Friday, December 23, 2011

Baby, it's cold outside.

Not really. High today in N Cakalaka - 65.

That doesn't mean that a huge bowl of salty-sweet, birds-eye-chili laden curry isn't going down my gullet, tho.

Used to be, Cheese Fondue was the holiday indulgence of choice in my casa around Xmas-time. And I'd inevitably feel like crap, after eating 2 pounds of cheese and a ton of toasty bread.

This year, we're going lighter - getting out the woks - searing some bok choy, frying some 'fu. Grabbing chopsticks instead of fondue forks. Eating more healthfully.

The coolest (read:cheesiest) part? It's red and green bonanza in this here curry, because nothing shows off the insanely gorgeous color palette de Ma Nature quite so nicely as a big bowl of stir fry.

Christmas Curry

1 red pepper, julienned
1/2 pound baby bok choy, cleaned, bottoms removed
1/2 can baby corn, rinsed
Green beans, large handful, trimmed
1 red onion, chopped
1 block tofu, drained
4 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 small can red curry paste
1 can coconut milk (full fat please)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bird's eye chilis, minced (honestly? I used 6. But I like my mouth to be on FIYAH)
1 1-inch piece of galanga
1/2 stalk lemon grass
4-6 kaffir lime leaves
8 fresh thai basil leaves
1 tablespoon sea salt
1.5 tablespoons palm sugar

Get the big wok out. No, not that one - the BIG ONE.

Drain your tofu and squeeze gently. Chop into 1 inch x 1 inch cubes.

Heat 2 tablespoons sesame oil over medium-high heat and stir fry your tofu until a crust forms, flipping often. If it gets sticky, add a little more oil. Drain on paper towels.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to wok and turn heat to high. Add onion, garlic, curry paste, bird's eyes, pepper and green beans, and toss to coat with oil/curry paste. Cover to let steam for a minute. Stir again. Cover again. Add baby corn and bok choy, stir to coat. Cover for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, stir, and simmer 5 minutes. Taste for salt.

Ah, the old bowl o' rice trick. Make a batch of jasmine rice, using a teeny bit more water than usual (helps to keep the rice sticky). Oil a small bowl, and press your freshly-cooked rice into it, packing it down. Invert bowl over your serving plate, tap gently, and remove.

Ladle curry around rice mountain, garnish with fried scallions and cilantro, and serve.

Happy Holidays, my dearies.


  1. delicious looking flavourful combination

  2. This looks delicious! I want some now! Thanks for a fantastic looking recipe.

  3. So healthy as opposed to cheese fondue! I barely escaped the meat and cheese laden Christmas. Felt so much better eating lighter!

  4. Thanks ladies :)

    @Dawn - Me too! Snuck tempeh into some suspicious bellies by making steamed buns. And an open-minded Christmas was had by all!

  5. Love love LOVE tasty curries!! Many thanks for the excellent recipe :-)

  6. oooh, galangal, that's what i've been missing in my life