Red Curry

Yeah, I’ve been away awhile.  A great way to start a blog.  But periodically, I just get un-inspired and go through the motions for a couple of weeks, cooking meals that don’t take a lot of imagination but that can be got on the table quickly.  That all changed last night when I made a Thai-style red curry.  It’s Thai “style” because 1.  I’m not immersed enough in Thai cuisine that preparing it is second nature; and 2. Sometimes I need to change one or more ingredients due to the dietary needs of my family; and 3. once in awhile, even with the huge variety of grocery stores in suburban NJ, I just can’t find a particular ingredient.  In this case, I almost didn’t find kaffir lime leaves, and had to settle for frozen instead of dried.  I’ve learned the hard way that lime zest just doesn’t work as a substitute.

The recipe is adapted from Didi Emmons’s Vegetarian Planet.

  • 10 kaffir lime leaves, cut into pieces (if using frozen, remove from refrigerator immediately prior to using)
  • 2/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup toasted pecans
  • 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup safflower oil
  • 2 tablespoons chili paste with garlic
  • 16 oz firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3/4 lb green beans, cleaned and snapped in half
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup fresh chives, chopped
  • 10 oz coconut milk
  • 2 3/4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
green beans and chives

Chives straight from our garden; green beans from the store

Combine the coconut milk and 2 1/4 cups water in an appropriate pot.  Bring to a boil; add rice, cover, and cook over very low heat.  When the rice is cooked, stir in the chives.

Put the kaffir lime leaves, cilantro, pecans and garlic into a food processor.  Pulse so everything is chopped coarsely.  Then add fish sauce, chili paste and enough oil to make a nice paste.  If you have kids who don’t like hot food, you might wish to reduce the amount of chili paste.

Heat a wok with 2 tablespoons of oil.  Add the tofu and cook over high heat, turning until it’s golden on all sides.  Remove from wok, and place on a plate covered with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.  Add green beans and peas, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.  Then add 1/2 cup water to the wok, cover and reduce heat, and steam the vegetables for 2 minutes.  Add the tofu and lime leaf/chili mixture back into the wok; stir just enough to combine.

The final result. And for once, it looks nice on the plate

We ate a bit late on a leisurely Saturday evening, but the result was worth the wait.

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About Peter, a/k/a sourdoughdaddy

Husband, dad, personal trainer, cross-country skier, trail runner, writer.
This entry was posted in Recipes, Thai, Uncategorized, Vegetarian and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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