Thai Red Curry with Tofu

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If I were a real chef, I would give you a recipe with the actual spices and ingredients for each curry. But I’m learning just like most people. Since I’m new at this, I figured I’d start making curries with the cans of curry paste I found in the Asian market: 

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Panang curry paste is my ultimate favorite, but I’m saving that for something special later. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe panang is the mildest curry, still packs tons of flavor though. Then the spicier ones are masaman, red, and green. That’s the extent of my Thai food knowledge.  But please use any Thai curry paste you prefer, the beauty of stir frying is you can put together any combination of flavors you want. I’m using red curry paste for this recipe, but be warned: IT IS SPICY! 

Stir fry is generally a pretty fast cooking method; it takes no more than 5 minutes for an entire stir fry. The time consuming part is food preparation. Washing vegetables, preparing meat, cutting vegetables, etc. That’s where the real process is. Once you have that all done, the actual cooking is very, very easy. 

I’m doing this recipe all vegetarian. Needed something healthy. With the cold weather I tend to stuff myself with  heavy, carb laden foods like I’m about to hibernate with the bears in the winter. A great alternative is cooking spicy for cold weather. 

Thai Red Curry with Tofu and Vegetables (serves 4) 

printable recipe 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 can red curry paste (as shown above)
  • 1 lb. extra firm tofu
  • corn starch
  • salt
  • oil for frying
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 3 cups leafy green vegetable (I used gai lan)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups coconut milk
  • steamed rice (read package instructions for how much to make per serving)

Directions: 

1) Wash vegetables thoroughly and set aside. Cut tofu into 1 inch cubes. Pat dry of excess moisture. Sprinkle salt into cornstarch, and roll tofu in mixture. In a small pan, pour enough oil to cover entire surface of tofu. Heat on medium high, fry tofu in small batches until golden brown, set aside on paper towel lined plate. Use additional salt if needed. 

2) In a wok on high heat, mix 2 tbsp. oil with 1 can of curry paste. Pour in coconut milk. You can add extra coconut milk if you would like the curry more mild. Mix coconut milk and curry, let rise to a boil then add tofu and vegetables. Cook until vegetables are cooked but still firm. Remove from heat, carefully ladle curry into a large serving bowl. Serve with steamed rice. 

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Cut tofu into 1 inch cubes. Pat dry of excess moisture. 

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Sprinkle salt into corn starch, and roll tofu in mixture. 

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In a small pan, pour enough oil to cover entire surface of tofu. Heat on medium high, fry tofu in small batches until golden brown, set aside on paper towel lined plate. Use additional salt if needed. 

I fried the tofu so I could give it some extra flavor since it is pretty bland to begin with. It seems to complement the curry better if it is fried. But that’s just me. 

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Wash vegetables thoroughly and set aside. If you are lucky enough to find Thai Basil leaves, please, use that for your leafy green veggie instead. It gives the recipe that strong, authentic flavor. Or use Italian basil if you can’t find Thai basil. It’s slightly more mild, but will still give you great flavor. 

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I used gai lan because that’s what I had in the fridge. I’m not ashamed. 

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When you open a can of curry paste, smell it. It smells wonderful. There’s so much spice and flavor in this little can. I’m hoping I can duplicate it one day, or at least attempt to. 

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In a wok on high heat, mix 2 tbsp. oil with 1 can of curry paste. Pour in coconut milk. 

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You can add extra coconut milk if you would like the curry more mild. 

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Mix coconut milk and curry, 

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let rise to a boil 

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then add tofu and vegetables. 

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Cook until vegetables are tender but still firm. 

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Remove from heat, carefully ladle curry into a large serving bowl. Serve with steamed rice. 

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Have a great Friday everyone!

10 Thoughts on “Thai Red Curry with Tofu

  1. My tummy is actually rumbling looking at this..

  2. Sanjana – I’m glad I could help! :)

  3. Michele on October 10, 2009 at 2:43 pm said:

    OMG!! I’m hungry. I am a new subscriber, don’t remember how I found you, so happy I did!! Your photos are amazing! I love your writing too!

  4. Always handy to have a couple of these cans in the house. I remember I used to rely on these when I was in Uni. Gosh… Im hungry now!

  5. i’ve never had anything like this before, but im’s sure its delicious

  6. I’m sure it is delicious**….bad fingers !!

  7. Looks wonderful…I can’t wait to try it – Tofu Curry is the ONLY thing I ever order at Thai restaurants. I think I’ll try each different can you showed. Means I will have 4 batches of Curried Tofu. Oh, dear…whatever shall we do?!

  8. Michele – Thanks for subscribing!! And for the compliment! I’m glad you like it :)

    Penny – Sometimes my mouth waters as I look at a can of curry paste. I know I know, gross.

    Catalina – I would like to find a recipe to make the actual curry, without using the can of curry paste. I know it’s tough if your supermarkets don’t carry this stuff, so I will try…

    Linda – I love curry tofu at restaurants too. It’s surprisingly filling, just like meat. I guess you’ll have to try them ALL to see which one you like the best, eh? :P

  9. Candy…. I’ve been trying some of your vegetarian recipes…. they are awesome!!! This Thai dish especially… so quick and turned out great :). When you get a chance, can you post a recipe for sesame tofu and thai vegetable curry? I tried them at King and I and they were great :). Thanks again

  10. Veena – Thank you! I actually wanted to make another curry tofu dish, so this will be a nice one to try. Plus it gives me an excuse to go to King and I to try it :)

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