Saturday, May 5, 2012

Vegetable Red Curry

This vegetable curry is a favorite.  Originally the recipe included shrimp, but after vacationing in Port Angeles, Washington I modified it to more closely mimic the curry we had at the Soho Asian Bistro.  Perhaps the romance of a great vacation lures me back to this recipe, but everyone I’ve served it to since seems to enjoy it as much as we did that trip.  

The heat from the thai red curry is tempered by the coconut and sugar, so even the kids like this dish (vegetables and all!)  The recipe as written here is extremely mild, but if I wasn’t feeding the heat sensitive, I’d double the red curry paste without hesitation.

This is a great meal for entertaining, since it is surprisingly hearty for a vegetarian dish but also makes an impressive presentation with this colorful vegetable combination.  Saute the vegetables (just shy of desired tenderness) the day before, mix the sauce ingredients together in a separate container, and refrigerate.  Heat the sauce to a simmer and toss in the vegetables.  As soon as everything is heated through, serve immediately.  The recipe doubles easily and will feed 15-20 depending on the size of the heads of cauliflower used.

3 Tablespoons oyster sauce
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoon Thai red curry paste
14 oz vegetable/chicken broth, divided
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 14 oz coconut milk

2-3 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 red/yellow pepper, julienned
1 yellow onion, medium dice
2-3 medium carrots, sliced
¼ cup Mirin sweet rice wine
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 cups snow peas, strings removed
¼ cup green onion, sliced

3 Tablespoons ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced

In a medium size bowl, mix together all sauce ingredients, reserving ½ cup vegetable broth, and omitting the coconut milk until the very end. Set aside.

In wok or saute pan over high heat, saute yellow onion in 2 tsp toasted sesame oil just until transparent, remove to plate.  Repeat process with red pepper.  Add carrots and more toasted sesame oil if needed and saute with the Mirin until desired tenderness. Remove to plate with other vegetables.  

Replenish the sesame oil in the pan as needed, add garlic and ginger.  Add the cauliflower to the pan and toss to coat with the ginger-garlic mixture.  Add the reserved 1/2 cup broth to the pan and cover to steam cauliflower over medium heat, approximately 3 minutes until tender-crisp.  Remove to holding plate.

Over medium-high heat, add the sauce mixture to the pan.  Stirring frequently, bring to a simmer until the color changes and the cornstarch has been cooked through to thicken the sauce.  Add coconut milk, the cooked vegetables in holding, and the snow peas.  Bring to a simmer just to heat the vegetables through again. Sprinkle with green onion and serve over rice with a lime wedge and fried wonton strips (optional.)

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