This is a tasty variation on a Thai-style dish with Indonesian tempeh. I quit making curries when I went veg, mainly because I had just started dating my partner, who has taken cooking classes in Thailand. He was the curry expert, so I left it to him! Recently I decided to dig out some old recipes and give them a go, and, surprise surprise, Mr Thai Cooking Expert approves! So here’s one of them. I’m also working on revamping an old green curry recipe with tofu, which I’ll post soon, along with some tom kha soup…
1 tablespoon peanut OR sesame oil
2 spring onions, sliced
1-4 tablespoons vegan red curry paste (eg. Maesri brand)
around 200mL coconut cream (half to three-quarters of a cup)
around 200g tempeh, cut into chunks (around 2cm)
1 cup veg stock (or Massel‘s chicken-style veg stock)
a few medium potatoes, cut into quarters, or baby potatoes if you can get them
2 carrots, sliced medium-thin
1 zucchini, sliced thick
1 tablespoon (or to taste) palm sugar (OR brown sugar)
1 tablespoon (or to taste) Braggs OR vegan fish sauce
1 tablespoon (or to taste) freshly squeezed lime juice (or lemon juice, but lime is better!)
1 tablespoon (or to taste) shredded fresh basil leaves
a few whole basil leaves and finely sliced birdseye chillis to serve, if desired
cooked rice to serve, if desired
1. Heat oil in wok or large pan. On high heat: add paste, cook until fragrant. Add onion, stir until soft. Add tempeh chunks. Stir until coated in paste and heated/browning on the outside.
2. Add stock and potatoes and carrot to pan. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
3. Add coconut cream, zucchini, palm sugar, and Braggs. (TT: to check for enough sugar and salty flavours). Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
4. Stir through juice and basil (TT: for juice, basil, sugar, salt / flavour balance). Serve over rice and top with extra basil leaves and chilli if desired.
Here’s a crappy photo of some leftover tempeh red curry:
* These are rough measurements in this recipe. This sort of cooking should always be done to taste. (TT = some suggested Taste Test points!)
* For Maesri brand paste (I buy the wee cans of paste), a rough guide to “hotness” is: 1 tablespoon = wussy mild, 2 tablespoon = average medium, 3 tablespoon = sorta hot, 4 tablespoons or more = burning hot tasty goodness.
* Don’t buy a watery looking curry paste. It should look like a thick, dry paste, not a sauce. You use the paste to make a sauce. A sauce to make a sauce makes bland food.
* I used zucchini because it was looking kinda wilted and soft. A curry can revive old vegies – don’t waste ‘em if you can curry ‘em! You could also use green beans in this curry instead of zucchini, or throw it a handful of bean sprouts if you got ‘em.
* There are a few OR options because… it’s curry. Use what you got. Curries are supposed to be cheap and cheerful peasant food. Don’t waste time and money getting too fancy!
* Curry tastes better a day or two after it was cooked. Leftovers rock.
* If you haven’t already, check out these grouse vegan curry pastes and stocks: Maesri (always check ingredients on label, not all their stuff is veg-safe!) & Massel.