The Secret Recipe Club is back in action for 2013 and I was assigned Melanie’s Fabulously Fun Food blog for the month of January! From her Papas Rellenas and Jamaican Jerk Chicken to the Chocolate Guinness Cake and Homemade Gnocchi, Melanie covers all types of cuisine and made my mouth water looking through all her recipes.
Her original recipe for Red Thai Duck Curry immediately struck my fancy, not only because it was on “Melanie’s Favorites” list but I happen to love anything with curry in the title. Admittedly though, duck freaks me out a bit so when I saw a little blurb for a protein swap, I decided to change up a few ingredients and make this a 100% vegetarian and vegan meal. Why not if I am going that direction anyway?
In addition to substituting the tofu for duck and coconut aminos for the fish sauce, I added a touch of sweetness in the form of coconut nectar syrup that the fish sauce would have added. I added a few wedges of fresh lime and chopped fresh cilantro for brightness and decided against the cooking rice as a side. In the veggie department, I increased the amount of mushrooms and added carrots since I didn’t have any tomatoes or pineapple on hand (though both will be added next time I make this).
I like my curry on the thicker side but feel free to add more liquid to this dish (as noted) if you prefer one on the thinner side. I have mentioned before that I prefer eating rice plain AND separate from my main dish… so I decided to forgo the rice and opted for a second helping of this curry instead 🙂 After all, I do love my veggies and protein!
A little sweet, a little spicy and FULL of flavor — I LOVED this curry! I can’t wait to make this again soon and experiment with various vegetables and proteins for variety.
Red Thai Tofu Curry (SRC) (inspired by Red Thai Duck Curry)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Nut-free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy-free option
2 Tbsp butter, ghee, coconut oil or Earth Balance, divided (use oil or Earth Balance for dairy free)
1-2 tsp agave, coconut sugar, coconut nectar or sweetener of choice or to taste**
1 large lime, cut into wedges
Fresh basil and cilantro, chopped (I used about 1/4 cup each) – can use all basil if you aren’t a fan of cilantro
1. Heat 1 Tbsp butter/oil in a wok/skillet over medium-high heat. Stir-fry tofu until golden on all sides, about 6 minutes then remove from pan and set aside.
2. Heat 1/2 Tbsp butter/oil in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add Red Thai curry paste to the pan and stir. Cook paste for several minutes to release the flavors (If you have a hood over your oven, use it otherwise you’ll be sneezing up a storm from the chiles in the paste). Pour in the coconut milk, hot water (if using), coconut aminos/tamari/soy sauce, sweetener and minced ginger. Stir and allow to cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
3. In the same wok/skillet you prepared the tofu, heat remaining 1/2 Tbsp butter/oil over medium high heat. Add sliced onions, bell pepper, carrots and mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes or until cook to your preference (I like mine crisp tender). Make sure the pan is hot, then add tofu and stir. Cook for 2-3 minutes until warmed, stirring occasionally.
4.Taste curry sauce, which should be slightly thickened by now. Add more spice if needed. If it’s too spicy, add more coconut milk.
5. Pour curry sauce into the pot with the veggies and tofu. Stir to combine and allow to bubble and simmer for a good 5 to 10 minutes. Add a little hot water if it seems too thick, or allow to bubble longer if it needs more thickening. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
6. At the last minute, stir in lots of chopped basil and cilantro. Squeeze fresh lime juice and serve immediately and/or over cooked grain of choice and enjoy!
Serves 4-6 (Depending on if you serve this with or without a side)
*If you aren’t a fan of tofu, feel free to substitute chicken or shrimp in this dish
**Can substitute fish sauce in place of the soy sauce but will not longer be vegetarian. If doing so, eliminate the added sweetener since fish sauce already contains sugar.