This Asian style tofu coconut curry is a little Thai and a little American organic farmer’s market. It was created out of ingredients I had on hand and ended up being one of those dishes that my family couldn’t get enough of. The leftovers went fast! The creamy coconut curry is comforting with just enough heat and acidity. The textures work wonderfully, with squash-like green papaya, crunchy bean sprouts, soft marinated tofu and just-cooked Swiss chard. If you don’t have some of these ingredients available, I’ve included a variety of substitutions in the recipe.
I happen to have a papaya tree in my yard (well, I HAD one in my yard). It was so full of unripe fruit; it broke in half, leaving me with 30 or so green papayas to get creative with. I found they are delicious roasted, fried, raw and sautéed, like in this dish. Each way of preparing them brings out a different quality of this versatile fruit. I used a very green papaya this time, it should be completely white on the inside and the seeds should be white as well. When cooked, the papaya softens just enough, and the texture becomes like a turnip, taking on the flavor of whatever you cook it in. If you don’t have green papaya, substitute anything starchy like winter squash, pumpkin or sweet potato.
This is an easy dish to prepare, and healthy. The key is to cook each veggie in the right order to keep them fresh and crunchy. Before preparing this dish, remove your tofu from its container, slice it and marinate it overnight. You will be surprised at how delicious and flavorful it will be. One more note: I used yellow curry powder in this dish (not authentic Thai, but easy), accented with some herbs. If you want to be more authentic, use Thai yellow curry paste.
Yield: Serves 4-6
Serve with white or brown rice, or rice noodles.
Remove tofu from the container and slice into 1 inch cubes. Add the tofu to a plastic zip lock bag long with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 2 tablespoons of lime juice and a pinch of chili flakes. Shake bag to distribute evenly and place into the refrigerator overnight, turning once. Before cooking, drain the marinade from the tofu and place on a paper towel to dry.
To make the curry, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic and chili flakes and stir until fragrant but not browned. Add the onion, coriander, cumin, turmeric, pepper, bay leaf and curry powder. Cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk, stock, fish sauce,1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and brown sugar to the pan and stir to combine. Add the papaya (or substitute) to the pan and cook over medium heat, uncovered, for about 10 minutes.
While the papaya is cooking, heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan on medium high heat. Add the tofu when the oil is hot and let brown, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce and cook, turning the cubes, until they are crusted and brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the Swiss chard to the curry and cook uncovered until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the bean sprouts, tofu cubes and lime juice and stir for 1 minute. Remove the pan from heat. Remove the bay leaf and garnish with chopped cilantro or basil. Serve over rice or noodles.
This recipe with mussels, scallops and bok choy in Thai green coconut curry cooks in minutes with ingredients available in the international foods section of your supermarket, giving you a fresh curry dish that looks—and tastes—like you went to a lot of effort.
While the jarred green curry paste doesn’t hold up to freshly made versions, most of us don’t have the time or the ingredients to make one from scratch. This recipe is a fast and easy way to bring the taste of Thai home, and is of better quality than what you will find in most restaurants.
I like to walk by the seafood section of my supermarket just to check out the freshness of what they have on display that day. I rarely make a purchase because I live just a few blocks from one of the best seafood markets in Miami. On this particular day, the mussels looked fresh and I had a craving for scallops. At $20.95 a pound for the scallops, I only bought six, along with a pound of the more reasonably priced mussels (only $3.95 a pound). Looking for good seafood recipes, I came across this one for Thai Shrimp, Scallop and Mussel Curry. Having most of the ingredients on hand (more and less); I gave the recipe a shot.
It was easy to make and full of flavor. The bok choy was perfectly cooked and still crunchy and the tomatoes add some sweet, juicy bites to the dish. Serve it with a side of Jasmine rice and you’ll find it irresistible to stop dunking spoonfuls into the slightly spicy, creamy, coconut milk sauce.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
Prepare everything before cooking; this dish cooks up in 8-10 minutes. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the garlic and curry paste and stir about 1 minute until you smell that delicious garlic. Now add the coconut milk and increase the heat to high. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice, wine (or chicken broth) and Sriacha. Cover for 2 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
Remove the lid and add the bok choy and mussels. Cover and cook about 2 minutes until you see some of the shells opening. Remove the lid and stir, then add in the scallops and cover again. Cook for another few minutes until the mussels open and the scallops are just cooked. Remove from heat and stir in the tomatoes.
Pour into bowls and top with scallions, basil and cilantro.