Grilled Tofu & Pumpkin Thai Red Curry
If you read my last recipe, you will discover that I had a notion of being vegetarian or vegan. That feeling very quickly subsided when I took my first mouthful of this said recipe (Braised Chicken, Beans, Pancetta & Tomatoes, you should check it out on the home page). At the time of this ridiculous notion, I made this deconstructed Thai style red curry that was absolutely delicious. I spent a fair amount of time researching grilled tofu as although I have cooked it in the past, I was not that confident with the grilling method.
What I learnt is that it needs to be patted really dry with paper towel. It also really helps to have a good non-stick griddle pan. I also read that it needs to be oiled but I tested my luck and grilled it completely oil free and the result was fantastic. I do believe the non stick pan helped so perhaps add a little oil if you are short one of those.
The curry paste is my own and the recipe link will be provided below. If you are short on time or just not the made from scratch type, please feel free to use a store bought version. If you are vegan, you can simply replace the shrimp paste and fish sauce with a couple of tablespoons of light soy. A good sprinkling of salt and maybe up the lime to a whole instead of a half would also help with flavour. Those ingredients, while authentic are for seasoning and there are many alternatives to them.
Prep time: 30 Minutes
Cooking time: 30 Minutes
$$ Medium Budget
375gm of firm tofu, sliced about 1/2 a cm thick
400gm of butternut pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and thinly sliced
4 Tbs of Em’s Red Curry Paste, see recipe link at the bottom of the page
400ml tin of coconut cream
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbs of fish sauce
1 tbs of brown sugar or palm sugar
4 x portions of rice vermicelli
2 baby bok choy, washed and sliced
200gm of snow peas, string removed and sliced diagonally
4 Handfuls of bean sprouts
A bunch of coriander leaves, roughly chopped, some reserved for garnish
1 red chilli, finely sliced, optional
1/2 cup of toasted granulated peanuts, for garnish
To make the grilled tofu and pumpkin, heat a non stick griddle pan until smoking and then cook in batches, either side until you have lovely grill lines. Once cooked, place the grilled tofu and pumpkin on a lined baking tray. Use a tablespoon of the curry paste and a little peanut oil to brush the slices either side before covering with foil and placing in a 150°C oven to keep warm.
To make the curry sauce, heat a heavy based saucepan and add a little oil. Fry the remaining curry paste for 1-2 minutes until aromatic and then pour in the coconut cream, lime juice, fish sauce and brown sugar. Stir well to combine and allow to come to a simmer. Once simmering, place a lid on and reduce the heat further so that it is just a gentle bubble. Just before serving stir through 2/3rds of the coriander leaves.
Place your vermicelli noodles in a bowl of cold water and soak for about 8 minutes. Just before serving, drain and then pour boiling water over them while they are in the strainer. Immediately divide them between the bowls.
Place your snow peas and bok choy in a heat proof bowl. Pour over boiling water and blanch for a couple of minutes. If they are slightly under done it won’t matter as they will continue to cook in the sauce.
Once you have divided the noodles, ladle over a couple of scoops of curry sauce. Then arrange your vegetables, grilled tofu and pumpkin over the noodles. Pour over the remaining curry sauce and top with bean shoots, remaining coriander leaves, chilli slices and a sprinkling of peanuts.