My visit to Thailand, was very Traumatic (food-wise not beach-wise…). I was a vegetarian and had to settle for Pad-Thai or a bland stir-fry in EVERY restaurant.
Years later, when I lived in Antwerp, I was not keen to visit a famous Thai restaurant, but my friends were excited to go and promised that I’ll find vegetarian options there.
It was there that I tasted Red Curry for the first time. The food was actually fantastic and all the drinks were served with orchids. I’d love to visit that place again.
When I returned home, I decided to cook Red Curry, so that I can eat it whenever I feel like it. it was much easier than I expected and tasted just like the curry in that small Thai restaurant. I know that many people are happy with buying a red curry paste but I easily make it at home, it is fresher and tastier.
*Feel free to use different veggies. The eggplant is really soft and tasty and I would keep it.
*Mushroom Soy sauce – I couldn’t find a specific name for it because there are several brands. it’s a REALLY good substitute for fish/oyster sauce and a MUST have in every kitchen. I’m serious.
*I didn’t have Bamboo shoots available but they really add flavor to this dish, if you choose to use canned bamboo shoots – half a can should be enough
It may sound strange but the best way to treat your Tofu (especially if marinating) Freeze- Unfreeze - Squeeze the water out - by using this method more water will come out of the Tofu (and more marinade can absorb). if you haven't got time for it - skip the next step - just squeeze the Tofu gently.
cut the tofu into long fingers, freeze for at least 1-2 hours. unfreeze for 0.5-1 hours and now gently squeeze the tofu without breaking it.
Fry the Tofu in 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat for 5-10 minutes. make sure to "burn" the tofu from all sides to make it crunchier.
Preparing the red curry sauce
fry the coriander seeds for 2 minutes with 1 tbsp olive oil. throw in the blender
Blend along with all the sauce ingredients except for the Kaffir lime and lemon grass leaves.
blend for 2-3 minutes until the sauce is fully mashed.
Cooking veggies and assembling
Use a big pan or pot to fry the eggplants and carrots in 2 tbsp olive oil on medium heat for 5-10 minutes. make sure to stir well often, to prevent the eggplants from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Add the lemon grass and kaffir lime, and shortly after - the fried tofu, green beans and zucchinis.
when the veggies are softer, but still crunchy, add the red curry sauce and water. stir well and cook for just 2-3 minutes more. add salt and coconut milk.
serve with rice and enjoy this lovely meal... (a perfect dessert for this would be Mango!)
I'd love to get more feedback - questions about recipes, comments and suggestions!