My wife grew up vegetarian, so when we started dating Thai food was a great common ground for us when it came to picking restaurants. It’s also one of the cuisines that has, in my opinion, some of the tastiest plant-based dishes. Thai curries are bursting with flavor and should hit all the notes, so I’m looking for spicy, savory and sweet.
This dish is a lesson in knife skills. Dice an onion. Mince some garlic. Julienne red peppers. Cube a potato. Thankfully I had my trusty wife / sous chef to help me with all the prep.
I deviated from the recipe by electing to forego baking the tofu. This is really a matter of personal preference. When I go to a Thai restaurant I often order soft or steamed tofu, as opposed to the typical fried tofu. Notice that the baking step calls for salting the tofu, which would go towards seasoning the dish. If you’re with me in the steamed tofu camp, make sure you make up for that by seasoning in the pot accordingly.
For me, the hallmark of a bad curry is one that runs thin and leaks everywhere when poured over rice. The texture of this curry came out perfectly. It coated my rice and had a satisfying weight to it.
I got savory and sweet but I was missing spicy, as it was mild at best. And perhaps it was the brand I used but there was a tad too much tang from the tomatoes. Next time I make this I will probably cut back a little on the tomatoes and add more jalapeño. Or perhaps I’ll use both the jalapeño as well as the alternative chili pepper paste listed in the recipe.
But these are small nitpicks as I found the curry to be incredibly tasty.
With all its various components, this is the perfect meal for a family to prepare together. With easier jobs — like opening cans — for kids and culinarily illiterate family members, to more engaging tasks — like the array of knife cuts required — it’s a great way to get everyone involved in the kitchen.
This is a really hearty meal but still surprisingly light and healthy with loads of vegetables. Pair this with brown rice and you’ve really got a meal that has it all. Carbs, proteins, vitamins and fats.
The recipe has a bit of an American flair since it uses potatoes, carrots and peas. I’d actually substitute these with eggplant and bamboo; I’d also suggest using Thai basil instead of regular basil leaves. But that’s also the beauty of this dish. Choose the vegetables you like and try them out!
Click to read Jason’s other “Vegan-ish” articles:
- week 1: Italian White Bean Soup
- week 2: Mujaddara
- week 3: Roasted Beet And Carrot Salad
- week 4: Garlicky Potato & White Bean Mash
- week 5: Citrus Cream Biscuits
- week 6: Simple Basil Pesto
- week 7: Kale & White Bean Soup
- week 8: Roasted Butternut Squash & Sage