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You don't need to press the tofu to drain the water for this recipe; a slow pan-fry achieves the same effect and gets the exterior extra crispy. For a vegetarian dish, swap the fish sauce for reduced-sodium soy sauce or the liquid from soaked dried porcini mushrooms.
This one-dish meal is loaded with hearty flavor. If you choose, serve it alongside rice to soak up the sauce. Otherwise, it's just fine on its own.
Flavorful curries are easy to tailor to your liking, so play with the heat and style of your curry recipes until you find one that can become your signature dish.
How to Make It
Halve tofu lengthwise. Cut each half crosswise into 4 pieces.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add tofu to pan; cook, without stirring, until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn over; cook 2 minutes. Carefully add soy sauce to pan; cook 2 minutes. Turn tofu; cook 1 minute. Remove tofu from pan; cool. Cut each piece diagonally into triangles.
Combine 1/4 cup water and coconut milk in a bowl. Heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet or wok over high until oil is hot but not smoking. Add shallots, chiles, and lemongrass; cook 1 minute or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Add salt, green beans, and bell pepper; cook 2 minutes or until vegetables have softened slightly. Add curry and sugar; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add tofu, milk mixture, and fish sauce; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Arrange tofu mixture on a platter. Sprinkle with cilantro.
The Pho Cookbook.
Ten Speed Press, $22, on sale Feb. 7, 2017.