Dairy Free,  Gluten Free,  Main Course,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

Thai Cashew Stir-Fry & Lemongrass Infused Brown Rice

I think I might be obsessed with Thai food you guys……..


Like, if I just found out I only had a few days to live I’d probably make eating some Thai one of my top priorities. Have you ever thought about that, by the way? What would you eat if nothing else mattered and it was all about what you actually love to eat. If you could take away every other factor (nutrition, expense, calories, availability, etc…….), if none of those things existed what would you eat just because you genuinely love the taste?

I find it hard to decide what I personally favor and you probably do too, becuase all of those things play a part in what foods have become our favorites. It totally reminds me of a part on Gilmore Girls when Loralai is trying to figure out her dilemma of whether or not she actually likes pop-tarts because she does or because they were something her mother never let her have. That is such a hilarious show.

I think I can honestly say that I love Thai food for it just being Thai food. The fact that this stir-fry is also really healthy and pretty easy to make is just an added bonus to that love. Yeah, I definitely would put it near the top of my list, but maybe not at number one, I’d have to seriously consider what would be first. So what would be on the top of your list? It’s a hard call to make isn’t it?

I got some cashews a while back and I’ve been debating over what to use them in for the longest time, but I finally decided to do Thai first because it just sounded amazing.

Also, my mom bought me some dried lemongrass a few months ago and I had totally forgotten about it until I found it lost under a pile of ingredients. I haven’t found fresh lemongrass in a long time but I thought if I infused into rice it would be almost as good. If you can find fresh, I’d totally say to use that because it would probably be even more amazing, but using a tea steeper to keep the hard pieces from getting lost in the rice seemed to work really well. I also used dried lime leaves, which are a Thai flavor staple so they were destined to go together in a recipe.

By now you’re probably thinking that my ingredient list is forever long. Okay, I know I put a lot of things into this but some of minor things can be omitted, I listed them as optional, but I’d recommend using as many of the items as you can because a huge part of good Thai is all the different layers of flavor.

You’ll have to let me know when you think of your ultimate favorite foods. Not only do I find it interesting to hear, but I am always excited for inspiration from my readers about what I should make.

Thai Cashew Stir-Fry & Lemongrass Infused Brown Rice

Lemongrass makes the most delicious addition to this easy brown rice and goes perfect with this simple veggie stir-fry.

Ingredients

Lemongrass Infused Brown Rice:

  • 2 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain brown rice
  • 6 cups water plus more if needed
  • 1 tablespoon dried lemongrass
  • 5 dried lime leaves
  • 2-3 teapoons sea salt or to taste

Thai Cashew Stir-Fry:

  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup whole cashews
  • 1/4 fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 2 medium carrots julienned
  • 2 medium red bell peppers sliced
  • 1 large zucchini sliced
  • 1 cup baby corn
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup soy sauce or tamari is gluten free
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste check ingredients if gf or vegan
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch divided (or arrowroot starch)
  • 1 block firm tofu drained and dried of excess liquid cubed
  • fresh limes and additional whole cashews for serving if desired

Instructions

Lemongrass Infused Brown Rice:

  1. Pour 6 cups of water into a medium pot and place lime leaves and lemongrass inside a mesh tea steeper/infuser; bring to a soft boil. Add salt and rice, cover with lid, and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is absorbed and rice is al dente, about 30 minutes. 2. Add more water if needed. Turn off heat when done and cover to keep warm. Remove tea steeper before serving.

Thai Cashew Stir-Fry:

  1. While rice is cooking, start on the stir-fry. Combine, garlic, ginger, add cashews, and cilantro in a food processor and pulse until finely minced (alternatively you can chop well by hand). Set mixture aside for a moment.

  2. Heat a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Combine tofu, pepper, and 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a medium bowl; toss to coat. Add tofu to pan and stir over heat for about 8 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove tofu from pan with a slotted spoon than place in a medium bowl. 

  3. Add sesame oil to the pan now and place back over high heat. Add onions, peppers and carrots and cook until onions are starting to brown, about 4 minutes. Add zucchini, baby corn, and cashew mixture to pan and cook about 5 minutes more until zuccini is tender.

  4. Pour in the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, coconut milk, stock, chili garlic paste, and red curry paste and reduce heat to medium low. Whisk 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water in a small dish until smooth and add to wok. Stir sauce gently for 6-7 minutes(ish) until it begins to thicken. Stir in tofu and allow to simmer in sauce until warmed.

  5. Serve over rice and top with cashews and lime juice if desired.

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