I’ve mentioned before that green is my favorite color. It reminds me of my houseplants, being in nature, money (haha!), and of course – vegetables. I created our Green Goddess Dip so I could easily add some veg to sandwiches, flatbreads, and pizzas. Well, I also love curry. I’m typically a red curry kinda gal, but green curry has a new place in my heart. In keeping with the green theme this spring, I decided to make coconut green curry and this might be one of my favorite creations to date.
There are a few main types of Thai curry – red, yellow, and green. There’s also massaman and panang curry, but I’ll stick with the three colors for simplicity. The color of a curry is determined by the color of the chiles and other main ingredients used in each dish. In traditional Thai curry, a chef will use red or green Thai chiles, or a mixture of dried spices for yellow curry. This coconut green curry gets its vibrant green color from jalapeños, baby spinach, and fresh basil. Asian flavors like ginger, lime, and coconut round out this complex and ultra satisfying curry recipe.
For those of you who don’t like cilantro, I have some good news. You won’t find any in this coconut green curry! I actually planned to use cilantro but I couldn’t find it at the store this week. Instead, basil offers a refreshing twist that I really love. Coronavirus has disrupted seemingly every aspect of life, including the food supply chain. I haven’t been able to find coconut milk for weeks. Luckily, Trader Joe’s had a bunch of coconut cream in stock. If you’re also struggling to find coconut milk, here’s a little trick. Combine one cup of coconut cream with a half cup of water for perfectly creamy coconut milk.
Last but not least, let’s talk tofu. For this recipe, I simply pan fried extra-firm tofu in coconut oil until crisp on all sides. A sprinkle of curry powder and black pepper provides just the right amount of flavor. That tofu is going for a swim in coconut green curry sauce, which is flavorful enough on its own. I added broccoli florets and red bell pepper in the last few minutes of cooking, but you can use whatever veggies you have on hand.Print
For the coconut green curry sauce:
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
- 1 large or 2 small jalapeños, seeds removed and diced
- 1 large shallot, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 inch of ginger, peeled and minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 15-oz. can full fat coconut milk (or 1 cup coconut cream + ½ cup water)
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving
- 2 handfuls of baby spinach
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
For the tofu
- 1 package extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- Few twists of black pepper
- 2 cups broccoli, chopped into florets
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- Green onion, thinly sliced
- Cooked rice or cauliflower rice, for serving (optional)
- Cashews or peanuts, chopped, for serving (optional)
- Warm 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped jalapeño, shallot, garlic, ginger, salt, coriander, and cumin. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until very fragrant and soft.
- Add the coconut milk (or coconut cream and water) to the skillet and stir. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer for 10 minutes.
- Pour the coconut mixture into a blender and add the basil, spinach, lime juice, lemon zest, and soy sauce. Blend until all of the ingredients are well combined and there aren’t any green flecks left. Set aside.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil to the skillet and return to medium heat. Add the tofu and season with curry powder and black pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, then flip and cook on the other side for 5 minutes more. It should be golden and slightly crisp when done. Turn the heat to low.
- Pour the coconut green curry sauce over the tofu and stir to coat. Add the broccoli and bell pepper and cook a few minutes more, until the veggies are bright and slightly tender. Remove from heat and sprinkle with green onion.
- To serve, divide the coconut green curry between plates or bowls and add a scoop of cooked rice. Top with fresh basil and chopped cashews or peanuts, if desired.
Nutrition info does not include cooked rice or cauliflower rice or nuts, for serving.