert)?

So, here’s the recipe for the Thai Tomato Soup.

Thai Tomato Soup


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chile paste with garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 6 lime wedges


  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in sugar, chile paste, and salt. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes.
  • Place one-half of tomato mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Pour pureed tomato mixture into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining tomato mixture. Return pureed mixture to pan. Stir in coconut milk; cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve with lime wedges.

Didi Emmons, Cooking Light
MARCH 2005


Changes:  I like to steep several kaffir lime leaves in the soup (added with the tomatoes and water), and I definitely use more coconut milk than it calls for (sometimes regular coconut milk, not light).

As I was considering the other options, I remember that I’d wanted to try scallion pancakes, so I started looking for recipes for those.  Two of them looked good (shrimp and scallion pancakes, and scallion-cilantro pancakes), but shrimp are really expensive, so I adapted the second one with a little bit of the first.

Here’s the one I used:

Scallion Cilantro Pancakes


For dipping sauce

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)
  • 3/8 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

For pancakes

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup rice flour (not from sweet rice)*
  • Slightly rounded 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 whole large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 small fresh green Thai or serrano chile, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 scallions (pale green and dark green parts only), diagonally sliced into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed small fresh cilantro leaves


Make sauce:
Stir together soy sauce, vinegar, and oil in a bowl, then stir in sesame seeds.

Make pancakes:
Whisk together flours, salt, whole egg, yolk, water, chile, pepper, and sesame oil in a bowl (batter will be thin). Heat 3/4 teaspoon vegetable oil in an 8-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Pour in 1/3 cup batter, then scatter one-fourth of scallions and one-fourth of cilantro leaves over top, gently pressing into pancake. Fry pancake until underside is pale golden, about 2 minutes. Turn pancake over and cook until scallions are lightly browned, about 1 minute, then transfer to paper towels. Make 3 more pancakes in same manner, adding vegetable oil to skillet each time (there may be some leftover batter).

Transfer pancakes to a cutting board and cut each into 8 wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature, with dipping sauce.

*We like Arrowhead Mills brand; visit for stores nearest you.

My changes:  1/2 pasilla pepper, chopped, instead of the chiles.

Probably about 8 scallions, sliced to between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch in length

Probably more cilantro.

2 whole eggs instead of one egg and one egg yolk

Cake flour instead of rice flour

I bought the gyoza dipping sauce at Trader Joe’s, as it looked like pretty much the same thing as the recipe called for, so if you have a TJ’s around that can save you some effort.  Other than that, all I can really say is YUMMMMM!!!

Oh yeah, and enjoy!


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