1 to 2 teaspoons turbinado (raw) sugar or brown sugar
1 package of extra-firm tofu (optional)
1 to 2 teaspoons brown rice wine vinegar
1 to 2 teaspoons soy sauce (I used reduced-sodium tamari)
handful of cilantro, chopped
2 cups seasonal vegetables, chopped (like broccoli, asparagus, carrots or bell peppers)
Cook the rice. Rinse the rice in a mesh colander and then cook it in a rice cooker with 2 1/2 cups water, according to your manufacturer’s instructions and the volumes given above. Alternatively, you can cook it on the stove. Bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Rinse the rice, then add it to the pan. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and let it cook until all water is absorbed (35-40 minutes). If it gets too dry, add a splash or more of water as necessary. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Give the rice some time to cook as you prepare all the vegetables. Drain the tofu and squeeze it gently to release some of the water. Slice it in half, into two square slabs, and slice it into bite-sized strips.
Heat a 10-inch skillet with deep sides over medium-low heat. Once it’s hot, add a drizzle of oil. Sweat the onion, ginger and garlic with a sprinkle of salt for about 7 minutes (the heat should not be high enough to darken the color of the onion). Raise the heat to medium and add the curry paste and chilies (optional), stirring often for a couple of minutes.
Shake or stir the coconut milk and then pour it into the pan. Add the water, sugar and chopped tofu and cook until the tofu is warmed through and the liquid has reduced to your desired consistency. Remove from heat and season with rice wine vinegar and soy sauce, to taste.
Steam the vegetables until tender, using your preferred method. Stir cilantro into the curry. Serve rice, curry and vegetables onto each plate and garnish with extra cilantro, if desired.
Adapted from Chef Bill Forster’s cooking class.
I’ve made coconut curries that tasted flat, but the soy sauce, sugar and rice vinegar add welcome complexity to this dish. Don’t skip them, and please adjust the amounts to suit your tastes.
If you want to go to the trouble of making your own green curry paste, here’s a recipe.
Thai green curry is traditionally seasoned with fish sauce, but since this recipe is vegetarian, it calls for soy sauce instead.
This dish is gluten free as long as you use a gluten-free soy sauce, like tamari.
*Look for it in the Asian section of the grocery store. I like Thai Kitchen brand.
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