Sunday, January 2, 2011

Vegan Curry

Happy new year folks, it's the new year! And by the way, where the heck did 2010 go? Man, it was the fastest year ever, I tell ya.

I'm kicking off the new year by rewinding a bit. I'm doing this because in preparation for the new year and my culinary resolutions, I was going over some of my older, less amazing posts. I say that not because the food isn't amazing; don't get me wrong, it's all delicious. It's just that the posts and photos themselves aren't necessarily of the amazing quality that I strive for now.

I'm sure in another year I'll say that about my current posts; that's the point of 'getting better' and moving forward, yes? Ok. So I thought for the new year I would take it back on the old school track and do a meal that is a true favorite of the fam, but hasn't been done for a while.

It's one of those meals that was such a favorite that I got just plain sick of it because Honey kept asking for it. Over. And over. And over... you get the point. After making it again though, all the memories of why it was so loved came rushing back. It is truly a fantastic (and simple) dish.

This curry holds the perfect amount of spice, balanced with the smooth flavor of coconut, leveled with the filling versatility of tofu and features veg of all kind. That's the nice thing about this curry: the veg can be interchanged depending on what you have available. The curry itself is also fantastical because, as I said in one of my previous curry post, you can make the paste ahead of time and freeze it. Fantastic.


So go, make it. Eat it. Love it. Off you go.

Need: (for the paste)
Note: this makes enough for this recipe. To make extra to freeze, double or triple as desired.
1 Tablespoon grated lime zest
1 Tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 teaspoon ground coriander
4 garlic cloves
2 stalks lemongrass, coarsely chopped
1 oz shallots
1-2 thai bird chiles, coarsely chopped (can also use serranos if you can find thai bird)
About 1/4 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 inch piece of ginger root, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 teaspoons sesame oil

For the ingredients:
Sesame oil for sauteing
1/2 onion, chopped fairly coarse
4 cloves garlic, diced fine
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
8-10 shitake mushrooms, de-stemmed and sliced
1 package extra firm tofu, cut into about 1/2 inch cubes
2 cans unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 package thai rice noodles (or rice, see rice recipe)
1/4 head cabbage, roughly chopped
1 green bell pepper, halved and sliced into about 1/2 inch strips
1 orange (or red ) bell pepper, halved and sliced into about 1/2 inch strips
fresh basil leaves, julienned
lime wedges
Fresh chopped cilantro
Sriracha sauce
Fresh chopped green onion (optional)

Do:
For the sauce, combine first 11 ingredients in the foood processor and pulse into a paste; set aside.

Heat sesame oil in a saute pan on med/high head and add onion and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms and tofu. Stir to combine then add coconut milk and fresh made curry paste and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low/med and let cook for about 5-8 minutes.

In a pot, bring salted water to a boil then add noodles and boil as per package instructions. Note: you can also serve this recipe with rice. To cook rice, see the most amazing rice cooking method ever.

Add cabbage, stir to combine and cook another 2 minutes. After two minutes or so, add green and orange bell peppers then stir to combine. Let cook for about 5 to 8 minutes on low. Cover to excel cooking.

When bell peppers are barely soft, add basil and stir to combine. This should be done a few minutes before serving.

When your noodles are done, strain and add to your pot of curry. Give it a good stir to incorporate the sauce and noodles, then prepare to plate.

Note: if you are serving with rice, plate rice first then curry on top.

Serve:

If you are using noodles, use a serving fork to retrieve a good portion of noodles from the pan. Pile neatly onto your plate then top with an equal amount of veg and tofu. You can ladle the extra sauce on as desired.

Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro, green onion and sriracha on the side, for an extra kick. Offer lime wedges on the side.


If you are serving with rice, pile about a 1/2 cup portion of rice on a plate then top with veg, tofu and extra curry sauce as desired.

Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro, green onion and sriracha on the side, for an extra kick. Offer lime wedges on the side.

Eat. Enjoy the spice of the curry and pepper. Crunch of the not overcooked vegetables, 'meat' of the tofu, firmness of the noodles (or rice). So good. So easy. Simple enough to prepare ahead of time and wow your guests or family.


Enjoy!

4 comments:

  1. I'm also a Bellinghamster. Where in town do you recommend buying Thai Bird Chilis and Lemongrass Stalks?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi there neighbor :) I have found both at Haggen Barkley. Also, Fred Meyer has lemongrass all the time but the chilis seem to come and go. The lemongrass is usually in the produce section amongst the little plastic containers of fresh herbs. The chilis are close by, usually by the mushrooms in both stores. Good luck and thanks for reading! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awesome! Thank you! I look forward to giving this a try!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'd love to see your results! If you would like to email, I will post them :)

    ReplyDelete

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