Omnivore-approved Meatless Monday recipe: Thai-inspired polenta


Related Articles

Ah, polenta. This cornmeal nomness can be baked or grilled and enjoyed as creamy porridge or set and cut into triangles that you can bake, grill or fry. But while polenta makes for an excellent side that complements a variety of savory dishes, there’s no reason why it can't be the star of its own show.

Chef Jason Whitner shared his recipe for Thai polenta with us. He developed the recipe because while he loves polenta, he wanted to flavor it in a way that was different from how it’s typically prepared.



  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cups coconut milk, well shaken until homogenous (about half a can, save the other half)
  • 1 cups polenta
  • 1 Thai chili, minced
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste



  1. Mix coconut milk, ginger, Thai chili and water together in saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Add polenta, stirring to prevent lumps. Cook about 15 to 20 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat, pour into 8”x8” or 9”x9” pan. Refrigerate until set.
  2. Cut into squares, remove from pan and cut in half into triangles.
  3. Heat a nonstick pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons high-temp oil (not olive!). Heat until oil shimmers, and lay polenta triangles in pan.
  4. Let fry for about 8 minutes (polenta takes a little while to get a nice sear on it), flip and cook for another 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Remove from pan and put on a plate with a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
  6. In small saucepan over medium heat, heat remaining coconut milk. Add 2 teaspoons Thai green chili paste, whisk until fully incorporated. Heat until good and hot. Pour over polenta. Eat until your belly hurts.


Jason Whitner is a chef in the Washington, D.C., area. He always loved cooking, both for himself and especially for others, so he figured he might as well get paid for it. He's worked in fine dining and small cafes, and his love of comfort foods is almost an obsession.