This fragrant vegetarian curry borrows a technique from cookbook author Andrea Nguyen, who first warms tofu with some of the sauce (for flavor) before adding the frying oil (for crunch). Once crisp, it’s pulled from the pan, which is then used to quickly sear whatever vegetable you’d like. Add and reduce a coconut milk-infused sauce before serving it all over rice or whatever grain most stirs your heart.
Green Curry Glazed Tofu
• 1 (14to 16-ounce) block extra-firm tofu
• Kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal)
• 1 (14-ounce) can full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk
• 3 to 4 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
• 1 tablespoon neutral or coconut oil, plus more as needed
• 2 cups chopped vegetables, such as snap or snow peas, asparagus, broccoli, kale, fennel or corn kernels or a combination (see tip)
• 2 tablespoons lime juice (from 1 lime)
• Cooked rice or another grain, for serving
Cut the tofu in half lengthwise, then slice crosswise into 6 sections. (You’ll have 12 squares total.) Transfer to a towel-lined plate and pat dry, then sprinkle with salt.
Transfer the coconut milk to a liquid measuring cup or medium bowl, add the green curry paste, stir with a fork until smooth, then season to taste with salt. (Be aware that some curry pastes are quite salty.)
Arrange the tofu in an even layer in a large (12-inch) nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. Pour 2 tablespoons coconut-curry mixture over the tofu and flip the tofu to coat. Set the skillet over medium-high and cook tofu without flipping until the skillet is dry and the undersides of the tofu are speckled golden, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the oil, swirl to coat, then flip the tofu. Cook until browned and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes, then flip once more until the remaining side is browned and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes, adding more oil as needed. Transfer to a plate.
If the skillet is dry, add more oil, over medium-high, then add the vegetables, season with salt and cook, without stirring, until charred underneath, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the remaining coconut-curry mixture and boil, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are crisp-tender and the liquid has thickened to a glaze, 4 to 5 minutes. (The sauce is ready when a spoon dragged across the bottom of the skillet leaves a trail.) Turn off the heat, stir in the lime juice, then add the tofu and gently stir to coat. Season to taste with salt. Eat on top of rice.
Total time: 25 minutes, serves 2
This recipe accommodates any vegetable that will cook in 6 to 8 minutes. If you’d like to use a vegetable that takes longer, like sliced carrots or winter squash, sear them for a few additional minutes, tossing occasionally, before pouring in the coconut-curry mixture.
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