My favorite dish to get at my local hole-in-the-wall Thai restaurant, Mai Thai, is Tofu Kra Prow, described as mixed vegetables and basil leaves in a chili-garlic sauce. I always order steamed rice noodles on the side as opposed to white rice. My eyes light up when the fragrant dish arrives, piled high with super spicy and fresh, tender-crisp veggies. The restaurant has the most beautiful presentation of carrots artfully formed into a flower on top of a nest of thin red beet strands. It’s just gorgeous. The tofu is lightly fried so it has a delicate crust and soft pillowy inside that is perfect with the spice. I could eat it every day. Alas, that could get expensive and I don’t need to be eating white rice noodles and fried tofu daily so I vowed to come up with a buckwheat and sautéed tofu version.
The final verdict is that this is not the sauce they use at the restaurant. The recipe I found for Kra Prow (and there were not many out there) has fish and oyster sauce in it, so my sauce is brown and theirs is not. Both are equally delicious in their own way though. This had more depth of flavor and the buckwheat soba is heartier than the rice noodles. As for similarities, both have the delicious garlic and heat elements as well as that aromatic basil.
Tofu Kra Prow with Buckwheat Noodles
Inspired by Tofu Kra Prow from my local Mai Thai’s Menu and this recipe; Kra Pow Chicken
Serves 5 (over 1 cup depending on size of eggplant)
1 block extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into cubes
1 bag Thai Style frozen veggies, I used Cascadian Farm, Thai-Style Stir fry Blend
3 white Japanese Eggplant, chopped
1 head garlic (12 cloves), minced
2 -4 cayenne pepper, diced (I had to sub 1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper)
1/2 to 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups Thai Basil leaves (again had to sub regular basil as that’s what I had growing)
1 Pkg Buckwheat Soba, cooked to package directions and set aside
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
6 Tbsp oyster sauce
4 Tbsp fish sauce
1/2 Tbsp Turbinado sugar
2 tsp low sodium Tamari (or soy sauce)
1. Mix sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
2. Heat 1 Tbsp water or broth in a skillet or wok over medium heat; add garlic and pepper, sauté, stirring constantly until browned, about 3 minutes.
3. Add tofu and eggplant and sauté until browned, adding more water or broth as needed to prevent sticking. Remove from pan and set aside.
4. Heat another 1 Tbsp broth over high heat; add Thai vegetables, sauté 4 to 5 minutes. Add tofu and eggplant back to pan.
4. Stir in sauce and toss to coat; add broth, reduce heat and simmer. Add buckwheat soba. Remove from heat and stir in basil and rice wine vinegar.
Nutrition Facts5 Servings (Large, over 1 cup servings, depending on the size of the eggplant)Amount Per Serving
Calories 304.0 Total Fat 6.5 g Saturated Fat 0.8 g Polyunsaturated Fat 3.2 g Monounsaturated Fat 1.3 g Cholesterol 0.0 mg Sodium 1,912.3 mg**** Potassium 458.1 mg Total Carbohydrate 45.1 g Dietary Fiber 6.2 g Sugars 8.1 g Protein 18.9 g
Vitamin A 11.5 % Vitamin B-12 1.5 % Vitamin B-6 9.5 % Vitamin C 22.6 % Vitamin D 0.0 % Vitamin E 0.0 % Calcium 13.3 % Copper 10.3 % Folate 8.2 % Iron 12.4 % Magnesium 23.3 % Manganese 52.1 % Niacin 4.1 % Pantothenic Acid 1.2 % Phosphorus 16.3 % Riboflavin 3.7 % Selenium 18.2 % Thiamin 4.1 % Zinc 7.7 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
****This dish will be lower in sodium than listed here due to the low sodium tamari and vegetable broth; however, to cut it down even more reduce the amount of fish sauce and oyster sauce a bit and that will help as well. I use Sparkrecipes as the recipe builder and there were no options for low sodium veggie broth or tamari.