People keep asking for my semi-famous Holy Fuhk Tawng recipe. So here it is.
What’s the surprise? That it’s so doggone yummy and satisfying and all-veggie! It’s affordable, about 20 baht per serving (less than a US dollar), perfect for any Peace Corps Volunteer’s budget. Also: it uses only one pan, which is great because that’s all we have.
- Red pepper flakes or red chilli powder
- Shallots or onions
- A big fuhk-tawng (ฟักทอง). This is also called a pumpkin in Thailand, but it’s nothing like the bland Halloweeny things the word suggests. Think instead of a homely squash as big as your head.
- Slivered almonds, 1/2 cup. Raw peanuts also are fine.
- Whatever extra veggies you like. I’ve used broccoli and sometimes long green beans (tua fuhk yao, ถั่วฝักยาว), but today I have fresh corn sliced off a couple of ears, and some pea pods.
- Some fruit. On minimalist days I use raisins or dried cherries; today I’m trying fresh pineapple.
- Coconut milk, two 300 ml cartons
- Thai veggie chili paste. Non-veggie is okay too if you’re not fussy about a little fish.
- Sesame oil
- Olive oil
- Vinegar. Today I’m trying coconut vinegar.
- Waugh’s curry powder, or equivalent.
Peel and dice-up the fuhk-tawng. This task is made a lot easier if you microwave it for 60 seconds first. Poke a few holes in it so it doesn’t explode in the micro. Dicing and peeling takes a long time. Soak the diced pieces in salt water for about a half hour, then drain.
Dice the garlic and onion. Use whatever quantity makes you happy. We use a lot. Mix in the red pepper flakes, because all 3 ingredients are going to hit the hot oil at the same moment.
Chop up the extra veggies and fruit.
Stir two tablespoons of veggie Thai Curry paste into about 4 ounces of piping hot water, stir till dissolved.
Add three tablespoons of olive oil and heat. Throw in the garlic-onion-pepper mix as soon as it’s hot enough to sizzle. Stir. Cook a minute or two over high heat, then toss in a couple tablespoons of vinegar. Careful, hot oil may make it want to hop right back out and onto you. Stir till it’s translucent.
Remove from heat and fold-in the fruit. Let sit for ten minutes. Sprinkle toasted almonds on top of each serving.