Thai Vegetable Stew, 'Tom Jabchai'
This is sometimes called "Chinese" vegetable stew in Thailand, because the chosen vegetables are usually of Chinese origin. You can make substitutions, and some recipes for this stew call for as many as 10 different vegetables. You do need at least 4 to get the variety of tastes and textures required, but if the produce market yields more on the day, then you can indeed use more (keep the overall quantity about the same). Though called a vegetable stew, this is by no means a *vegetarian* dish. It contains a substantial amount of meat. The essential flavor of the dish comes from the belly pork. If you prefer you can use a pound of belly pork and omit the poultry, but you shouldn't omit the pork altogether.
This is a "one plate" meal - a single dish forming the entire meal (as opposed to the more usual dining style in Thailand with several contrasting dishes).
For 4 Person(s)
- 1/2 Pound Belly Pork Cut into half inch cubes
- 1/2 Chicken or Duck, Cut Into Bite Sized pieces.
- 4 Cups White Raddish or Turnip Cut into 1
- 1 Chinese Cabbage, cut into moderate sized chunks
- 1 Western Cabbage, Quartered, cored, and cut into 1
- 1 Cup Leeks, 1 inch pieces
- 2 Cups Celery, 1 inch pieces
- 4 Cups Kale, Stems Crushed, and very roughly chopped
- 10 Medium Chinese Mushrooms, Soaked in water, and the stems discarded
- 5 Cakes Hard Tofu, quartered, and the pieces cut in half diagonally
- 3 Cups Bean Thread Noodles, soaked, and cut into short lengths
- 1/2 Cup Coriander/Cilantro Leaf), chopped
- 6 Tablespoons Soybean Paste
- 3 Tablespoons Chopped Garlic
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Ginger
- 3 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Dark Soy Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Maggi Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Palm Sugar
- 8 Cups Pork Stock
- Thai Pepper Powder (to taste)
Method for Thai Vegetable Stew, 'Tom Jabchai'
Bring the stock to a boil and add the pork, poultry, fish sauce, soy sauce, and Maggi sauce. Boil uncovered until the meats are just cooked. Add the vegetables, tofu, and noodles. In a wok heat some oil, and fry the soybean paste until fragrant. Saute the garlic and ginger. Add the soybean paste, garlic and ginger to the soup. Taste, and adjust the fish sauce and pepper to suit your preference.
Remove from the heat and serve when the vegetables are done.