It’s time for another installment of delicious food for not much cash! (See the last one here.) Last night, I adapted this thai coconut curry recipe to suit what I had on hand, and I recommend you do the same! Here’s what I did:
1 package extra firm tofu
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large or 2 small shallots
2 cloves minced garlic
The chopped stems of 1 bunch of cilantro
Red curry paste to taste (note — curry pastes come in different spicinesses. I used 3 tbsp of a Thai Kitchen one that was marked “hot,” but was in fact not at all spicy.)
1 14.5-oz can unsweetened coconut milk
2 tsp. fish sauce
Juice and zest of 1 lime
A bunch of fresh or frozen veggies of your choice — I used the end of my giant bag of Costco frozen stir fry vegetables.
Salt to taste
Rice or rice noodles for serving
- Prepare your tofu by draining and placing between paper towels to dry. You can put a weight on top to press out more water (I used a couple of stone coasters I had sitting on the counter). Slice tofu into 1-inch cubes. If you like your tofu chewier/drier (I do!), place on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or to your desired level of golden-brown. If you don’t already have the oven on for anything, you can do this in a toaster oven.
- In the vegetable oil, sautee together over medium heat until softened the shallots, garlic, and cilantro stems (about 5 minutes). Season with salt.
- Add the thai red curry paste and cook about 2 minutes, stirring frequently
- Add the remaining ingredients (coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice and zest, tofu, and veggies); simmer together about 5 minutes until sauce thickens slightly and everything is cooked through (adjust this step depending on whether you’re using fresh or frozen vegetables — fresh may take a little longer to soften up to your liking).
- Serve over rice or rice noodles!
This recipe is flavorful, scalable (I think you could use the same amount of sauce for anywhere from 2 to 8 servings’-worth of tofu and veggies), and easy on the wallet and the planet! It also reheats well. The most expensive part was the red curry paste, which I did not have on hand; I suspect you can get a nice quantity rather cheaply at an asian grocery. I was not at the asian grocery this weekend so bought it from the regular store.