Aug 24 2012

Tofu with Onion and Curry Sauce

Published by Christine at 6:24 am under Vegan

My daughter has often been the primary motivator for the vegetarian recipes I have written about here. She turned vegetarian around the age of 11, and since then, the rest of us have seriously curbed our consumption of meat and poultry, even if we still enjoy those once or twice a week (we’re flexitarians after all). It’s better for us and the environment, so what’s not to like?

It’s really not very hard to eat more vegetarian meals more often. A number of recipes out there are quite easy to adapt for vegetarian tastes. For instance, you don’t really need meat in a tomato sauce to make it hearty and enjoyable: just add a pound of sauteed sliced mushrooms instead, and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Similarly, you can stuff cabbage, peppers and tomatoes with a variety of grains and chopped vegetables without ever missing the pork or beef you’ve become accustomed to using. Veggie burgers are another obvious substitution, with beans playing the role that meat typically does.

Today, I will use tofu instead of chicken in a dish that is ubiquitous in most Chinese take-out restaurants. Again, it was my daughter’s request; she loves the curry sauce but won’t have the chicken. Our local take-out place will happily substitute tofu in that dish, but I thought I could make it at home with a couple other tweaks we would enjoy: I use a combination of broth and coconut milk for the sauce and add basil towards the end, for a little taste of Thai. I kept the onions and bamboo shots from the original recipe, and fried up the tofu before adding the wet ingredients, to make sure it did not fall apart in the sauce. It’s so fast and easy to make, it’s not worth the trip to the take-out.

The Flex strikes again.


Tofu with Onion and Curry Sauce

1 lb firm tofu, drained.
1 large onion
1 can bamboo shots
1 cup coconut milk
2 cups vegetable broth or water
2 tsp curry powder
neutral oil (grapeseed or peanut)
salt to taste

Cut the tofu in 6 even slices widthwise, then again in 3 lengthwise, to obtain 18 even pieces. Let them sit on several layers of paper towels for a few minutes to absorb some excess water.

This portion of The Flexitarian Cook is brought to you by the number 18.

Lightly salt the tofu. Heat about 2 Tbsp oil in a nonstick saute pan over medium heat, and gently fry up the tofu on all side for a few minutes, until it starts to turn golden in color. Remove from heat and set aside.

Peel the onion and cut it in half, then slice, not too thinly. In the same pan you used for the tofu, heat up a little more oil if needed (that is, if there is none left from frying up the tofu), and lightly cook the onion for about 8 minutes.

I wish this were in smell-o-rama.

Drain and rinse the bamboo shots and set aside.

Bamboo shots also taste great in salads.

Add the curry powder to the onion and continue cooking gently until the spices become fragrant, about one minute or so. Add coconut milk and broth, and stir well. Add tofu and bamboo shots, salt to taste, and give the pan a shake to mix it all up (avoid stirring with a spoon so as not to break to tofu up too much). Let cook for about 10 min, add basil and cook 3 minutes more. Remove from heat and serve with some basmati rice or quinoa.

A take-out standard, reinvented.


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