From an early age, my Thai mother fed my brother and me satay, stir-fries and noodles. I vividly remember the smell of red curry filling the house, even though it was too hot for us to eat.
Thai and Asian-inspired cuisine is unsurprisingly where I naturally lean. It is my midweek go-to, my perfect comfort food, my special night out. To me, whipping up a cheat’s curry or a last-minute stir-fry is second nature, but in chatting to friends I realised this wasn’t the case for everyone.
They would tell me how much they loved food from across Asia, from fragrant curries to flavourful stir-fries, but that cooking these dishes felt daunting; they had no idea where to start.
I want to show people just how easy it is to use some of these much-loved flavours in everyday cooking. This is not about recreating traditional dishes – I want to share the kind of meals I cook at home, inspired by my Thai mum and auntie and my granny (who was raised in Indonesia), as well as my travels over the years.
Singapore-style chilli tofu
This recipe was inspired by the stunning dish, Singapore-style chilli prawns, which is itself a version of the famous Singapore chilli crab. Tofu can sometimes get a bad rap, but it makes a fantastic alternative to prawns, especially midweek. It has a relatively long shelf-life, so is great to have on hand in the fridge. Frying it until crispy gives it great texture, and it absorbs all the flavours of the sauce – and this dish is ALL about the sauce. It even converted my tofu-fearing husband.
Note: The egg thickens the sauce, and adds a lovely richness and flavour, but can easily be omitted for a vegan version.