Tofu Red Curry

Tofu or bean curd is a plant based protein eaten around the world, especially in East Asia. It is made from soy beans that are soaked, pulverized, cooked, then coagulated in minerals like magnesium salt or calcium and pressed into blocks. This protein-packed, calcium-rich, plant-based food is low in fat and loaded with heart-friendly isoflavones. One serving of tofu provides 8g of soy protein. Since tofu takes on whatever flavors it is paired with, it a versatile ingredient in cooking. It can be marinated, grilled, braised, deep fried, used in stir fry or in curries, crumbled into soups, sauces, sautéd or simply scrambled. Soy does have a bad rap though in any manner you consume it whether as milk, tempeh or tofu. It contains phytoestrogen plant compounds that can act like estrogen in the body and estrogen is associated with breast cancer. So the general consensus is to eat tofu or any soy based product in moderation.

A lot of fresh ingredients go into this curry to make it a complete meal. Have everything ready before you start to make this quick curry that tastes like you have labored for hours. The bursting-with-flavor red curry paste along with the creamy peanut butter and fresh herbs makes this a wonderful meal to serve a large crowd. In fact the tofu and vegetables can absolutely be prepped the night before, all ready in the fridge to make this awesome vegan curry for your guests and impress them with your cooking skills @sarchakra

PREP TIME:10 mins

COOK TIME: 15 mins

YIELDS: Serves or makes 5

Ingredients

  • Firm Tofu 16 oz (454 g)
  • Rice flour 4 tbsp
  • Salt
  • Peanut oil 1 tbsp plus for frying
  • Black pepper 2 tsp
  • Paprika 2 tsp plus for drizzle
  • Red peppers 1, cut into chunky pieces
  • Green peppers 1, cut into chunky pieces
  • Sweetcorn 1 cup
  • Pure Flavor Sangria tomato medley a handful, cut into halves
  • Peas 1 cup
  • Onion 1, cut into chunky pieces
  • Ginger 2 inches, cut into small pieces
  • Garlic 4-5, cut into small pieces
  • Tomato paste 1 tbsp
  • Red curry paste 2 tbsp
  • Peanut butter 2 tbsp
  • Green onions 3-4, cut into strips
  • Coconut milk 1 cup
  • Fish sauce 2 tsp (omit if vegetarian)
  • Palm sugar 2 tsp
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Basil a small handful
  • Cilantro a few sprigs

Method

  • Drain tofu from its container. Wrap tofu in a kitchen towel and gently squeeze out all the water. Keep it wrapped for 10-15 mins till all the water is soaked up. Cut into thick cubes.
  • In a tray season rice flour with salt, black pepper and paprika. Roll tofu cubes into the mixture. Let it sit for about 5 mins. Heat oil. Fry seasoned tofu cubes till golden brown on all sides. Do not crowd the pan. Cook in batches. Drain on kitchen towels. Keep aside.
  • Pour out most of the oil reserving only 1 tbsp. Sauté onion, ginger, garlic for a few seconds. Move the mixture to one side of the pan and add in red curry paste. Stir in tomato paste. Keep sautéing the curry paste and tomato paste till they break up and mix into the oil and turn aromatic.
  • Add coconut milk, fish sauce, water, peanut butter, salt and palm sugar. Let the curry come to a gentle boil. Put in lime zest. Next add in peas, sweetcorn, red pepper, tomatoes and green onions.
  • Add in lime juice followed by cilantro and tofu cubes. Stir. Turn the heat off. Top with torn basil and some more cilantro.

Notes

I used Azumaya Tofu for this recipe. It is made from soybeans that are not genetically engineered and contain no artificial preservatives and I do like the sound of that!

I use Mae Ploy Red Curry Paste for red curry recipes. I’ve tried many store bought red curry pastes and this is the one that tastes most authentic to what I’ve had in restaurants. You can of course make your own red curry paste but it is not that easy to do. Having said that, I might just do that one day, not just yet!

I like to serve this tofu dish with some rice noodles, coconut rice or jasmine rice. Just put rice noodles, coconut rice or jasmine rice in a bowl and spoon some of this soupy goodness along with vegetables and tofu with a ladle into the bowl.

I’ve used flash frozen peas and sweet corn. You can use a combination of any vegetables like squash, cauliflower, sweet potatoes or broccoli in this soup. Although traditionally people tend to use only peppers and onions, I think it’s your cooking so you can decide to bulk up the food with healthy ingredients. This can most definitely feed a crowd.

Regular store bought red curry paste has shrimp paste in it. If you are strictly vegetarian, look for a red curry paste that does not have shrimp paste.

The vegetables
Seasoning the rice flour
Coating the tofu
Sprinkling some paprika for color
Pan frying the tofu
Tofu is ready
Sautéing onion, ginger and garlic
Adding red curry paste and tomato paste
Adding coconut milk and peanut butter
Adding the lime zest and vegetables
Adding the lime juice and tofu
Tofu Red Curry is done
Closeup

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