This recipe came from a Thai class I took and it was taught by Nancie McDermott. It was originally made with beef but I try to limit the red meat I eat so I modified it to be vegetable panang and added tofu for protein. It is very quick to make especially if you have all the vegetables chopped ahead. You could easily substitute chicken for the tofu. The red curry paste is very spicy (hot) so I would reccomend adjusting it according to your taste.
As far as ingredients go, I am very picky about what brands I use. I have tried many brands of coconut milk and Chaokoh is my favorite. For curry paste I prefer Maesri Red Curry Paste. Fish sauce has a very unpleasant smell but should not be left out. It adds a distinct flavor to the dish and is not prominent when added to all the other ingredients. You should try to find it in a glass bottle and I like Red Boat which is made in Vietnam.
Penang Curry with Tofu
- 1 pkg. firm tofu drained (14 oz.)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 1 1/2 pounds raw vegetables chopped
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste adjust to taste (spicy)
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk Chaokoh brand is good
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce Red Boat 40°N brand is good
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup basil leaves julienned
- 1/2 whole lime juice only
- salt & pepper to taste
- white or brown rice to accompany
- Any assortment of raw vegetables can be used. Try mushrooms, zucchini, peas, carrots, peppers, green beans (steamed to al dente), broccoli or cauliflower.
- Cut tofu into bite size squares, about 1/2-inch. Heat sauté pan on medium high and add 1 tablespoon oil. Add tofu to pan and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add remaining tablespoon oil to sauté pan and add chopped vegetables and cook for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pan and add to tofu.
- Place red curry paste in a small bowl. Add peanut butter and mix to form a paste. Set aside. Note: Once opened, transfer curry paste to a glass container and refrigerate.
- Add 1 cup coconut milk to sauté pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the curry paste and peanut butter and mix until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Add the fish sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, remaining coconut milk, salt and pepper and whisk together. Add the vegetables and tofu and stir to coat.
- Add the basil and cook a few more minutes to heat through.
- Serve over white or brown rice. Enjoy!