Thai Food Craving
I’m not sure what’s going on with me lately, but I’ve been craving Thai food. I just love the combination of spices, lime juice, and peanuts that are so prevalent in Thai cooking. After enjoying last week’s Thai Tofu Noodle Bowls, I found myself with a hankering for something with Thai curry paste. Red Curry Beans to the rescue!
Red Curry Green Beans are traditionally served as a side dish. I don’t often make main and side dishes for dinner – I usually make one big pile of something like a stir-fry or pasta dish. So, for this recipe, I’ve added non-traditional tofu. I wanted to make the dish heartier than a side would be, and I also wanted to give it a little boost of protein.
This dish comes together super quickly, so it’s handy to have all of your ingredients prepped before you start cooking. I’ve blanched the green beans to cut down on their cooking time. I like to start sautéing the tofu while the water for the green beans is boiling to cut back on cooking time a little. Once the green beans are ready, the garlic and ginger are cooked on medium heat for a few minutes. The curry paste is then added and warmed up for a minute or two, and then everything else is added to the pan. Just cook for a few more minutes and dinner is ready!
Kaffir lime leaves can be little difficult to find. I found them sliced and preserved in salt water in a jar in the Asian section of my local Whole Foods, right next to the curry paste. I’ve also found them dry in the spice section of Fairway Market. I’ve yet to find them fresh anywhere.
Red Curry Paste
Make sure you read the ingredients of your red curry paste to make sure it doesn’t contain fish. I recently made the mistake of buying a jar without checking the ingredients and didn’t realize until I started cooking with it than it wasn’t vegan. I like Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste. (Be careful though, because their Roasted Red Chili Paste contains anchovies and shrimp!)
I like to serve this dish with cooked brown rice, but it would be just as tasty on top of a pile of rice noodles.
Thai-Style Red Curry Green Beans
This recipe serves 2 people as a main dish or 4 people as a side dish.
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed and chopped
- ½ block of extra firm tofu, cut into small, half-inch dice
- 4 teaspoons peanut oil, divided
- 4 teaspoons tamari, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
- 3 tablespoons red curry paste
- ¼ cup vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon kaffir lime leaves, drained, or 4 leaves, sliced
- 1 teaspoon agave
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Thai hot pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 scallions, sliced
- 2 tablespoons, crushed peanuts
- 2 cups brown rice
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and have a large bowl of ice water ready. Cook the green beans in the boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove them from pot with a slotted spoon and place them in the ice water to keep them from cooking. After a few minutes, remove them from the ice water and set aside.
Heat 2 teaspoons of oil and 2 teaspoons of tamari in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the tofu to the oil and cook for about 2 or 3 minutes per side, until each side is lightly golden. Remove the tofu from heat and set aside.
Lower the heat to medium. Add the rest of the oil to the pan along with the garlic and ginger and cook until translucent and fragrant, about two or three minutes.
Add the red curry paste and mix with the ginger and garlic. Cook for about a minute.
Add the rest of the tamari, lime juice, kaffir lime leaves, stock, agave, red pepper flakes, and salt to the pan. Stir and mix well.
Increase the heat to medium-high again. Add the green beans and tofu to the pan and toss to coat. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the green beans are crisp-tender.
Serve hot, topped with the scallions, crushed peanuts, and pepper slices. Serve with cooked brown rice.