Thai coconut red curry with tofu
recipe under the cut!
- 1 block firm or extra firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot starch
- about 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
- 1 or 2 13.5 fl oz. cans or boxes of coconut milk (preferably Chaokoh or another brand that has nothing added to it), refrigerated and allowed to separate
- 2 tablespoons of red curry paste
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- a 1-inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 zucchini, sliced
- 1 cup mushrooms
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 4 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- splash of lime juice
- a few tablespoons of basil (optional)
- salt to taste
1. slice open the package of tofu on one side and drain out as much water as you can. press the tofu–place a dish towel or folded paper towels on a hard surface, then place the block of tofu on top of those, then add another layer of towels, and then weight it all down with something (about the weight of a can of soup). leave that for about 30 minutes to get more moisture out.
2. cut the tofu into even cubes of your preferred size. lay the cubes on a plate in a single layer and freeze for a few hours, until they darken and harden. toss the frozen tofu into boiling water and boil for at least 15-20 minutes, agitating occasionally.
3. remove cubes of tofu from boil and drain. pat them dry with a towel to get as much moisture out as possible. sprinkle 2 tbsp of cornstarch over them and coat evenly. heat coconut oil in a large pan on medium-high heat and then add tofu. turn the cubes to a new side to cook every couple of minutes, until all sides are golden brown (this is tedious but I find that chopsticks help). set aside and rinse out your pan.
4. open 1 can of coconut milk and scoop out just the cream–it should form a solid, white layer on the top. add the cream to your pan and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the fat in the cream starts to separate out from the oil. (if this doesn’t happen, which is possible depending on what kind of coconut milk you used, just add some coconut oil to the pan and you’re good to go.)
5. decrease the heat to medium-low and add the curry paste to the coconut milk. fry for 5-10 minutes, until you can see coloured oil start to separate out.
6. add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion starts to soften and turn transculent. add the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute, stirring often.
7. add the brown sugar, the remaining coconut water from the first can of coconut milk, and the cream from a second can of coconut milk if desired. increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil.
8. decrease heat to medium and add tofu, zucchini, and mushrooms. simmer until zucchini starts to soften slightly.
9. add bell peppers and cook for another 5 minutes, until slightly softened. add soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, and salt. serve over brown jasmine or long-grain brown rice.