You don't need to press the tofu to drain the water for this recipe; a slow pan-fry achieves the same effect and gets the exterior extra crispy. For a vegetarian dish, swap the fish sauce for reduced-sodium soy sauce or the liquid from soaked dried porcini mushrooms.
1 (14-oz.) block extra-firm tofu, drained
2 1/2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup canned coconut milk
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
1 to 2 Thai chiles, finely chopped
1 lemongrass stalk, trimmed and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
12 green beans, cut diagonally into 2-in. pieces
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-in. strips
2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
3 to 4 fresh cilantro sprigs, coarsely chopped
Est. added sugars 1g
How to Make It
Halve tofu lengthwise. Cut each half crosswise into 4 pieces.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add tofu to pan; cook, without stirring, until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn over; cook 2 minutes. Carefully add soy sauce to pan; cook 2 minutes. Turn tofu; cook 1 minute. Remove tofu from pan; cool. Cut each piece diagonally into triangles.
Combine 1/4 cup water and coconut milk in a bowl. Heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet or wok over high until oil is hot but not smoking. Add shallots, chiles, and lemongrass; cook 1 minute or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Add salt, green beans, and bell pepper; cook 2 minutes or until vegetables have softened slightly. Add curry and sugar; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add tofu, milk mixture, and fish sauce; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Arrange tofu mixture on a platter. Sprinkle with cilantro.
The Pho Cookbook.
Ten Speed Press, $22, on sale Feb. 7, 2017.
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I love Vietnamese food and I love curry and was very excited when I saw that feature in the magazine and this recipe in particular looked delicious. This method for crisping the tofu worked great, and I will definitely use it for other recipes too. I made the recipe exactly as directed and served on top of some jasmine rice and I wouldn't change a thing! Great combinations of flavors with the curry, veggies, and lemongrass - and relatively easy recipe to throw together too.