Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fiery Red Thai Curry

If I were like my younger brother I would have titled this "Ring of Fire Thai Curry," but I have always been more couth than him. Back in my days in Kingston I used to frequent a Cambodian/Thai restaurant called Phnom Penh. I usually always got the #15, Pad Thai, but occasionally I would branch out and try different dishes. One night my housemate and I ordered a red curry with whole finger hot chiles in it (I really can't remember the name). He dared me to eat all of the chiles from both dishes, which I promptly did (and rather regretted later). This dish is based on the memory of that dish. The Thai chiles are from my own garden (see pic below)--the only peppers that actually grew in the garden this year. They provide the perfect burst of heat in the spicy sauce.

- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- stems from 1 bunch cilantro
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped ginger
- generous tbsp red curry paste (or to taste)
- 1 cup veggie broth
- 6 kaffir lime leaves
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp vegan oyster sauce (or veggie stir fry sauce)
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 6 green Thai finger chiles, cut into 4 pieces
- 1 pkg extra firm tofu, cubed (baked or fired, if desired)
- 2 tbsp plain soy milk
- 4 green onion, cut into 2" pieces
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- salt and pepper to taste

1. Place the first nine ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
2. Transfer to a wok or large pot and heat over med-hi heat. Cook for 10 mins, stirring regularly, until sauce has thickened and darkened in colour. Add broth, lime leaves, sugar, sauces, chiles, and tofu and bring to bubbling. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for at least 30 mins, allowing the chiles to cook and the curry to develop its flavour. Add more broth if too dry.
3. Add soy milk, green onions, and cilantro and cook for 5 mins, uncovered. Remove lime leaves, adjust seasoning to taste and serve over rice.