Meatless Monday - More Curry!

Monday, May 25, 2009

OK, so I promise that curry is not all that I make. I do love it; it is easy!! I'll come up with something completely different for next week. This recipe is vegan, based on my best look at the ingredients lists. Of course, I threw in a bit of fish sauce that I had, which made it not even vegetarian, but that's optional!!

Red Curry Tofu with Rice Noodles


This is rough-ish. The great news is, you can adjust to taste, or what you have on hand!

  • 1 can Maesri Red Curry Paste
  • 2 cans Coconut milk (enough for 2 cups, which is just more than one can)*
  • Rice noodles of your preferred thickness, or Basmati rice (my fave!!)
  • Extra firm tofu
  • Marinade sauce of your preference (I used a combo of Mr. Spice Indian Curry sauce which has nothing bad in it whatsoever [not even salt!!] + House of Tsang Korean Teriyaki Stir-Fry sauce which probably has some bad stuff)
  • The usual suspects - garlic & ginger. About 1.5 tsp garlic and 1/2 tsp ginger; both can be either fresh or from a jar
  • 1-2 tsp. Chili Garlic Sauce. The one with the Rooster. If you've had it, you know what I mean, if not, see the picture, please.
  • Vegetables of your choice (I had some baby bok choy, green pepper and onion)
  • Sesame or walnut oil**
  • Fresh basil (this part is actually super important for giving the dish a fresh taste... it will still be edible without it, if you must)

* use the light one if you want (I did), but be aware it dilutes the red curry flavor a bit.
** yes, you can use olive or canola oil, but the taste will simply not be the same. Dark sesame oil is the best, followed by walnut oil.

The tofu:
If you buy the lame Kroger or Publix-bought kind, be sure to try to smoosh all the water out of it as best you can before you marinate it. I am in LOVE with the Twin Oaks Community Foods tofu you can get at Annie Kay's and maybe at Eats if you are in Blacksburg. I got the seasoned kind this time, because that was what they had, but I strongly prefer the plain version for this, since you marinate it. If you have the store bought and are smooshing it, it is better that the tofu be broken into crumbles than it wind up being that nasty watery white chewy stuff you might wind up with if you don't smoosh / cook it correctly. Don't kill yourself over it, just do what you can. Yes, tofu is not always the white mushy stuff. If that's all you've ever had, you haven't had good tofu. Smoosh. I just like to say it.

Marinate the tofu in the teriyaki sauce and curry sauce, plus throw in the garlic & ginger. I usually throw in a bit of whatever several saucy seasonings I have open at the time, including some tamari or soy sauce. This is also where the Chili Garlic Sauce comes in.

At any time, cook up your rice noodles. They cook quickly; if you're more talented than I am you can multitask and cook them when cooking up the tofu or (as I prefer), you can cook them up front and set them aside.

Chop up all your veggies while you're waiting on the marinade to be marinated. Mince the fresh basil. If you feel super OCD, go ahead and open the red curry can and mix it with the 2 cups of coconut milk and set it aside.

After your marinade time is up, heat the oil in the pan. Once it's sizzling, dump in your marinated tofu and begin cooking. It will almost certainly take a hella long time. If you haven't cooked tofu, expect more time than you would think you'd expect. You want the tofu to wind up crispy and golden around the edges, which means all the water has to cook off. If you have the Kroger/Publix variety, this takes a very, very long time. It should be to the point where you are asking yourself "is it burnt?" If you are here, please stop and congratulate yourself. It's done!! If you are lucky enough to get handmade tofu like the Twin Oaks version, it will take slightly less time. See before / after pics:

Tofu before: / Tofu after:

Once the tofu is done, throw in your veggies. These can be whatever you have. In my ideal world it would probably be chopped baby bok choy, red bell peppers, and onions. In this day's world it was baby bok choy, green bell pepper and onion. You'll want to cook these down (greens until thoroughly wilted, onions to opaque).

At the end of the cooking time, throw in your Red Curry Paste mix, which is the can of Red Curry + the coconut milk.

Once this has heated, as the very last step throw in some minced fresh basil. Immediately remove from the heat and serve the red curry mix over the noodles.


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