Trey and I have a regular thai spot. We go probably about once a week and the owner knows our order as soon as he sees either of us. It's kind of nice. Our order? Two orders of red curry with tofu. That's us. And although we have no intention of cutting back on our weekly take-out habit, I just love messing around in the kitchen so learning to make my own favorite homemade version is a priority to me.
My version is, as usual, not exactly traditional. It is a little bit spicier and a little less sweet than the take-out version. Plus I like to use different vegetables. My least favorite part of red curry is the green (or long) beans so when I make it myself I get to leave that out. That's the magic of home cooking, you get to make it how you like it.
1 red bell pepper
6-8 baby carrots (or 2 regular, I bought baby for snacking later)
2/3 cup uncooked rice
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons red curry paste (I use Mae Ploy brand, it's available on Amazon)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 can (13.6 oz.) coconut milk
1/2 cup water
14 oz. extra firm tofu
2 tablespoons cilantro
1 lime for garnish
First chop up the bell pepper and carrots. Mince the garlic. In a large pot toast the red curry paste over low/medium heat just until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Turn the heat up to medium and add in the vegetables and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook until the bell pepper becomes bright red (2-3 minutes). Pour in the coconut milk (it will be part solid/paste and part watery, in case you've never used it before. Don't be alarmed!), sesame oil, fish sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir to combine well.
While you're working on the curry part don't forget to cook the rice. I like to use a rice cooker, because I'm pretty lazy. Check the package of your rice for instructions (the amount of water you add may depend on the type of rice you use).Drain the tofu from the package. Place on a plate lined with paper towels. Place another paper towel and plate on top of the tofu block. Place a heavy can or book over the top of the top plate. This will help the tofu to drain even more. After 5 minutes remove the tofu from the paper towels and slice into small cubes. Place in a zip lock bag with 2 teaspoons of corn starch and give this a light shake. This is the vegetarian version of Shake n' Bake. Now bake the tofu at 375° for 15-20 minutes. Once the rice is cooked, the tofu is baked and the curry is piping hot dish everything out onto large plates (with a lip) or large bowls. Sprinkle on a little chopped cilantro and serve with a lime wedge or two. I like to squeeze the lime over the curry before eating. But then again, I'm a citrus freak. Enjoy! xo. Emma
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman