We love red curry, and my son had some red curry tofu probably two years ago when he spent a year being a vegetarian at a restaurant that he just loved. So, when he decided to go back to being a vegetarian, it was one of the first things he asked me to make. This is a red curry recipe that I have made quite a bit in the past with chicken, but this time I used tofu, which was really delicious. Ok, the tofu is fried, so maybe it could be healthier, but it really didn’t soak up a lot of oil and you saute the chicken in oil, so I certainly don’t think it is any less healthy than the regular recipe. Now, I usually add just a touch of brown sugar to this, but I did not this time as we are avoiding sugar, and I really didn’t miss it. And, usually we serve it over jasmine rice, but this is served over brown rice, but use whatever rice you like.
This photo shows the most interesting part of working with tofu, draining it. In order to get the right texture, drain the water off the tofu and then line a plate with two layers of paper towels, add the tofu and another two layers of paper towels, and put another plate on top. Allow the tofu to sit this way for about thirty minutes to squeeze out the excess moisture. I do this before I get started and let it drain while I am cutting up vegetables, etc.
Speaking of vegetables and fruit…
Red Curry Tofu
Yield 2 -4
- 2 14 ounce packages of extra firm tofu (This is quite a lot, and you might be able to only use one, but we have a couple of hearty eaters around here.)
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- vegetable oil
- 2 scallions, sliced (I save a little of the green parts to garnish.)
- the zest of one lime
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 1 cup pineapple, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/4 cup basil, torn (If you can get Thai basil, it is even better, but regular is good too.)
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 8 ounce can bamboo shoots
- 1 14 ounce can coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste (or more or less to taste)
- 1 dried red chili pepper, crushed/chopped (Remove the seeds if you don't want it too hot. Wear gloves to cut or be really careful not to get it on your hands and then wash afterwards.)
- cooked Rice for serving
- Drain the tofu and then place on a plate lined with two layers of paper towels. Place two more layers of paper towels over the tofu and add another plate on top. Allow to drain for 30 minutes. I do this before I start cutting up vegetables, so that I am actually getting something done while it drains.
- Cut the tofu into bite sized cubes and toss in cornstarch.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium. You just need enough to cover the bottom of the pan well, but you may need to add more as you go. Fry tofu, turning occasionally until light golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
- Saute peppers and bamboo shoots in until pepper is crisp-tender. You many need to add more oil to the pan.
- Stir in coconut milk and curry paste, stirring until the paste is well integrated.
- Stir in pineapple, scallions, basil, lime zest, tamari, red chili pepper, and half of the cilantro.
- Cook until all is hot.
- Serve over rice and top with tofu with remaining cilantro and scallion slices. If you like, you can stir the tofu directly into the sauce instead of adding it on top, but I like to keep it crispy, and I think it stays that way longer added on top.