I came home the other night to divine smells coming from my kitchen, in fact as I approached the front door I could smell them lime, cilantro and coconut. Other people don’t often cook in my kitchen despite the obvious, I have certain issues with it and it just doesn’t happen. In fact my good man has only two signature dishes, and those nights are normally planned.
It was my friend Margaret who was visiting before going back to Salt Spring, with a surprise belated birthday dinner for me that was simply amazing. She was making a vegetarian Thai curry for the main and a simple cold Thai salad to serve with it. We had a nice bottle of white wine and I was actually able to sit and enjoy watching while she worked wonders.
I love what coconut milk does for a recipe and this dish did not disappoint. The smooth, creamy coconut milk cooled the bite of red chili from the salad, fried organic tofu took on the flavours of coconut, curry and lime and added great texture to the dish. The earthy mushrooms complimented the tender baby bok choy, which I felt was the star of the dish (I love baby bok choy). There is so much more I could say about this delicious dish and how coming home to it was such a treat, but I prefer to leave you with the recipe and encourage you to give it a go. Even those of you who don’t like the heaviness of an Indian curry may quite easily fall for this light flavourful fare.
Thai Green Curry
1 block organic tofu, cut into cubes
1 can coconut milk (I prefer Aroy D)
4 Tb green curry paste
1/2 cup water
2 potatoes, chunked
1 Tb brown sugar
12 snow peas
2 Tb soy sauce
1 onion, sliced
4 Tb olive oil
1 eggplant, cubed
6 oz brown mushrooms
4-6 baby bok choy cut into quarters
1 bunch green onions, sliced
juice of 1 lime, basil and cilantro
Heat a wok or deep skillet, toss in olive oil and heat. Saute eggplant, mushrooms, onion until brown. Place in bowl and set aside.
Pour about 1/3 can of coconut milk into skillet, adding curry paste, stir. When it starts to boil add water, potatoes and cover. Simmer gently, until potatoes are tender (about 10 minutes).
Add sugar, soy sayce, mushrooms, onions, eggplant, snow peas and the rest of the coconut milk. Refill the coconut milk can with water and add. Cover and let simmer until snow peas are tender (about 10 minutes).
Add tofu, bok choy and green onions – cook until bok choy is wilted and sauce is thick. Add lime juice before serving, a handful of basil and cilantro leaves.
We served this with brown rice, I think I would like to try basmati next time. As well, when I make it I think I will add a sliced red pepper.
And the salad:
1 English cucumber, 1 Carrot, 1 red pepper, 2 green onions, a handful of cilantro and 5 basil leaves. For dressing, 1 tbsp lime juice, 1-2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp rice vinegar, 2-3 cloves garlic (pressed), 1 red chili finely chopped, 1 tsp sugar to taste, pinch of pepper.
Chop everything up, grate carrot, mix in bowl. Throw together dressing adjust to taste (sweet/sour) pour over salad and serve. Fabulous, Margaret you can make me dinner anytime!