While I may have written about my past go at thai curry being a success, I decided after the fact that it wasn’t so much. My first round of thai curry, which went undocumented, was a MASSIVE failure. The recipe I used called for Indian curry powder, which I later found out was not at all an ingredient in thai curry. The second go at things went much smoother–but still, it just wasn’t right. I realize now that the recipe I used was more of a sweet curry–with peanut butter and brown sugar–but as an amateur, I had no idea. It was worlds better than the Indian curry mistake, but still not what I was aiming for.
Enter round three. I decided to just go with my instinct on this one. I wanted to make an uncomplicated, inexpensive, delicious thai curry. No peanut butter, no brown sugar, none of the kaffir leaves and lemongrass of many recipes. DEFINITELY no fish sauce (obviously). I took what I learned from previous recipes and applied it to my own and the result was delicious! Simple, easy to make, uncomplicated, but still damn tasty.
Simple Vegan Thai Red Curry
1/2 block extra firm tofu, pressed, cubed and dry-fried
1 can light coconut milk
approx. 3 tbsp soy sauce
approx 3-4 tbsp vegetable broth
3 tbsp red curry paste
1 squirt Sriracha
1 tbsp corn starch
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
1 cup fresh broccoli florets
1 bunch fresh green beans, halved
1 container baby corn, halved
2 large basil leaves, sliced
1 green onion, chopped
Combine coconut milk, vegetable broth, soy sauce, curry paste, corn starch, and Sriracha in a bowl. Whisk until combined with no remaining lumps of corn starch. Pour into wok and bring to a light boil. Add tofu, green pepper, broccoli, green beans, and baby corn. Cover and let simmer for 5-10 minutes, until veggies are to your liking (I like mine slightly crisp). Add basil and green onion, stir, cover, and simmer for 1-2 more minutes. Serve over rice (I chose basmati but this would be delicious over brown rice). Yields about 3 heaping servings.
It’s that easy! So creamy and delicious that it doesn’t even taste “vegan.” The only thing I wish I’d done was soak the tofu in the curry mixture for about an hour before cooking so it would really sponge up the flavor. If you want to get fancy, you can add all sorts of your favorite Asian vegetables (which I didn’t have on hand) like bok choy, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, mushrooms, whatever! It’s so versatile, so simple, and yet so delish. I’m over-enthusiastic about this because I LOVE thai curry and have had such a hard time mimicking what I get when I order at thai restaurants. The color of this curry was a little more orange/red than I’m used to (most are a muted orange/yellow that I’ve had) but it had all the taste of the restaurant-style curry. Yum!
I got a little nervous and self-conscious when my boyfriend didn’t seem quite as thrilled about this dish, and he said the cutest thing. “Don’t get me wrong, I love it! But you have to remember, I haven’t been the one trying to perfect this–this isn’t my everest.” Ah, okay, I get it, poking fun at the blog now, okay. 😉
Washed down with a Breckenridge Agave Wheat beer and a no-bake vegan chocolate peanut butter cup, I couldn’t be happier. 🙂
I had to tweak the recipe I used since I didn’t have hemp seeds or crunchy peanut butter on hand. At the time I didn’t realize how this would affect the overall outcome. The peanut butter really never got firm, but after half a day in the freezer, it was as good as it was gonna get. So it wasn’t perfect…but it tasted damn good!
I can now sleep peacefully. Have you ever battled at perfecting a recipe? Did you feel this good once you finally won?