Welcome back to Thai Tuesday! Thanks to the constant presence of lemongrass, hot peppers and a can of coconut in my small kitchen this summer, I have another actual recipe to share. It was a result of one of those very special clean-out-the-fridge meals….most of a block of tofu, that lemongrass, half a can’s worth of light coconut milk leftover from last week’s soup, hidden potatoes in a cabinet, garlic, galangal or ginger (there’s at least one of those hanging out), some curry paste, and so on. The marinating can happen for minutes or hours, because the flavors really meld once everything is baked altogether in the oven.
I used homemade yellow curry paste leftover from another project, but yeah, you can easily sub in store-bought. I’ve yet to find a canned variety I’m personally happy with, but I do recommend Oregon-based Thai & True pastes, for those with access to them. You can also order them online through Food Fight!
This recipe stars lemongrass in both the curry paste itself, and in the marinade – it’s really something special. I served ours with brown rice, but you could also cook it longer, cool and stuff in summer rolls.
Yellow Curry & Lemongrass Baked Tofu
makes 2-3 servings
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- 1/2 tablespoon mushroom sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon peanut oil
- 1 teaspoon yellow curry paste
- 1 teaspoon sweetener (such as palm or brown sugar or agave)
- 1 or 2 hot peppers, sliced (such as jalapeno or serrano, or one Thai chile)
- 2 tablespoons of sliced or minced lemongrass (from 1-2 peeled, lower stalks)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice or 1 kaffir lime leaf
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon galangal root, sliced (or use 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger)
- a few Thai basil leaves, leaves
- 1 lb firm or extra firm tofu, drained and sliced as desired
- 1 russet or Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced
- Optional: additional vegetables, cut into large pieces
what to do
Whisk together the coconut milk, broth, soy sauce, mushroom sauce, rice vinegar, peanut oil, curry paste and sweetener in a small bowl. Stir in the sliced peppers, lemongrass, lime leaf or juice, garlic, galangal or ginger, and basil leaves. Arrange the tofu and vegetables* in a lightly greased glass casserole dish (such as a 9×13 Pyrex), pour on the sauce, and marinate as long as you like, or go on to preheat your oven to 400F.*Don’t add the vegetables until you’re ready to bake, however.
Once you’re ready to cook and your oven is warm, place the casserole dish in the oven, cover with foil or a baking tray, and bake for 20 minutes. Carefully flip the tofu, stir the vegetables, and bake an additional 10-20 minutes, uncovered.
Once the potatoes are cooked through, remove from oven, and make sure to include the tofu, vegetables and any leftover sauce, over grains, steamed or sauteed greens, with hot sauce and additional basil leaves for garnish.
Note: Normally I’d increase the heat on baked tofu halfway through to soak up all of the marinade and crisp the slices, but for this recipe, I recommend the 400F because the tofu and vegetables will achieve a similar texture thanks to that sweet, spicy and sour sauce.
All photos by J. Legume, as my camera is hopefully enjoying its second visit to the Canon repair center. What timing.