Thai cuisine is known for its bold flavors and delicious use of herbs and spices. One iconic dish that has gained popularity across the globe is Thai green curry. This vegan and gluten-free recipe with tofu and jasmine rice is a great way to explore the rich flavors of Thai cuisine in your own kitchen.
How to Make Thai Green Curry Tofu with Jasmine Rice
Here’s what you will need:
- 1 cup of jasmine rice
- 1 14-ounce can of coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 cup of green beans, trimmed
- 1-2 teaspoons of Thai green curry paste
- 1 block of firm tofu, drained and pressed
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar or coconut sugar (optional)
- 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
Before we start, rinse the jasmine rice in cold water until the water runs clear. Then, soak the rice in water for 10-15 minutes before cooking. Cook the rice in 2 cups of water in a rice cooker or on the stove.
To prepare the curry, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until tender and fragrant.
Next, add the green and red bell peppers and green beans to the skillet and sauté for 2-3 minutes until they start to soften. Add the Thai green curry paste and stir until the vegetables are coated.
Cut the tofu into small cubes and add them to the skillet. Stir gently to avoid breaking the tofu. Add the coconut milk, soy sauce or tamari, and brown sugar or coconut sugar (if using). Bring the curry to a simmer and let it cook for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the tofu is heated through.
Once the curry is ready, serve it hot with the jasmine rice. Garnish with fresh cilantro and lime wedges for added flavor.
The Best Tofu for Thai Green Curry
Choosing the right tofu is important for this recipe. Firm tofu is recommended, as it holds up well during cooking and can be cut into bite-sized pieces. To get the best texture, drain and press the tofu before cooking. Simply remove the tofu from its packaging, wrap it in a clean towel or paper towels, and place something heavy on top to press out the excess water.
Once the tofu is firm and dry, slice it into 1-inch cubes and add it to the skillet with the onions and garlic. Sauté the tofu for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned on all sides.
Another important factor to consider when making Thai green curry is the type of vegetables you use. While traditional Thai green curry includes eggplant, green beans, and bamboo shoots, you can also experiment with other vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms. It’s important to cut the vegetables into similar-sized pieces to ensure even cooking. Add the vegetables to the skillet with the tofu and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes until they are slightly softened.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Jasmine Rice
Jasmine rice is a type of long-grain rice that is popular in many Asian countries. It has a fragrant aroma and a slightly sticky texture, which makes it the perfect fit for this curry recipe. When cooking jasmine rice, it’s important to use the right ratio of water to rice. For each cup of rice, use 1 ½ cups of water. Bring the water to a boil, add the rice and stir once, then reduce the heat and cover the pot. Simmer for 18-20 minutes until the water is absorbed and the rice is fluffy.
Aside from its delicious taste and texture, jasmine rice also has some health benefits. It is a good source of complex carbohydrates, which provide energy to the body. It also contains essential vitamins and minerals such as thiamin, niacin, and iron. Additionally, jasmine rice is gluten-free, making it a great option for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.
When purchasing jasmine rice, it’s important to look for high-quality brands that are free from contaminants. Some brands may contain pesticides or heavy metals, which can be harmful to your health. Look for brands that are certified organic or have undergone rigorous testing to ensure their safety and quality.
Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Thai Green Curry Tofu with Jasmine Rice
Now it’s time to add the rest of the vegetables to the skillet. Add the green and red bell peppers along with the green beans. Cook the vegetables for 5-7 minutes until tender and slightly charred.
Next, add the Thai green curry paste to the skillet and stir it around to coat the vegetables. Add the can of coconut milk, soy sauce or tamari, and brown sugar (if using). Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook for 10-15 minutes until the flavors have melded together and the sauce has thickened slightly.
Once the curry is done, remove it from the heat and add the fresh cilantro. Give it a stir and taste for seasoning, adding more salt and soy sauce if needed. Serve the Thai green curry tofu hot with the cooked jasmine rice and wedges of lime on the side.
Tips for Perfecting Your Thai Green Curry Tofu Recipe
Here are some tips to help you get the perfect Thai green curry tofu:
- Use fresh, high-quality ingredients for the best flavor.
- If you want to adjust the heat level of your curry, simply add more or less curry paste, or add in some red pepper flakes.
- You can swap out the tofu for other plant-based proteins like chickpeas or tempeh.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- To reheat the curry, simply heat it up in a skillet over medium heat, adding a bit of water or vegetable broth to loosen it up again.
