Monday, February 18, 2008

Thai Red Curry

Alas, it appears that I'm continuing on with the trend of making things that are  I was so excited to have Thai red curry tofu tonight!  I haven't had a Thai curry since we left Japan, and I've been missing it a lot.  There was the best Thai restaurant in Yokosuka, and they made absolutely amazing red curry, green curry, pad Thai, and spicy papaya salad.  I've been able to successfully recreate the spicy papaya salad at home, with great results, but I haven't found comparable red or green curry recipes yet.

The one I tried tonight was all right.  Brad liked it, but I didn't even finish my bowl.  I think it would have been OK if the bar hadn't been set so high by Thai Erawan, but that's what I had my mind set on, so this didn't even come close.  :sigh:    I really didn't like the last steps in this recipe, adding in the lemon juice, basil and corn starch.  I don't think the curry needed to be thickened up like that, and the lemon juice and basil just tasted all wrong.  Next time I made red curry, I'm going to look for a recipe that uses kaffir lime leaves and lemon grass, and I think it'll be more what I'm looking for.  

I bought and prepared Jasmine rice for the first time today, and OH MY GOSH, it was delicious!  I always thought that Thai Erawan added something to their rice to make it taste so good.  I didn't know it was Jasmine rice!  Yum!  I'm so excited to have it again. 

I'll go ahead and post the curry recipe just for kicks.  Try it at your own risk.

Thai Red Curry

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 onion—finely chopped
2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste (or 3 teaspoons for a hotter curry)
2 cloves garlic—finely chopped
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup vegetable stock
2 tablespoons fish sauce (I used soy sauce, which I know isn't a real substitute, because I didn't have a vegetarian fish sauce on hand)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
1 red pepper, julienned
2 cups Jasmine rice
1 package extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed, cubed and lightly browned in oil
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed to a paste with 2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 large fresh basil leaves—finely sliced

Prepare Jasmine rice according to package directions.  While rice is cooking, prepare curry.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and cook the onion for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the curry paste and garlic and cook, stirring, for a minute. Add the coconut milk, stock, fish sauce, sugar and salt, then bring to the boil. Add the red pepper and zucchini, cover with a lid, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 12 minutes.

Add the tofu to the curry and simmer, covered, for a further 8 minutes. Add the cornstarch paste and stir continuously until the curry thickens, then stir in the lemon juice and basil. Serve with Jasmine rice.

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