Thai Coconut Curry
with Tofu, Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes
In this beautiful adaptation of green curry, the light, aromatic flavors of lemongrass and Thai basil really come through. This is mainly because we do not add a curry paste—you simply make your own, building flavors in the pot one on top of the other. When you’re ready to make the crispy tofu, be sure to let it get quite browned on one side before stirring in the skillet and season it well with salt.
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- 3/4 cup short grain brown rice
- Fresh ginger
- 1 fresh bird’s eye chile
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- Fresh cilantro
- Fresh Thai basil
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 package extra firm silken tofu
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil*
- 4 ounces carrots
- 6 ounces zucchini
- Cherry tomatoes
- 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon turbinado sugar
- *not included
Put the rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse it thoroughly under cool water. Transfer it to a large saucepan with 1 1/2 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat so it bubbles gently; cover and cook until it’s tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep covered for 10 minutes.
Put 2 cups water in a large pot and bring it to a boil. Peel and chop enough ginger to measure 2 tablespoons. Rinse the produce. Slice the chile crosswise into thin rounds. Trim the lemongrass, smash it with the side of the flat side of a knife, and cut it into 3-inch pieces. Strip the leaves from the herbs; reserve the stems. Add the ginger, chile, lemongrass, and herb stems to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the coconut milk, adjust the heat so it bubbles gently, and cook for 10 minutes.
Pat the tofu dry; and carefully cut it into cubes. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and cook, stirring once, until it’s crispy, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Trim and peel the carrots; slice them crosswise into thin rounds. Trim the zucchini; halve it lengthwise and slice it into half moons. Halve the tomatoes. Halve the lime; cut 1 half into wedges.
Remove the lemongrass and herb stems from the broth and discard. Add the carrots, raise the heat to medium-high, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook until the vegetables are crisp-tender, 2 or 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce, sugar, the juice of half a lime, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper; taste and adjust the seasoning. Remove from the heat and stir in most of the herb leaves. Fluff the rice with a fork. Serve the soup over the rice, topped with the tofu, tomatoes, and remaining herbs; pass the lime wedges at the table.