Friday, June 26, 2009

Tried & Tasted: Hooked on Heat

Last month I reviewed FatFree Vegan Kitchen's Quick and Easy Potato Soup for Tried & Tasted, a blog event created by Zlamushka's Spicy Kitchen that encourages food bloggers to use and write about each others' recipes.

When I saw that June's T&T host, KC of Kits Chow, had chosen the Indian home cooking blog Hooked on Heat, I couldn't pass up the chance to try some fiery recipes.

I began with Meena's Garlic Tofu Noodles, a quick, easy comfort meal that took only twenty minutes to prepare. To make it vegan, I substituted rice noodles for the egg noodles (my love for sticky, translucent rice noodles cannot be overstated). I also substituted Sriracha for Sambal Olek; I already had five kinds of hot sauce in my refrigerator and didn't want to buy another.

What I like about this dish is its convenience. It's a pantry-item feast: the only thing I had to buy was cabbage. The noodles' salty garlic flavor wasn't as tangy and exciting as Vegan Dad's sweet 'n hot noodles, but the recipe didn't call for a cup of sugar, either. Shredded, lightly stir-fried cabbage leant the dish richness and texture. Next time I'd go with almost half cabbage, and throw in some shredded carrot and bean sprouts at the last minute for crunch. Green onion and lime juice dressed up the leftovers without much effort. When things get busy, I'll definitely revisit this quick, adaptable noodle recipe.

Next I tried Chilli Tofu with Beans and Bok Choy. Anything with bok choy and chili is a winner in my book. This dish featured the contrasting textures of chewy fried tofu and crunchy cabbage and green beans. The slightly blackened tomato and seasoning gave it a sweet, smokey flavor. The age and potency of your chili powder will determine the level of heat; I'll add more next time. My tofu didn't turn out as saucy as Meena's, probably because I made it in a pan instead of a wok and had to cook it longer.

Some of the Hooked on Heat dishes contain meat, but there are many vegetarian and vegan recipes. This site was a great find. I look forward to broadening my Indian home cooking, using Meena's insider knowledge as a guide.

Look for the June Tried & Tasted round-up on Kits Chow in early July.


  1. Wow, I want every single dish you just posted! I love the fact that you have 5 kinds of hot sauce...that's the way it should be!

  2. Your variation on the garlic tofu noodles looks awesome, and it is making me think of another subsequent variation with red cabbage. I will definitely have to check out that website some more.

  3. These recipes look like ones I should try. I may even have the ingredients on hand ... checking.

  4. Hello from Bangkok, Mary!

    Both dishes look so amazing! It does sound very quick and easy to make, they are just perfect for easy veggie girl like me. Did you pick these recipes especiall for me?!?!?!
    I really enjoyed reading this post, thanks for sharing. =D

  5. Hi Mary,

    Lovely pad thai - thanks for participating. I hope you are up for this month´s challenge too :-) Details on my Blog - left upper corner.


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