One of my dear, friends and fellow foodie, gave me some beautifully aromatic Lime Kaffir leaves and spicy Thai peppers last summer, which inspired me to create my own version of a Vegetarian Thai Green Coconut Curry.
As much as I love the thick, rich sauces you get in Thai restaurants, I know from experience that they are usually very high in calories. So my goal was to cut out as many calories as I could, without giving up any of that rich, deep, Thai flavor.
The dish turned out just as I hoped and this recipe has become a frequent repeat in our home.
1 1/2 cups medium-firm tofu, cubed, or canned chickpeas
1 bell pepper, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 cup chopped asparagus
3/4 can reduced fat coconut milk
1/2 can reduced fat evaporated milk
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup fresh Thai basil or sweet basil
2 tablespoons olive oil
Optional: 2-3 fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaves
GREEN CURRY PASTE:
1 stalk lemongrass, thinly sliced, OR 3 Tbsp. frozen prepared lemongrass (available at Asian stores)
1/4 can reduced fat coconut milk
1-3 fresh Thai green chilies
1 cup chopped cilantro, leaves & stems
1 shallot, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly sliced
1 thumb-size piece fresh ginger, sliced
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 of a fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
- Place all ‘green curry paste’ ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend to create a fragrant green curry paste (you may need to add more coconut milk if using a blender).
- Place a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1-2 Tbsp. oil and swirl around, then add all the green curry paste you just made. Stir-fry 1 minute to release the fragrance.
- Add the tofu or chickpeas. Stir-fry until well saturated with sauce.
- Add the stock plus lime leaves (if using). Stir and reduce heat to medium-low. Gently simmer 5 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk, plus vegetables (except basil) and continue simmering 5-7 minutes, or until softened.
- Remove curry from heat and taste-test for salt and spice. If not salty enough, add a sprinkle more salt. If too salty for your taste, add another squeeze of lime juice. If too spicy, add more coconut milk. If you’d like it sweeter, add a little more sugar.
- Serve directly out of the wok, or transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle over the fresh basil (slice larger leaves into shreds). Sliced red chili can also be used as a topping, or to add more spice. Serve with plenty of Thai jasmine rice.