Friday, May 4, 2012

Coconut Curry with Cashews

This is the result of my humble - but fortunately successful - attempt to approximate one of those brothy, coconutty curries you find in Vietnamese or Malaysian restaurants. It's quite mild (and thus pretty kid-friendly), but go ahead and add a shot or two of hot sauce if you're so inclined. On a rainy, unseasonably chilly spring night, this was just the thing to accompany the latest episode of Mad Men...imagine Don Draper's reaction if Meghan put this in front of him after a few Manhattans!

Coconut Curry with Cashews
~ 5 cups plain, unsweetened soymilk
~ 1 generous cup finely grated coconut
~ 1 tbsp. each: Thai red curry paste, hoisin sauce, bouillon (insert obligatory plug for Better Than Bouillon's "no chicken" flavor), curry powder
~ 1 tsp. chili powder
~ 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
~ 1/4 tsp. turmeric (for color)
~ 1 lb. tofu, pressed and cubed
~ Oil for frying
~ 1 large onion, diced
~ About 1 cup each: sliced carrots, sliced red bell peppers
~ About 2 cups each: sliced mushrooms, broccoli florets
~ 3 small potatoes, cubed and boiled for about 8 minutes (until cooked but not falling apart)
~ 3 large scallions, sliced thin
~ 1 cup raw cashews

~ In a large beaker, combine the soy milk, grated coconut, curry paste, hoisin sauce, bouillon, curry powder, chili powder, and cinnamon. Whisk together, cover, and bring to a boil in the microwave (about 4-5 minutes). Leave covered and set aside. Depending on how finely grated your coconut is, you could puree this in a food processor or with an immersion blender; I didn't bother.
~ In a wok or deep skillet, heat a few tablespoons of oil and fry the tofu cubes over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper-lined plate and...
~ In the same skillet, add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes, before adding the carrots, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Cook another 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are giving up their liquid.
~Add the broccoli and the cooked potatoes. Cover and cook a few minutes, until the broccoli is bright green.
~ Stir in the cooked tofu, the soy milk/coconut mixture, and the scallions. Cook about 10 minutes more, until all the flavors are blended.
~ In a skillet, toast the cashews over high heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until they give off a lovely, toasty aroma.
~ Stir the toasted cashews into the curry, and serve hot over steamed rice.

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