Southeast Asian–Style Vegetable Stew

Southeast Asian-Style Vegetable Stew

Broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, and peppers mingle in a rich coconut–peanut base, making a stew that’s great all year round. Adapted from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons. Photos by Theresa Raffetto.

Serves: 6

  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
  • 14-ounce can light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup Thai peanut sauce or natural smooth peanut butter
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons natural granulated sugar
  • 3 to 4 ounces fine rice noodles or bean-thread noodles
  • 1 tablespoon light olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups bite-sized broccoli florets
  • 3 cups bite-sized cauliflower florets
  • 2 cups fresh slender green beans, trimmed and cut in half (see Note)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into narrow 2-inch strips
  • 1 to 2 fresh chilies, to taste, seeded and minced (see Note)

Garnishes (optional):

  • Chopped peanuts
  • Sliced scallions

To make the sauce, combine the cornstarch with just enough water to dissolve in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk until completely dissolved. Add the coconut milk, peanut sauce or peanut butter, lime juice and sugar, and whisk together until smooth. Set aside.

Cook the noodles according to package directions until al dente, then drain and cut into shorter lengths.

While the noodles are cooking, heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until both are golden.

Layer the broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, bell pepper, and chilies in the pot without stirring them in. Pour in 1 cup water. Bring to a rapid simmer (you’ll hear it rather than see it), then lower the heat. Cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender-crisp.

Vegetable stew in peanut sauce

Add the sauce to the soup pot and stir everything together well. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 5 to 10 minutes longer, uncovered, or until the sauce has thickened and the vegetables are just a bit more done than tender-crisp.

Place a small amount of noodles in the bottom of each serving bowl and ladle some of the stew over them. If you wish, garnish with chopped peanuts, sliced scallions, or both.

Nutrition information
Per serving:  Calories: 208;  Total fat: 8g;  Protein: 5g;  Fiber: 5g;  Carbs: 33g;  Sodium: 62 mg

If fresh slender green beans are unavailable, substitute frozen. Try organic petite whole green beans for a nice effect.

Red pepper flakes, Sriracha, or other hot sauce can be substituted for fresh chilies. Start with 1/2 teaspoon and add more to taste if you want a spicier effect.

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9 comments on “Southeast Asian–Style Vegetable Stew

  1. Jessica

    I just made this tonight and it is delicious! I love it! I did not use onion because I don’t care for onions and I used Sriracha instead of chilies. I am going to attempt to freeze some of it. Have you tried this? How does it keep in the freezer and for how long? Thanks for a GREAT recipe!!!

  2. Nava Post author

    Hi Jessica — glad you enjoyed this, and all my recipes have flexibility. Glad you subbed ingredients you had on hand. I’ve never had the occasion to freeze this but I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t freeze pretty well. The veggies might be a bit mushier once thawed, but the flavor should be fine. I would say that it will keep in the freezer for a few weeks.

  3. Jessica

    Just wanted to let you know that I did freeze some a few days ago and I am about to defrost it already! Haha. It is so cold here in NC that I have been eating that more than expected! It is soooo good!

  4. Nava Post author

    Stay warm, Jessica! It’s good to know that this stew worked out well for you an I hope it defrosts well, too.

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