August 19, 2011

Emma's Yellow Tofu Curry

The other night, I found myself in the mood for some curry. I also had the good fortune of having two fresh-from-the-farmers-market firm blocks of Hodo tofu. It was decided. I would make Tofu curry.

Although I thoroughly enjoying cooking, I’m not quite able to create any dish that comes to mind, so I went to the Internet. I took my inspiration from a Fine Cooking recipe and adapted it to include fresh ingredients from my garden and my local North Berkeley Farmers market.

Cooking this yellow curry was almost as good as eating it, the aroma lemongrass, curry, and coconut milk that filled my kitchen was irresistible. It’s a good thing that this dish was so quick to make because by the time it was done I was practically salivating.

With this recipe, I discovered a new way to cook with tofu. This yellow curry was the perfect combination of delicious fresh ingredients and a creamy curry that was bursting with flavor. This dish would go well served with basmati or brown rice. Enjoy!

1 (13.5- to 14-oz.) can coconut milk (alternatively you could experiment by using Hodo unsweetened soy milk)

1/4 cup yellow curry paste

1 cup homemade vegetable broth (simply boil water, celery, onions, carrot, bay leaves, garlic, salt and pepper, and whatever additional veggies you like for a few hours or until desired strength, and then strain vegetables out and use liquid only)

2 Tbs. light brown sugar

1 tsp. fish sauce

3/4 cup green bean pieces

3/4 cup sliced onions

3 stalks fresh lemongrass cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces

6 whole fresh lime leaves

2 or more Hodo firm tofu cut into bite-size pieces

3/4 cup eggplant, peeled and cubed in ½ inch cubes

3/4 cup zucchini, cubed in ½ inch cubes

3/4 cup oyster mushrooms, pulled apart into bite-size pieces

3/4 cup loosely packed Thai basil leaves

4 Lime wedges, for garnish

Place eggplant and zucchini on baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake at 400 until eggplant is soft and golden brown. Set aside.

Over medium heat in a large wok or saucepan, bring ½ cup of the coconut milk to simmering. Stir the milk occasionally until it is thickened and reduced by about half. This will take about 4 or 5 minutes.

Add the curry paste to the coconut milk, whisk in the curry paste for 1 minute. Then whisk in the broth, sugar, fish sauce, and remaining coconut milk. Bring to a simmer.

Add the green beans, onions, lemongrass, and lime leaves and continue to simmer.

After a couple of minutes, add in the Hodo tofu, mushrooms, zucchini, and eggplant and continue to simmer until everything is cooked to your liking; it should take around 3 minutes.

Remove the curry from the heat. Taste the curry and if preferred add more sugar or fish sauce, and then add the basil leaves. Remove the lemongrass and lime leaves. And finally, toss on the lime wedges for garnish.

Bon Appetite!

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