A few weeks ago I went out for Thai food and fell in love. It’s not like I’ve never had Thai food, but it’s not a constant in my life. When I think about going out for dinner, it’s rarely the cuisine that first pops into my head. However, sometimes I crave Thai food until nothing else that I eat tastes even remotely as wonderful as Thai food would.
Tonight’s dinner was inspired by my meal out. I ordered a creamy red curry with a coconut base. It was wonderful, thick, sweet and savory at the same time. Immediately I wondered if I could re-create the recipe. Now, I am not that familiar with Thai food, and so I searched for a good, base recipe. What I eventually developed was based on Eat, Live Run‘s recipe. I swapped out the chicken for tofu and added other veggies that I happened to have in my fridge. Be careful if you are strictly vegetarian. Just using tofu won’t make this recipe veggie; red curry paste that you purchase in a normal grocery store has shrimp paste in it. Some specialty, co-op-type stores carry vegetarian curry pastes, so look for those!
The changes that I made to the base recipe linked above were for personal taste preferences and what I had on hand! My CSA actually delivered most of these ingredients to my door last week, which was a wonderful, and coincidental windfall. Truthfully, the only things I had to buy at the store for this dish was a piece of ginger and coconut milk; everything else I had on hand. Speaking of coconut milk, I made my recipe with one can of regular and one can of lite coconut milk. I think that the flavor turned out really well. I can definitely see the benefits of using two cans of regular – it would add a more rich flavor and develop a thicker texture – but I could not bring myself to risk my waistline! Maybe I’ll make this again for a treat sometime and make it even more delicious!
Thai Coconut Red Curry
1 tbsp. olive oil (or coconut oil)
1 ” ginger, peeled and grated
1 package firm tofu, cut into 1/2″ pieces
3 tbsp. red curry paste
2 can coconut milk
1 1/2 c. water
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 small sweet potatoes, pealed and thinly sliced
2 baby bok choy, chopped
1 c. sliced carrots
1 c. snow peas, thickly sliced
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp salt
Heat the olive or coconut oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat. When hot, add the ginger and saute until fragrant — 2 minutes.
Add the tofu and sear until not quite cooked through. Then, add the curry paste. Mix the ginger, tofu and curry paste together and continue to saute over high heat for another two minutes.
Pour in the coconut milk and water, then add all of your veggies. Bring curry to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer. Stir in the salt, lime juice and sugar. Continue simmering over medium/low heat until veggies are soft. This will take about 10 minutes.
Serve curry over rice or quinoa!