You know what is though? Thai food.
And by that, I mean that I’m skilled at consuming delicious delicious Thai food. Making it at home? Ehh, not so much.
I was dreaming about it for Pete’s sake.
No, I mean it. Let me put it this way: Pumpkin Curry was doing a tango with Pad Thai in said dreams and sweet ‘n spicy coconutty sauce was everywhere. EVERYWHERE. It was rainin’
men coconut sauce!
Man, I hope heaven looks like that..
Peanut sauce? No peanut butter.
Full-fledged curry? No time.
Multiple cans of coconut milk? Aww heck no–what do I look like…a palm tree?!
On top of my
dil-Thai-lemma, I still needed to make a recipe for the cookbook challenged. I fretted, considered driving 15 minutes away to get my favorite takeout, and even contemplated finding myself a Thai grandmother. Until finally, the light bulb clicked.
Appetite for Reduction + “I’m going to die if I don’t eat Thai food NOW” = genius.
The cooking Gods (the same one who invoke these cravings, I assume) parted the clouds and let Thai food heaven shine down on me, as I stumbled upon the recipe for “Red Thai Tofu” in the cookbook. The ingredient list was free of any complicated ingredients and did not include coconut milk.
In other words, Bingo was his name-o.
The Expectations: For a whole week, I had been craving Thai food, so this recipe immediately popped up on my radar. Because I was being a lazy cook and didn’t plan in advance to get certain key ingredients, I knew this would have to be an abbreviated version of the true recipe. I accepted up front that it wouldn’t be like the real ‘thang and decided to roll with the punches. After all, I can live without the ambrosia of coconut milk as long as curry is still involved. Just give me the curry, and nobody gets hurt, ya’ll.
The Verdict: For a quickie throw-together meal, this dish was quite lovely. The flavor was a nice combination of agave, curry, and soy sauce, without being too one-note. While the ginger flavor was a bit strong, this was most likely an error on my part. I didn’t saute the ginger in advance, as instructed by the recipe. Admittedly, it wasn’t as decadent and creamy as my favorite Pumpkin Red Curry with Tofu from a local Thai restaurant, but it was good for a healthier coconut-less swap. Though it didn’t call for grilling, I decided to do so because a) the family was already heating up the BBW and b) who doesn’t love seeing those purty grill marks?
The Rating: 4 stars
Grilled Red Thai Curry Tofu
Adapted from Appetite for Reduction’s ”Red Thai Tofu”
- 1/4 block extra firm tofu, cut into 2-3 slices
- 2 tbsp minced onion
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated or minced
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp agave nectar
- 2 tbsp warm water
- 1/2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
- 1 tbsp almond milk (optional)
- chopped green onions (optional for garnish, but good)
1) Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Add more agave if you prefer a sweeter/stickier tofu marinade. Let marinade for at least 30 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, heat your BBQ or grill to medium heat (make sure it is greased to prevent sticking before you do this). Grill tofu with the lid closed, 2-5 minutes per side.
3) Serve tofu, garnishing with green onions or basil.
I would definitely make this again. It wasn’t better than my favorite takeout because truthfully, it was quite different. The soy-agave base was very light and summery compared to it’s rich, buttery authentic Thai curry cousin. You could totally saute this in a pan or broil/bake it in the oven, but if you already have the grill going, feel free to throw it on with everything else. (Feed your inner lazy cook.) Also, if you’re going to a BBQ somewhere else, you can marinate the tofu the night before and then simply slap it on the grill the following day.
Now if only it would start raining curry instead of men…