I’ve obviously been obsessed with coconut milk this year. We’ve published recipes for coconut rice and an Indian slow cooker curry in recent months, and this Thai curry is a nice complement to show the versatility of canned coconut milk.
The green curry paste, which is usually sold in a can, adds both heat and flavor to the coconut milk, and the method of blanching the vegetables in the boiling pasta water could be applied to other produce, including summer favorites like bell peppers and green beans. The author uses whole-wheat linguine because it’s so readily available, but you could substitute other kinds of pasta, such as rice noodles. Adjust the curry paste to taste — if you’re using it for the first time, try one or two teaspoons, taste the milk/curry blend and then adjust.
Sesame Noodles with Thai Green Curry Tofu, Red Cabbage and Snap Peas
8 oz. whole-wheat linguine
1 (14-oz.) package firm tofu
3/4 cup coconut milk (about half a 14.5-ounce can)
1 Tbsp. green curry paste
2 tsp. fish sauce
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
8 oz. snap peas, trimmed
1 large carrot, julienned
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
2 cups red cabbage, shredded
Slivered scallions, for garnish
Put on a pot of water to boil for the pasta. Meanwhile, drain the tofu and wrap in a towel, then place a cutting board on top to remove excess water, for about 20 minutes.
Cube the tofu in 3/4-inch pieces and reserve. In a large sauté pan, combine the coconut milk and green curry and mash with a spatula to combine. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer; stir in the fish sauce and brown sugar. Add the tofu and carefully turn to coat. Let simmer, stirring and turning occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until the coconut milk is thick.
In the boiling water (before the pasta goes in), poach the snap peas for just a minute, then scoop out with a slotted spoon and reserve. Poach the carrots for about a minute, scoop and reserve. Cook the linguine according to package directions, and drain well. Transfer to a bowl and toss with sesame oil to coat.
In each of four bowls, portion the cooked linguine, then top with snap peas, carrots, red cabbage and the tofu and sauce from the pan. Garnish with scallions and serve hot. Serves 4.
— From “Great Bowls of Food: Grain Bowls, Buddha Bowls, Broth Bowls, and More” by Robin Asbell (Countryman Press, $21.95)