Double red curry ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

13 August 2008

Double red curry

I don't care about carbohydrate issues. Let's just get that out of the way right now.

I like chard a lot, though, and there was some astonishing chard in the store the other day. John actually gasped and stepped back when he saw it. Plain chard for dinner doesn't work very well, though, even with lots of lemon juice and salt. So we came up with this instead: curry over a mess of greens.

Red curry tofu with red chard

block of nigari tofu
olive/tasteless oil
can of coconut milk
red curry paste
1/2 onion
optional broccoli
a bunch of red chard

Chop your tofu into little cubes, your onion into dice, and your broccoli into reasonable florets.

My main issue with making Thai curry is whether to sear things separately and add them to the curry or just boil them in the curry itself. This time I decided to sear the tofu first. For this method, warm some olive oil and throw the tofu in. Toss the pan around every once in a while to get the tofu browned on all sides. After five or ten minutes, when the tofu starts to turn golden, throw the onion in as well. Cook them together for another five minutes, until the onion starts to soften.

Then shake up a can of coconut milk, open it, and pour it in. Add a few spoonfuls of curry paste and mix gently until it's all evenly distributed. Then bring the business up to a simmer and cook another ten minutes. Taste occasionally to see if you want to add more curry paste. In the last three or four minutes of cooking, add the broccoli, put on the pan lid, and cook everything together. Or you can add no broccoli and instead curry the chard stems, which would be my plan in the future. I think having too many kinds of vegetables cluttered this up.

While the curry is simmering, prep and steam a bunch of chard. You always need more chard than you think, just like you need more spinach than you think, so plan accordingly and use lots of chard. I used half a bunch, which was adequate, but I'd use a whole bunch in the future.

Other greens would also work fine, clearly.

Wash the chard, then cut the stems into small pieces and the leaves into big pieces. Keep the piles separate; the stems need to cook longer than the leaves. To steam, bring a shallow pot of water to a boil and put a steamer basket over the top. Fill the steamer with the chard stems, then put the lid on and steam them. Or you can use them in place of the broccoli, like I said before. After five minutes, add the leaves and put the lid back on. Leave the chard steaming for about two more minutes, or until the leaves are fully wilted. Then take the chard off the heat, salt it, and stir it up.

At this point everything should be done, so whack a pile of chard and a pile of curry onto a plate together. You can plate the curry actually on a bed of chard if you want; this will let the chard absorb the curry liquid really easily. In my case, I plated side by side and let the chard's red juice run into the bright orange curry.

Eat it all.

This was actually really good (albeit liquid) as a leftover lunch the next day, unlike most tofu business I make. It also managed not to leak all over the inside of my backpack, due to the pita I'd put over the curry in its container. It was a nice surprise.


Fearless Kitchen said...

This looks great. I've been really into chard lately. I also like your technique for searing the ingredients before adding them to the curry.

eileen said...

why, thank you! :) chard is your friend.