Sweet and creamy with a little kick of heat, this easy recipe is sure to satisfy your Thai food cravings in the healthiest way!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Calories: 300 per serving
I still remember the first time I had Thai food. I was a guest in someone’s house, and they ordered Thai to make dinner (and the cleanup afterwards) simple. Having never tried it before, yet not wanting to appear unworldly*, I latched onto the one word I recognized on the menu: curry. So I ordered the coconut red curry. It rocked my world.
*I always feel that I have a lot of catching up to do in terms of adventurous food forays since I spent most of my youth with a very long list of things that I wouldn’t eat.
Creamy and sweet at first, finishing with a burn that made my eyes water, this was the first spicy dish that ever made me want to build my spice tolerance just so I could eat it. It was also the first dish involving coconut that made me realize that coconut could actually be tasty. Revolutionary stuff, I know. Do you have any memorable food discovery moments? The kind of dish that you took one bite of and thought, “Holy crap, I could eat this every day!”? Anytime I stumble upon something like that, I feel compelled to make it in the kitchen.
Unfortunately, I knew nothing about Thai cooking. To the internet! Thai cooking has four pillars: sour, sweet, creamy and salty, with heat resting on top of the four. If you aren’t a fan of following recipes, Thai cuisine is something you should explore. Most recipes are quite forgiving, so playing around with different spices and seasonings, being kind of slapdash and inexact, can still yield delicious results, in addition to being a fun way to cook*. As in today’s recipe; adjust as you see fit and make it your own! My only recommendation is to use full-fat coconut milk. Fat is an important part of giving the sauce a full mouthfeel, and making the dish filling.
*Especially if you do a lot of baking, in which precision is important…
This recipe is a sneaky one; healthy without tasting healthy. But it packs a nutrient-dense punch! And we could all use more veggies during these winter months, right? You’ll get over 90% of your daily vitamin A requirement, over a third of your daily calcium needs and a quarter of your recommended iron intake! Using store-bought curry paste ups the sodium in this considerably, so if you’re looking to keep that under control, look into making your own curry paste! It’s a little extra work, but the flavor is worth it!
Prepare the tofu;
Set 720 ml (3 cups) water and ½ teaspoon salt on high heat to boil.
While water is heating, cut the tofu and place in medium mixing bowl.
Once the water comes to a boil, pour it over the tofu. Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes while you prepare the sauce
Prepare the sauce;
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup red curry paste, 3 Tablespoons brown sugar, 2 Tablespoons dried basil, 1 Tablespoon soy sauce, 1-3 Tablespoons sriracha, 1 teaspoon kosher salt (3/4 teaspoon table salt), 1 (400 ml | 13.5 fl oz) can coconut milk and 60 ml (1/4 cup) water
Cook the tofu;
After at least 10 minutes, drain the water from the tofu.
Set a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the 2 Tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil.
Lay a dish towel onto a clean work surface and spread the tofu on it in a single layer.
Using another towel, blot the tofu dry.
Place the tofu in the heated pan in a single layer. Fry for 2 minutes, or until bottoms are golden brown, then flip the tofu and fly for another 1 to 2 minutes until the other side is golden brown.
Place cooked tofu on a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
Return frying pan to burner and turn heat down to medium.
Bring it all together;
In the slightly cooled pan, add 1 diced medium onion, 2 diced bell peppers, 130 g (1 cup, 2 whole) sliced carrots, 50 g (½ cup | 4-6 stalks) sliced asparagus, and 60g (1 cup) sliced mushrooms
Sauté until everything gets a little sweaty, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add 4 zucchini that have been cut into noodles and prepared sauce. Bring sauce to a boil. Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, until zoodles become very pliable.
Serve with fried tofu on top