Saturday, 1 May 2010
Vegetarian Thai Green Curry (Vegan)
1 + 1/2 cups medium-firm tofu, cubed, OR canned chickpeas (your choice)
1 green bell pepper, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 to 1+1/2 cups chopped asparagus OR green beans
generous handful cherry tomatoes
3/4 can coconut milk
3/4 cup vegetable OR faux chicken stock (for a creamier curry, see note below recipe)
1/2 cup fresh Thai basil OR sweet basil
Optional: 2-3 fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaves
Optional: Other vegetables of your choice (see suggestions below recipe)
GREEN CURRY PASTE:
1 stalk lemongrass, thinly sliced, OR 3 Tbsp. frozen prepared lemongrass (available at Asian stores)
1/4 can coconut milk
1-3 Thai green chilies OR jalapeno
1 compressed cup chopped coriander/cilantro, leaves & stems
1 shallot, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic
1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, sliced
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground white pepper (available in most supermarket spice aisles)
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Place all 'green curry paste' ingredients in a food processor or blender and blitz to create a fragrant green curry paste (you may need to add more coconut milk if using a blender). To make sauce by hand: Mince and stir all sauce ingredients together in a bowl, OR use a pestle & mortar to mash dry ingredients followed by liquid ingredients. Set aside.
Place a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a little oil and swirl around, then add all the green curry paste you just made. Stir-fry 1 minute to release the fragrance.
Add the tofu or chickpeas. Stir-fry until well saturated with sauce.
Add the stock, plus the lime leaves (if using). Stir and reduce heat to medium-low. Gently simmer 5 minutes.
Add 1/2 can coconut milk, plus the green vegetables (except basil) and continue simmering another 3-4 minutes.
Add the cherry tomatoes and simmer 2-3 more minutes. Avoid over-cooking the vegetables - you want the tomatoes to keep their shape and the green veggies to retain some of their crispness.
Remove curry from heat and taste-test it for salt and spice. If not salty enough, add a sprinkle more salt. If too salty for your taste, add another squeeze of lime juice. If too spicy, OR if you'd like more sauce, add what is remaining of your can of coconut milk. If you'd like it sweeter, add a little more sugar.
Serve directly out of the wok, or transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle over the fresh basil (slice larger leaves into shreds). Sliced red chili can also be used as a topping, or to add more spice (as shown). Serve with plenty of Thai jasmine rice, and ENJOY!
For a Creamier Green Curry (as shown): Substitute stock with 1/2 can evaporated milk, OR 3/4 cup (more) coconut milk for vegans.
Other Vegetables that Work Well in this Recipe: yam or sweet potato, squash or pumpkin, snow peas, eggplant, broccoli, water chestnuts, bok choy, bamboo shoots, canned baby corn.