This curry is my dream food. It has a wonderful, rich sauce made with coconut milk that’s heavily spiced with curry paste and aromatics, which is the perfect vehicle for your favorite vegetables. I used all the late summer stars: eggplant, cherry tomatoes, and bok choy. This is absolutely the time to use your favorite vegetables or whatever you have around. Green beans, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, mushrooms, other greens, carrots roasted squash, or sweet potatoes would all be excellent.
To make it a faster meal you can skip the longer cooking vegetables that may need to be pre-cooked like the eggplant, and instead just use tender vegetables that can be cooked in the coconut milk. The one vegetable I will insist on is cherry tomatoes (or some kind of tomato), which add a bright acidity and umami to the sauce. I turn to this recipe again and again because its so easy to throw together, especially because the tofu just needs to be drained and cubed (no marinating or roasting/pan frying!). Sub soy sauce for the fish sauce to make it vegan.
My full share this week was mustard greens, kohlrabi, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, shishitos, bok choy, acorn squash, and apples. Since I had a two big bunches of bok choy, one when into this curry and the other I sauteed with shishitos, then served under dumplings (mine were frozen, but if you’re feeling ambitious try these) with soy sauce, Chinkiang vinegar, and chili oil. The kohlrabi may go into a big all-in-one salad, or I could lean into fall with these roasted root vegetable bowls. This heirloom apple salad and this roasted squash are both speaking to me for later in the week.
Thai-style Red Curry with Tofu and Vegetables
Serves 4 as is, or 6 with rice
- 1 package tofu (14 or 16 ounces)
- 1 large or 2-3 small eggplant (~12 ounces), chopped into 1″ pieces
- 2 large heads bok choy (~12 ounces), chopped, greens and stems kept separate
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (or quartered if large)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced (1 heaping tablespoon)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 tablespoons cilantro stems, minced
- 1 serrano pepper, minced
- 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 1 14-ounce can full fat coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- juice of 1 lime (~2 tablespoons)
- 1 cup sacred basil leaves
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Preheat the oven to 350F. On a baking sheet toss the eggplant with the vegetable oil. Roast for 30-40 minutes, until completely soft and brown at the edges.
Drain the tofu and pat dry.
Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the coconut oil, and when it is shimmering add the ginger, garlic, onion, cilantro stems, and serrano. Cook for about 5 minutes, until they are tender and just beginning to brown at the edges. Add the red curry paste and cook for 2-3 minutes, until it is slightly darkened and starting to stick to the pan. Add the coconut milk, lime juice, fish sauce and cherry tomatoes. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer covered. Cook for 5 minutes, until the tomatoes start to soften.
Add the tofu, bok choy stems, and eggplant. Stir to combine, cover, and bring back to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, so the bok choy stems soften and the eggplant/tofu soak in some sauce. Stir in the bok choy leaves, holy basil leaves, and chopped cilantro. Eat as is or serve with rice.