Asheville at Home: Two recipes from Asheville Strong’s new cookbook


Photo courtesy of Asheville Strong

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Asheville restaurants have been hit hard by COVID-19, but there’s a new way to support the eateries – and the city – you love. Asheville Strong, a nonprofit started to support small businesses during the state’s shutdown, has just released Asheville At Home, a digital cookbook featuring 35+ recipes from local restaurants. The cookbook costs $19.95 and sales go to the NC Restaurant Lodging Association’s Workers Relief Fund.

Inside, you’ll find recipes for your favorite dishes (from apps to desserts) from restaurants like Chai Pani, Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack, Vivian, RosaBees + more, plus illustrations by Alyssa Phillips of Amp’d Designs.

And we hope you have a snack handy, because we’re sharing two recipes – from two of Asheville’s newest restaurants, Thai Pearl and Pachamama5 – that are about to make you hungry.


Thai Basil from Thai Pearl | Photo courtesy of Asheville Strong

Thai Basil (hot)

Click here for a printable .pdf

From Thai Pearl (747 Haywood Rd.)

Est. 2020

Chef Sujitra “Suji” Chubthaisong says:Pad Kra Pao is one of the most popular dishes in Thailand. I grew up in the Issan province of Thailand and remember picking fresh basil out of my mother’s garden to make this dish with her. I continued to perfect this recipe throughout years of studying at the Royal Palace Academy in Bangkok. The ratio of ingredients is what makes this recipe so unique. I recommend adding a fried or sunny side-up egg on top, along with the traditional prik nam pla sauce.”


For the prik nam pla:

1 tablespoon minced fresh chile pepper

1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic

1 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon lime juice

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup oyster sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce or gluten-free tamari

1/2 teaspoon vinegar

1/2 cup water

2 cups protein, cut into bite-size pieces (chicken, beef, tofu, shrimp, etc.)

1/2 tablespoon. minced garlic

1 tablespoon minced fresh chile pepper

1 large yellow onion, sliced

2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into half-moons

1 1/2 cup green beans, roughly chopped

1 large bell pepper, cored and sliced

1 cup Thai basil


  1. Prepare the prik nam pla by whisking together all ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the sauce by whisking together all ingredients in another small bowl.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook your protein.
  4. When the meat or tofu is about 90% cooked, add the garlic, chile pepper, and onion. Cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the carrots, green beans, and bell pepper. Once cooked, stir in the sauce.
  6. Bring to a simmer, stir in the basil and then taste it. If you want it to be spicier, add more fresh chiles.
  7. Serve with prik nam pla on the side.

Basil Minestrone from Pachamama5 | Photo courtesy of Asheville Strong

Basil Minestrone

Click here for a printable .pdf

From Pachamama5 (10 N. Market St.)

Est. 2020

Chefs Santiago Vargas + Ricardo Carraso say: “This rich soup will remind you of home — like it does us. Simple yet hearty, it’s packed with vegetables and fragrant basil. We hope the community enjoys this soup as much as we do. Make it vegan by using vegetable broth and omitting the cheese and beef.”


6 cups beef, bone, or veggie broth

2 cups water

1 tablespoon dried oregano

4 bay leaves

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium red or sweet onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

8 ounces fresh baby spinach

8 ounces fresh basil

4 ounces queso fresco, diced and divided

1 pound beef flank steak, cut into ¾ inch cubes



½ cup corn kernels

½ cup frozen or fresh peas

½ cup diced celery

½ cup diced carrots

½ pound cooked pinto beans (or another bean)

1 Yukon gold potatoes, diced

4 ounces penne rigate, gluten-free pasta, or quinoa

2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. In a large pot over high heat, bring the stock and water to a boil with the oregano and bay leaves.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil over and add the onions and garlic. Cook until golden brown.
  3. Lower the heat and add the spinach and basil, stirring until wilted.
  4. Transfer the spinach and basil mixture to a blender with 1 ½ ounces queso fresco and 2 cups of the broth. Blend until very smooth. Set aside.
  5. Season the beef with salt and pepper, then add to the boiling stock.
  6. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the corn, peas, celery, carrots, beans, and potatoes.
  7. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the pasta. Cook for 7 minutes or until al dente.
  8. Remove from heat, discard the bay leaves, then stir in the spinach-basil mixture.
  9. Season to taste, and serve with the remaining queso fresco and Parmesan.

Want to get your hands on all 35+ recipes? Click here to purchase.

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