Quick weeknight thai curry

March 2, 2022 at 10:37 pm (B_(2.5 stars, like), Cruciferous rich, Deborah Madison, East and SE Asia, Monthly menu plan, Seitan, Tofu, Vegetable dishes)


For a while now I’ve been wanting to add a thai curry to our monthly menu rotation. But Alma won’t yet eat thai curry, and my existing recipe is a little bit complicated when I’m in a rush. When I saw this “Bare-bones tofu curry” in Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen, I decided it was worth a try.

The recipe is pretty simple. You pan-fry a block of tofu and steam whatever vegetables you want (broccoli, green beans, bok choy, winter squash…). Madison says to wait the tofu to finish and use that pan for the curry, but I do my tofu in my cast iron pan, so I just used a 3-quart stainless pot for the curry.

To make the sauce, you slice 2 shallots and saute them in a little bit of oil until soft and lightly colored, then add a can of coconut milk and curry paste of your choice. Madison suggests adding 1 or 2 tsp. Thai red curry paste. We used store-bought panang curry paste and found that 2 tsp. was pretty bland. I think maybe 4 tsp. would suit us better? Once the curry paste is mixed in well you add the cooked tofu to the sauce and simmer to heat through. Madison says to season to taste with pepper, soy sauce, salt, and more curry paste. I like to add a bit of brown sugar and lime as well. Finally, add your steamed veggies and a tablespoon each of slivered thai basil and mint. Serve over rice.

My notes:

The first time we made this the sauce wasn’t spicy enough. It was fine but a bit bland. The second time I made it I added more chili paste, a little brown sugar and lime juice, and way more thai basil (but no mint). I liked it better but it still wasn’t quite right. Plus Derek and I between the two of us ate pretty much all the sauce. A whole can of coconut milk seems like a lot! I think next time I will try adding some vegetable broth to thin the sauce down a bit. Even though the curry didn’t quite taste right, it was certainly tasty. I think I will definitely be adding it to our monthly rotation.

Both times I made this recipe we used broccoli and bell peppers as the veggies. I’d be happy to try other veggies, but those two are good even by themselves.

Alma wouldn’t try the sauce, even though I took some out before I added barely any curry paste to it. We left some veggies and tofu plain for her, and she ate them with the rice happily.

Here’s a quick comparison of Madison’s recipe to this McDermott recipe for thai red curry (in parentheses):

  • 1 can coconut milk (same)
  • 1-2 tsp red curry paste (2-4 Tbs.)
  • no broth (1 cup veggie broth)
  • salt to taste (1 tsp.)
  • soy sauce to taste (1 tsp.)
  • 2 shallots (1 onion)
  • veg of your choice (1.5 – 2 pounds veg of your choice)
  • 1 block tofu (1 cup seitan)
  • no nuts (3/4 cup cashews)
  • 1 Tbs. each thai basil and mint (1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro)
  • no lime juice (lime juice to taste)

So it’s not all that different than my old recipe. The main difference is Madison has you steam the veggies separately rather than cook them in the sauce, which works well if you have a selective eater in the house. Maybe next time I’ll try to do a mix of these two recipe, depending on what ingredients I have on hand.

1 Comment

  1. austingardener said,

    looks easy peasy. but i might substitue 1/2 the coconut milk with broth

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