The kids and I created this fine meal yesterday in honor of #MeatlessMonday. Here’s what we did:
Marinate firm, silky tofu with a couple splashes of soy sauce and one splash of fish sauce (nam pla). I did the splashing, Anna stirred it all together. Eric sampled the tofu.
Meanwhile, smash with a mortal & pestle a palm full of coriander seeds and a palm full of cumin seeds. Both kids wanted to do this step, but both lost their patience with it after a few moments.
In a mini food processor, blend together 2 cloves of garlic, about 2″ of fresh (peeled) ginger root, the crushed coriander & cumin, a small palm full of sugar, and a handful of basil leaves. Anna is really good at pulling the leaves off the basil stems. Both took turns pushing the buttons on the mini prep.
Once those ingredients are smushed up and look a bit like pesto, add a couple handfuls of peanuts (and eat a couple handfuls as well), a few splashes of soy sauce and fish sauce, the zest and juice of a lime, then blend some more to make a paste. Sometimes I let Anna zest citrus with the microplane. It doesn’t seem as treacherous as other graters since it’s so fine, but I pay close attention to her technique so she doesn’t grate her knuckles. Eric, being three, hasn’t gotten to use a grater yet!
Sauté a chopped onion in a large skillet (or wok) until soft, then add the tofu for a few minutes, then the veggies. We used red bell pepper, green & yellow beans, and broccoli. I wasn’t going to use broccoli, but Eric insisted on it. That boy loves broccoli.
Remove all that from the skillet so the veggies don’t get overcooked. Toast the paste for a few minutes in the now-empty skillet. Heating up the curry paste opens up the flavors of cumin and coriander seeds. It smelled so good ~ warm and spicy and peanuty, but bright and fresh from the lime.
Stir in about half a can of light coconut milk and blend with the now-heated spice paste. Once the sauce is all warmed through, toss the tofu & vegetables in and POOF! Dinner is ready. Oh yes, after microwaving the Jasmine rice for 3 minutes!
This was a yummy, easy meal that pushed a couple buttons for me: it was vegetarian for Meatless Monday, the kids were involved with prep every step of the way, it was super healthy and didn’t take too much time out of playing! The lime was crucial for brightness against the peanuts and spices, and the tiny bit of sugar in the paste helped balance all the flavors.