Can you tell I snagged this off of snapchat?
Mom, this wouldn’t be the first time I’ve cooked Thai food, but it’s the first time I’m writing about how deeply my love for it runs. Now, I am sure that I am not making curry that would pass in a real Thai restaurant BUT my version still scratches my Thai food itch and is pretty damn good to boot.
This time, I went with a weird protein though – tofu! And I fried it. Well, first I pressed it, and marinated it.
Those spices, plus some ginger, garlic. Then I tossed it in some flour before browning in coconut oil – YUM. The key to well flavored tofu though is pressing it. If you want it to soak up moisture, you want to make sure all the moisture it started with is gone.
Marinade (the noun), marinade (the verb), and use chopsticks to turn them while they brown. Reader, if you’re good with chopsticks, they are such a handy tool for so much more than just General Tso’s chicken.
Ugh I hate that range.
Okay, the next day (the marinade happened over night, the browning happened right before the curry). I start by chopping everything, in advance. I find this makes clean up/organization/cooking times better.
We start with the aromatics. Ginger and garlic of course. Scallions ’cause I had them and they needed to be used… Lemon grass, which I should have just used as a bruised stalk stewing in the curry – the same way you put bay leaves in sauces, but you never eat them. Because diced lemongrass is tough. But oh well, live and let lemon grass.
The scallions were a nice touch though, and they made for good garnish, don’t you think? Only the whites get cooked, of course. But you knew that, right?
Also not pictured – an onion, duh!! The onion is so great. I rarely have a dish I make that I don’t use onion in. And caramelized onions – don’t even get me started… (Just realized it’s spelt ‘car-a-melized’, but never have I said it that way. I always pronounce it ‘carmel-ized’)
Next! The vegetables.
I like to go with a mix of textures/types:
Crunchy ones: in this case was sugar snap peas. Also suitable – carrots, red peppers, water chestnuts for the fancier folk.
Soft: mushrooms. I like that they’re a little earthy, but after soaking in the curry you don’t get too overwhelmed. If I weren’t browning the tofu I would leave the mushrooms out because they’re too texturally similar, imho.
Sort of starchy: yellow squash. Yeah, I know they’re not starches but they’re the heftiest vegetable present. Here I would also put eggplant or potatoes.
Now obviously this is a Thai curry so we need some curry paste. I’m partial to red curry. I made green once, and while it tasted good in the end, while it was cooking it smelled kind of
funny. I use a LOT of curry paste ’cause I like ’em hot. Of course, we also add coconut milk and chicken broth… Oh! I did do a weird thing and froze homemade chicken stock in a muffin tin
It looks super weird, but each “muffin” is about 1/4 cup so I just put however many muffins of stock I need in a measuring cup, fill the rest with water, and voila, homemade chicken broth whenever I want it.
Lastly, while that’s all cooking up I prepare either rice or noodles and get all my toppings ready.
This time I went for noodles, because my curry was thin so I felt like it was more of a curry soup. Then we’ve got some lime (I squeeze/zest a whole lime in the curry at the end, I saved this slice for garnish).
(chorus of angels sings here)
Okay. I’ve spent quite a while writing this post, and I’m a little too lazy to write out instructions……..
But that’s okay! I sent them to my friend Ben. So instead I’ll post pictures of my (thorough) instructions. Except he wanted chicken in his so ignore the chicken step. And I guess I’ll write out the marinade recipe……….
To be fair, Ben said it turned out AMAZING. So my doctor level thoroughness is worth it.