When I was in college, I lived in a dorm at 100 Beacon St. in Boston for two years.
Now a luxury condo, this building was a.maze.ing. It sat right at the corner of Beacon and Arlington, at the northwest corner of Boston’s Public Garden. A quick stroll east had me arrive at Charles Street, a very large Starbucks, and the recently destroyed DeLuca’s Market (I hope they rebuild!)
Strolling up Charles Street, there were fantastic little shops and eateries. I spent way too much money and time in Black Ink, but the restaurant that got most of my attention was a little Thai restaurant at the very end of the street called The King & I.
My sophomore year roommate, my friend who was also named Emily, and I almost lived at that restaurant, consuming so much pad thai and curry and delicious dishes. It was quite the bonding experience. I miss her tons, and I miss our time spent at the restaurant.
I’ve been trying to re-create a yellow curry at home for weeks. Here’s my best recipe for Vegetarian Yellow Curry:
- 1 block extra-firm tofu
- 2-3 tablespoons high-heat tolerant oil (I use grapeseed)
- 1 can light coconut milk
- Various frozen veggies (peas, corn, broccoli, edamame, etc.)
- 2-3 tablespoons curry powder
- 1-2 tablespoons ginger powder
- 1-2 teaspoons tumeric
- 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1-3 jalapeno peppers (optional)
- Remove your tofu from its packaging and place on a few paper towels. Put more paper towels on top, and press down firmly on your tofu. This will remove any excess water from your tofu, and keep the frying oil from spattering too much.
- In a nonstick skillet, heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil. I use grapeseed because it’s high-heat tolerant and also has fatty acids that are missing from my diet, because I don’t eat fish. (Isn’t that neat?) Sear the tofu until brown on all sides. This can take a little while, depending on your heat and spattering-oil tolerance. Higher heat = faster browning (obviously) but your oil is going to disco all over the pan and probably onto your forearms. Ouchies. So keep it low and slow if you’re a wimp, like me.(Side note– this is totally, potentially optional because tofu doesn’t really have to be cooked through before it’s eaten, unlike meat. So if you just want it warm and flavorful, you don’t have to pan sear it. I just like the texture.)
- Remove the tofu from the pan and drain on more paper towels. Add the can of light coconut milk to the pan. You may want to shake it first because it will be separated. Add your curry powder, ginger, tumeric, cinnamon, and peppers to taste. I like my curry VERY strong, so I always use a lot of powders.
- Add your veggies and tofu to the pan, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep things from burning.
- As soon as your tofu gains the desired level of curry flavor, dish and enjoy. A lot of people like their curries over rice, but I find this fulfilling enough on its own!