Saturday, December 1, 2007

$2.00/day Food Challenge Post #14:Han's Braised Curried Tofu

Han took the time to read my "Things to Cook" list and wanted me to cook the braised curried tofu. This post is for him. Funny thing tho, when I talked to him about it on IM, he was all, "Add some chicken to it." Sorry Han, maybe you missed the point of the contest but chicken would put me over budget.

This is going to be a superficial, cursory treatment. Instead of writing for my blog, I SHOULD be writing a paper for school so this is going to be a quickie. This recipe is loosely adapted from something I found in this book.

Ingredients: (Not Pictured, fish sauce or a lemon)
One package of firm tofu, pressing the water out:
Acidulated water for the lotus root. I've read that, like apples, they will oxidize so it's necessary to give them a bit acid. I've never cooked with lotus root before so this is going to be a learning experience. Here's some water and lemon juice.
Lotus root. The local asian grocer had some for $0.58 per pound. I'm using two knobs worth.
Peeled, kinda looks like a potato:
Cross-section, pretty neat, eh?
I chopped the lotus root into slices and bathed them in the lemon water:
Small diced half an onion, minced a walnut sized knob of peeled ginger, 2 tablespoons of canned red curry paste, minced 3 cloves of garlic, 1.5 teaspoons of curry powder, 1 teaspoons of ground turmeric, one lemongrass knot and 2 sliced serrano chiles.
Prep area was a mess so I cleaned...Before:
Heat up a pan, add oil and toss in the onions. Cook until somewhat soft.
Toss in the curry paste, ginger, garlic etc. mixture. Saute until fragrant.
Add 1 13 oz can of coconut milk and a cup of water. Submerge lotus root in this mixture and bring to a boil. Drop to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
When the lotus root is cooking, cube the tofu.
I also picked some Thai basil leaves. This picture represents the leaves from 1/2 pound of Thai basil stems.
Roughly cut the leaves.
Give the curry a taste. I bet it'll need salt and a little sugar. Season to taste. Add tofu cubes.
Uh oh. Not enough liquid? Add more water.
Simmer for another half hour.

Taste for seasoning. Add fish sauce (or salt) and a touch of sugar. Lemon or lime juice is also nice. Throw in the chopped Thai basil, stir and you're good to go! Serve with plenty of rice. This will also taste better after a day of rest so make it today and eat it tomorrow. Like I'm going to do.
$0.10 for a 50 gram serving. I know, it doesn't mean anything to me either. Interesting thing is that the lotus root remained very crisp even at the end of the cooking process. I don't know if I need to cook it longer but it's quite nice. Very toothsome.
Cooking time isn't much...just some chopping and what not..About 20 minutes of active work, 1 hour total.


han said...

yeah it looks good and all but it needs chicken. good job otherwise. i love thai style curry. i'll try making it someday, but with some chicken.

Mike Czyzewski said...

if you want to make thai red curry with chicken, I suggest you follow this recipe:

Mike Czyzewski said...

erm, that didn't work...just check out the recipe for gaeng ped gai on my blog...thai red curry with chicken.