Big Curry Pot
If you’re cooking for a vegan, like our Grateful Neighbor Amanda Pilcher, or looking for a meat-free dish for your own dinner, you can’t possibly go wrong with Big Curry Pot, from Heidi Swanson’s first cookbook, Super Natural Cooking. Heidi is also the author of the wildly popular blog 101 Cookbooks. Thank you, Heidi, for these seriously delicious and satisfying noodles rich with red curry paste and coconut milk.
For non-vegans who don’t dig tofu, Pacific halibut would be a delicious substitution: Cut it into small pieces and gently simmer in the broth until opaque throughout or you can thinly slice a chicken breast and cook it with the onion, garlic, and curry paste until cooked through and follow the remaining directions.
For easy transport, transfer the broth to a leak-proof container. Deliver the noodles in their package for the recipient to cook for optimal freshness, and divide the peanuts, shallots and cilantro among resealable plastic bags. And don’t forget to include simple assembly instructions.
Big Curry Pot
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Serves 4 to 6
8 ounces whole-grain Asian-style wide noodles (like udon)
2 tablespoons coconut oil or canola oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons red curry paste
12 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into thumb-sized slices
1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups vegetable broth or water
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 tablespoons shoyu (soy) sauce
1 tablespoon natural cane sugar
juice of 1 lime
2/3 cup peanuts, chopped
1/3 cup slivered shallots
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Cook the noodles in plenty of boiling salted water until just tender. Drain and set aside.
You can start making the curry as the noodles cook. Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, then stir in the garlic, onion, and curry paste and mash the paste around the bottom of the pan a bit to distribute it evenly. Cook until nice and fragrant- just a minute or two. Add the tofu and gently stir until coated with the curry paste. Stir in the coconut milk, broth, turmeric, shoyu, and sugar, bring to a simmer, and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lime juice, and add the noodles, jostling them around a bit if they’re sticking together.
To serve, heap big piles of noodles into individual bowls and top with a generous ladle or two of the curry. Top with peanuts and finish each bowl with a sprinkling of shallots and cilantro.