As promised, here is the recipe for a vegan version of a wonderful authentic Thai soup that I have eaten many times during those beautiful years that I lived in Thailand. The recipe may seem very long and perhaps complicated but once you get going, this soup is quite easy to prepare.
Thai stuffed cucumber soup
Ingredients (in order of using):
1 quart/liter no-chickun broth or vegetable broth
2 cilantro roots
1 TBS Thai mushroom soy sauce
1/4 tsp white pepper
2 cucumbers, each about 8 inches/20 cm long
3 TBS TVP (I used Bob’s Red Mill fine TVP granules)
3 TBS boiling water
1/2 cup/125 ml water
3 TBS Thai mushroom soy sauce
1 TBS canola oil
1 cup/150 g vital wheat gluten
1 TBS chickpea flour
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/3 cup loosely packed, finely chopped cilantro
1/3 cup loosely packed, finely chopped spring onion
1 TBS chopped cilantro (for garnish)
Pour stock in saucepan. Add cilantro roots, mushroom soy sauce, and white pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer.
Peel cucumbers and cut off ends. Cut each cucumber into 4 or 5 pieces. Remove seed core from each piece (I use an apple corer). Discard seed core. Put cucumber pieces aside.
In a medium size bowl, add boiling water to TVP and put aside. Wait for about 10 minutes and add rest of water, mushroom soy sauce, and oil. Mix well.
In a large bowl, mix vital wheat gluten with chickpea flour, onion powder, garlic powder and white pepper. Add chopped cilantro and chopped spring onions and gently stir to mix in the herbs. Add TVP mixture and stir to combine all ingredients but do not overmix.
Fill pieces of cucumber with the TVP/gluten mixture. No need to make it super tight. Loosely filling will work well. It’s okay for the filling to show on both sides of the cucumber pieces (see picture of soup). You will likely still have have left-over filling even after “overstuffing” the cucumber pieces. No worries, we will use it all!
Place pieces of stuffed cucumber in simmering broth. Make small balls from the remaining filling and also place in the simmering broth. Let the broth simmer for 20 minutes. Taste the broth and adjust the taste to your own liking by perhaps adding more soy sauce or pepper.
To serve, place two pieces of cooked stuffed cucumber in a shallow soup bowl. Pour over hot broth and some additional “meat” balls. Garnish with some chopped cilantro.
I had some of the soup for breakfast today and noticed that the soup tasted even better the next day as the flavors had been more fully incorporated.
Happy vegan cooking and eating!