Sunday, April 29, 2012

V is for Vegan Curry Recipe

Oh, boy. I've been waiting to share this recipe for awhile now! It's Vegan Vegetable Thai Curry with Tofu, and it is so good.



Ever since trying Thai food for the first time at Pad Thai in St. Paul, Minnesota, I've been a fan. My taste buds have been slowly growing to love it even spicier and spicier. My favorite dish at Pad Thai was a red curry with noodles. I tried to mimic the recipe at home once, and it ended in utter disaster.

But this recipe! I've been perfecting it for a couple of months now. It's perfectly suited to my & Rob's taste, so definitely change it up for yourself and what you like!



Vegan Vegetable Thai Curry with Tofu

Ingredients:
  • 1 chopped red onion
  • 1 chopped jalapeno pepper
  • 1 can of coconut milk. I do NOT use "Lite" in this recipe, as I find it makes a more watery curry.
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock. I usually use 2 big bouillon cubes per 2 cups water for extra flavor.
  • 1/2 jar of Thai brand red curry paste (you can make 2 whole batches with one jar! which is a good thing since those little buggers are expensive.) It looks like this:

  • 1 block of super extra firm tofu (or as firm as you can get it). Freeze it until you need it (at least overnight). Let it thaw in the fridge. (Freezing the tofu makes it even chewier and sturdier to cook with. This keeps it from falling apart in the curry!)
  • about 5 big carrots, chopped
  • about 1 heaping cup of broccoli, chopped. Can be fresh or frozen.
  • other vegetables as desired: potatoes, mushrooms, snow peas
  • rice noodles, bean noodles, or even super thin vermicelli noodles. They look like this:

  • cayenne pepper to kick up the heat
  • salt & pepper
Here's how I do it: Beforehand:
  • Take thawed tofu out of fridge so it's not freezing cold when I have to touch it.
  • Take out all vegetables so they can come to room temperature, too. (I hate freezing my fingers off while chopping!)
Then:
  1. Chop the onion. Throw into a big stock pot.
  2. Heat 2 cups of water + 2 bouillon cubes in the microwave to help cubes dissolve.
  3. Chop the jalapeno. Throw into pot.
  4. Dump can of coconut milk into pot. Swish a little water around in the can to get those last chunks of coconut off the sides and add to pot.
  5. Dump hot vegetable broth into pot.
  6. Add 1/2 the jar of Thai red curry paste. Stir til curry paste is distributed in liquid.
  7. Squeeze out your tofu, but be careful not to break it! Chop into bite-size squares. Add to pot.
  8. Put pot on medium-low heat. This lets your tofu marinate in all the delicious juices while you prep your veggies.
  9. Quickly peel your carrots (or not). Chop them into smallish pieces and add to pot.
  10. If using potatoes, quickly peel your potatoes (or not, I never do). Chop into bite-size pieces and add to pot. Note about potatoes: I made many versions of this curry using potatoes, but eventually decided that they just don't soak up the juices as well as other veggies. BUT, if you want a thicker and more hearty curry, add potatoes in small pieces and let it cook longer so they're almost disintegrating.
  11. Chop up your fresh broccoli into bite-size florets, or get your frozen broccoli ready (aka - take it out of the freezer). DON'T add it yet.
  12. Let your curry cook for about 30 minutes or until carrots are super tender. Add more liquid if it starts to get too chunky for your liking.
  13. Taste the broth. If you want it to be spicier, add cayenne pepper in small doses - 1/8 tsp at a time! Stir in between doses and taste. You'll be sad if you over-spice it!
  14. When your carrots/potatoes are soft, add in the fresh/frozen broccoli and put a lid on the pan. I wait to add broccoli til it's almost done cooking because otherwise the broccoli overcooks and just falls apart in the stew.
  15. If you're adding the rice/bean noodles, plop in a bunch, stir, and put the lid on. They will cook very quickly in the hot broth.

  16. When your broccoli is super tender and your noodles feel stringy and soft, the curry is done! Taste broth again and add salt & pepper to your liking.
A variation on this that is quite tasty but less healthy is to make the curry as-is, but fry up your tofu in another pan and serve it on top. Fried tofu is delicious but sometimes can taste super oily-soaked. Here's the fried tofu on top: So there you go! A vegetarian/vegan Thai-inspired curry with veggies, noodles, and lots of spice. The coconut milk makes it creamy, and those chunks of tofu just soak up all the flavor. It's my favorite way to eat tofu that I've discovered so far. Enjoy!

3 comments:

  1. Yuuuuuumm!!! Thanks Leiah. I'm going to try it this week!

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  2. I'm totally making this ASAP! Thank youuuu!

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  3. Just made this! It was so delicious! One problem, I couldn't find any curry paste so I had to kind of make my own! Still turned out great!

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