April 9, 2012

Meatless Monday: Panang Curry

This recipe is off the hook delicious!  Let me say from the get-go that although I made mine using tofu {Meatless Monday, natch!}, one could easily substitute shrimp or chicken.  If you are up for the tofu challenge, I can honestly say that you will never miss the meat <pinkie swear>.  If you have never cooked tofu, fear not.  I have included instructions on how to show tofu who's boss!

I am convinced that most everything tastes better cooked in coconut milk.  Mmm...


3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 14-oz. container of organic firm tofu, drained and dried, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
2 large red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 Tbsp. fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves
1/4 c. peanut butter
2 t. turmeric
1 t. ground cumin
2 t. chili paste (sambal oelek is the best, in my opinion)
1 c. chicken broth
1/2 t. corn starch
1 can light coconut milk
3 kaffir lime leaves (click HERE for mine, or you can order fresh leaves HERE and store in your freezer)
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. fish sauce (I prefer Squid brand)
2 large zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces


Tofu is like a sponge and, when dry, will absorb all of the flavors of a yummy sauce.  Drain tofu.  Line a cookie sheet with paper towels.  Sandwich tofu between the paper towel lined cookie sheet and another on top.  Press down.  Stack a few heavy cookbooks on top (such as, Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volumes I and II).  Remove cookie sheet and books and blot with paper towels to remove remaining moisture.  The goal is for your tofu to be completely dry.     


  • Cut tofu that has been dried into 1/2-inch cubes.  Heat 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Brown tofu.  Remove from heat and transfer to bowl for later use.
  • Heat remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion, red pepper, ginger and garlic and cook until veggies are tender, about 6 minutes.  Stir now and then.
  • Add peanut butter, turmeric, cumin and chili paste.  Stir until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Whisk chicken stock with corn starch and add to skillet.  
  • Add coconut milk, fish sauce, lime leaves and brown sugar, bring to simmer.
  • Add zucchini and browned tofu and continue to simmer for 20 minutes.  Give it a good stir once in awhile.   
  • Season with salt to taste.  The fish sauce is salty, so you won't need muchTaste before adding salt.  Add, if needed.  Then taste again.  Repeat.  Think:  baby steps.

 Serving suggestion:  Serve over brown or jasmine rice.

If you try this recipe and like it, let me know.  Enjoy! 

Click HERE to check out all of my yummy Meatless Monday recipes.  


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