Friday, January 08, 2010

What We're Eating: Coconut Crusted Tofu with Thai Red Curry Sauce

I've been cooking a lot but haven't been posting about it because, frankly, I'm too lazy to carry the recipe upstairs to the computer. I also feel guilty about posting published recipes without permission so unless I can link to it I'm not too keen on reproducing it here. The dinner I made last night though, was a mix and match of different parts of recipes put together and a decent amount of effort so I'll share...

I knew I was going to make some sort of Tofu with Thai Red Curry Sauce and I needed an Asian salad to go with it. I threw together some leftover greens with thinly sliced red peppers and cucumbers. I took my dressing recipe from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, which is a cookbook I don't use that often. It's too big; it has too many recipes in it. I can't read it like a book so I just use it as a reference guide:

Soy Ginger Dressing:

salt and pepper

2 tbl rice vinegar

1 tbl grated fresh ginger

1 tsp sugar

2 tbl soy sauce

The kids were having "Sushi and Edamame" for dinner. This after my house was cleaned yesterday; always a mistake as I ended up on my hands and knees picking up rice from the floor and carpet. For the side dish I just mixed the kids dinner ingredients and ended up with basmati rice with edamame and crumbled bits of Korean seaweed.

The Thai Red Curry Sauce was the inspiration for the dish and that came from A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen by Jack Bishop. It's a great cookbook but often involves a lot of steps and too many (unnecessary, in my opinion) dirty prep dishes. I like it because it's organized seasonally. The actual recipe I was going to make was very simple and involved searing the tofu and simmering it in the sauce-- very quick and easy for this particular cookbook. Alas, I had also recently seen a recipe for Coconut Crusted Shrimp in my Cooking Light Magazine this month and that just looked yummy so I decided to try it on tofu and combine the two recipes.

Coconut Panko Crusted Tofu:

1 block of extra firm tofu

cornstarch, salt and pepper, dash of cayenne

3 egg whites

1/3 c shredded unsweetened coconut

1/3 c panko

canola or peanut oil

Slice the tofu into 1/4 inch slabs. Dredge in cornstarch mixed with salt and peppers, then into the egg white and then into the coconut panko mixture which you have pulsed together (I'm loving the Magic Bullet these days) to a powder. Coat the bottom of your pan with oil and heat to medium-high. Lightly fry the tofu a few minutes on each side and then drain on paper towels or a rack. Sprinkle with a little salt.

For the Thai Red Curry Sauce:

1/4 c unsweetened coconut milk

1/4 c vegetable broth

1 tbl soy sauce

1 tbl fresh lime juice

1 tsp thai red curry paste

1 tsp sugar

I just put it on the stove and heated it gently and let it thicken. Then I put it in a gravy container (actually I think it was a creamer...) and served it alongside the tofu. That way you can add some just before eating so the crusty tofu doesn't get soggy. The sauce was delicious and really easy. It was barely enough for two. Ron and I were fighting over it so next time I would definitely double it; especially since you have almost an entire can of coconut milk leftover anyway. It tasted great on the rice with edamame too. Just yummy yummy yummy.

All in all it was a really delicious meal. A little stressful for me with the tofu frying (I wasn't sure it was going to work!) but Ron and I each ended up eating a half a block of tofu and wanting more more more. Not too bad for you-- just a little coconut milk and some oil, most of which isn't REALLY absorbed during the cooking process (is it?). Remember the salad dressing didn't even have any oil in it. Ron really liked the salad, by the way. Alex, my little 2 1/2 year old chef, made the dressing and the red curry sauce. He's obsessed with cooking.

So that's all for now. I have a new cooking plan that seems to be working and I'll elaborate some other time (nothing shocking, just picking out a month's worth of recipes and actually cooking them). We've been eating healthily and home cooked around here-- trying to eat seasonally as well. That's the hardest part. Hope you're eating well too!

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Ann's Rants said...

That looks absolutely delicious. I am so impressed by the beautiful meals you prepare for your family.

And then photograph so well!

Congrats on #3, and thanks for stopping by my blog.

P.s. It was most definitely not your husband who gave me the injection ;)

Holly said...

This is making my mouth water. I make something similar with green curry paste and cubed tofu. When I made it the first time Chris said it was better than anything he'd ever ordered at a restaurant:)! I didn't think to make a salad to go with it. Do you actually roll little sushi rolls for the kids? I really admire you for making healthy meals such a priority- it's not easy!