First, and foremost, I want to say that this recipe is inspired by Thai cuisine rather than being an authentic recreation of a Thai dish. Thai food is something I love to eat but I know little about cooking. I know some but hardly enough to feel comfortable blogging about an authentic Thai dish. For authentic Thai cooking blog, you should check out SheSimmers and Mananya Cooks. That's where you'll find the good stuff!
This recipe was, more or less, an improvisation. I was planning to make a basic stir-fry with these ingredients. However, that just seemed so uninteresting for this particular evening. So instead of a cornstarch-thickened, soy sauce-based stir fry, I decided to go in a different direction using the jar of red curry paste in the fridge and the can of coconut milk in the cupboard. I wish I had a few other fresh ingredients such as lemongrass or cilantro to contribute to this meal, but the beauty of curry paste is that it is packed with those great flavors. Augmenting the curry paste with fresh ingredients would be ideal but for a Monday night, this works well.
As I stated, I love to eat Thai food but know only a little about cooking it. One thing I did pick up was the technique of cooking the curry paste in the fat of the coconut milk. When you open a can of coconut milk, the fat of the milk should be solidified at the top of the can. Scoop that fat out and heat it up in a hot pan. Then add your curry paste and any aromatics such as garlic and ginger. After the curry paste has cooked for a couple of minutes, add the rest of the coconut milk and your ingredients in the order of cooking time.
I served this over noodles but rice works really well, of course. If you have fresh cilantro and lime, please garnish with it at the end. It'll be better.
COCONUT CURRY WITH SHRIMP, TOFU, BROCCOLI
Ingredients: 1 14-oz can coconut milk, 1 lb shrimp (peeled & deveined), 1 lb tofu cut into cubes, 1 lb broccoli cut in florets, 1 carrot sliced thinly, red curry paste, 2 tsp minced garlic, 2 tsp minced ginger, 1 TB honey, salt & pepper
- Before you start, make sure your ingredients are prepped - cut, minced, etc. If you are making noodles, go ahead and get your water boiling.
- In a hot skillet or wok, scoop in fat of the coconut milk and heat until sizzling.
- Add the minced garlic, ginger and red curry paste. I used 1 teaspoon but feel free to add as much as you'd like.
- Stir-fry the curry paste, garlic and ginger for a couple of minutes.
- Add the remaining contents of the coconut milk ad bring to a simmer.
- Add the honey. You can add more or less to taste if you like it a little sweeter or if you need to balance out the heat because you added more curry paste.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste as necessary.
- Add sliced carrots and broccoli florets and cook until the vegetables are crisp-tender (5 minutes or so).
- Add the shrimp and tofu and cook until the shrimp is just cooked through.
- Reason if necessary and garnish with lime and cilantro if you have it.
- Serve over noodles or rice.