Another tip to consider is to use coconut milk instead of heavy cream for a healthier and vegan-friendly option. Coconut milk adds a creamy texture and a subtle sweetness to the curry, which complements the spiciness of the green curry paste. Additionally, you can add some fresh herbs like basil or cilantro to enhance the flavor and aroma of the dish. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and adjust the recipe to your liking!
Adjusting the Heat Level in Your Thai Green Curry Tofu Dish
The level of heat in this dish can be easily adjusted to your liking. If you prefer a mild curry, use less curry paste. If you crave more heat, add a little extra curry paste or add some red pepper flakes to the sauce.
Another way to adjust the heat level in your Thai green curry tofu dish is to use different types of chili peppers. Thai bird’s eye chili peppers are traditionally used in this dish, but you can also use milder peppers like jalapenos or hotter peppers like habaneros to customize the heat level to your preference. It’s important to note that different types of chili peppers have different levels of heat, so be sure to taste the dish as you go and adjust accordingly.
How to Store and Reheat Your Leftover Thai Green Curry Tofu with Jasmine Rice
If you have leftovers, simply store them in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, simply heat it up in a skillet over medium heat, adding a bit of water or vegetable broth to loosen it up again. You can also reheat it in the microwave for a quick and easy meal.
It’s important to note that when reheating your leftover Thai green curry tofu with jasmine rice, you should make sure it’s heated all the way through to avoid any potential foodborne illnesses. To ensure this, use a food thermometer to check that the internal temperature has reached at least 165°F.
If you want to switch things up with your leftovers, try using the Thai green curry tofu as a filling for a wrap or sandwich. You can also add some fresh veggies or herbs to give it a new flavor profile. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your leftovers!
Vegan and Gluten-Free Options for Thai Green Curry Tofu with Jasmine Rice
This recipe is vegan and gluten-free, making it the perfect option for those with dietary restrictions. You can also swap out the jasmine rice for brown rice or cauliflower rice to make it lower in carbohydrates and higher in fiber.
Additionally, you can customize the level of spiciness in this dish by adjusting the amount of green curry paste you use. If you prefer a milder flavor, use less paste, or if you like it hot, add more. This recipe is also versatile, and you can substitute the tofu with other plant-based proteins such as chickpeas or tempeh.
Health Benefits of Eating a Plant-Based Thai Green Curry Tofu Meal
This meal is full of nutritious ingredients that provide a range of health benefits. Tofu is a great source of protein, while the vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Coconut milk provides healthy fats and makes this dish creamy and rich. Jasmine rice is a great source of complex carbohydrates, which can help fuel your body throughout the day.
Additionally, the Thai green curry paste used in this dish contains a variety of spices that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. These spices, such as turmeric and ginger, may help reduce inflammation in the body and potentially lower the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Furthermore, by choosing a plant-based meal like this one, you are reducing your intake of saturated fats and increasing your intake of fiber, which can also have positive effects on your overall health.
The History and Origins of Thai Green Curry Cuisine
Thai green curry is a popular dish that originated in Thailand. It usually contains a combination of vegetables, meat or tofu, curry paste, and coconut milk. The green color comes from the use of fresh green herbs and spices like basil, cilantro, and green chilies. The dish is often served with jasmine rice and is a staple in Thai cuisine.
The origins of Thai green curry can be traced back to the central region of Thailand, where it was first created as a way to use up leftover ingredients. The dish was originally made with fish, but over time, other meats and vegetables were added to the recipe. Today, Thai green curry is enjoyed all over the world and has become a popular choice for those looking for a flavorful and spicy meal.
Serving Suggestions and Pairings for Your Thai Green Curry Tofu with Jasmine Rice Dish
This dish is delicious on its own, but it’s also great served with some additional side dishes. Some traditional Thai sides include spring rolls, papaya salad, or a cucumber salad. You can also pair it with a refreshing Thai iced tea for a complete meal.
Thai green curry tofu with jasmine rice is a delicious and nutritious meal that can be made quickly and easily in your own kitchen. Give it a try and enjoy the bold flavors of Thai cuisine at home!
If you want to add some extra protein to your meal, you can also serve this dish with some grilled chicken or shrimp. The flavors of the curry and jasmine rice pair perfectly with the juicy and tender meat. Another great option is to add some roasted vegetables, such as bell peppers or broccoli, to the dish for some added texture and nutrition.