RECIPE #360, DAY #537
ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Thai Tofu Vegetable Red Curry” from my own recipe collection, modified years ago from Mill’s and Ross’s Desperation Dinners*
TIMING: 20 minutes
TOOLS: A wok
COOK TYPE: Stovetop
HEALTH: This is pretty good, actually. You don’t need to feel guilty pulling up to a plate of red curry with veggies, meat (or not), and rice.
EXPERIENCE: Getting ready for the most adventurous of my Supper Club nights, I thought I should make a couple less adventurous dishes for people who may be overwhelmed. Alongside 2 authentic entrees, then, I made this not-quite-Thai approximation of Thai food that we have been enjoying for years. It’s really good, it just feels like it’s missing something (that is, if you are very familiar with Thai food).
It’s a great weeknight approximation.
NOTES: We have always made this with what I call golden tofu, which is just firm tofu pan-fried until golden and then salted. It would work just as well with slices of chicken thigh, steak, pork, or none of the above. And actually, pre-fried, puffed tofu (like from the Asian market) would work best of all.
Optionally, add mushrooms before the peppers, or bamboo shoots after.
If you want this stronger and spicier, double the red curry paste. And now that we’re on the topic, you can find Thai Kitchen Thai curry paste at most grocery stores in the Asian section. Do not use Indian curry or a curry powder. It’s not the same.
- Heat a wok over high heat. Add 1 cup coconut milk and cook until it begins to separate.
- Add 1 tablespoon red Thai curry paste, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, and 2 teaspoons brown sugar. Stir until fragrant. Add 1 1/2 cups more coconut milk and bring to a boil.
- Add 1 1/2 cups sliced bell peppers (optionally in combination with French string beans) and 1 pound cubed golden or puffed tofu or sliced chicken thigh, steak, or pork. Simmer until protein is cooked and veggies are crisp-tender (about 5 minutes).
- Stir in 4 torn kaffir lime leaves and 2 sliced red Thai chiles. Stir and taste for seasonings.
- Top with 1/2 cup chopped cilantro and serve with steamed Jasmine rice.
Serve as a great weeknight supper with an ice cold Singha.
LEFTOVER IDEAS: This warms really well. Just check the seasonings, top with more fresh cilantro or slivered basil, and make some fresh rice. If you really want something different, use broth to make it into a Thai coconut soup drizzled with cream.
*Recipe has been changed from the original.