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winner winner, chicken dinner!

Recipe: thai red curry with tofu and basil

The hardest part of any giveaway is wrangling our “random number generator” to actually pick a number rather than stare at us expectantly for a dog treat. The next hardest part is finding ten toys that haven’t been completely ripped to pieces. We received a total of 213 comments (one or two were not “entries”, but that’s a real pain for us to shift things around, so they just don’t win if selected and we draw another number). You all shared so many sweet, touching, and hilarious summer memories – some that really tugged at my heart. Thank you for that.

So how did this work? Good question. We selected ten of Kaweah’s toys and assigned each one a number from 0 to 9. We piled the toys in the middle of the room and then got Kaweah all riled up so she’d run and grab a toy (she does this when she’s excited and there appears to be no rhyme or reason to her selection). This happened 15 times and generated five 3-digit numbers.

the random number generator machine

Each number (811, 977, 980, 766, 076) mod 213 resulted in: 172, 125, 128, 127, 76. Congratulations to: jwen, amanda, laura h, linda, and na! I’ll be sending your emails along to the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek so they can contact you about shipping your s’mores packages and give you details for the (awesomely) discounted rate at the Park Hyatt! Thanks to all of you for participating and many thanks to the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek for sponsoring this super fun Colorado giveaway.

Time to get tropical. The weather dictates much of my culinary mood. Typically I’d be cranking on the soups and stews, but with unseasonably warm weather lasting for more than a month (a week, I can hold out – a month, I cannot) I thought a compromise was in order. Something tropical, yet stewy enough to warm our tummies when we dip below freezing at night.

red curry paste, fried tofu, bamboo shoots, baby corn, straw mushrooms, limes, chiles, thai basil, coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar

slicing the fried tofu chunks in half

Southeast Asian food combines so many contrasting flavors that I find myself craving it often. It’s not just the sweet, sour, salty, herbal, creamy, and spicy, but the abundance of fresh and bright flavors that draw me in. This is a simple and satisfying Thai red curry that I like to throw together. [Edit: I buy the red curry paste at my local Asian grocer – Asian Seafood Market in Boulder.] I typically toss in whatever needs to be cleaned out of the refrigerator, but for guests, I’d prepare it as shown in this post. I buy the tofu already fried. They aren’t tofu puffs, but tofu pieces that have been fried and maintain a firm texture.

oil, red curry paste, coconut milk

add the tofu and vegetables

lots of basil

It is a fast dish to prepare and that’s important because I have zero patience for standing over a stove when it’s warm outside. Okay, I have zero patience in general… Heat the oil, curry paste, and some coconut milk together. Add the rest of the ingredients, simmer, and serve. And you know, if you don’t like the vegetables I’m using here, just sub in what you like: eggplant, broccoli, carrots, peppers (I quite object to green peppers in my Asian food), potatoes, onions, you name it. Want chicken instead of tofu? Go for it.

more coconut milk

that’s about ready

To serve, I like adding a handful of fresh bean sprouts, some fresh Thai basil, and a lime wedge. This works beautifully with a bowl of steamed short-grained rice. Here, I’ve used brown rice for that extra bit of nutty sweet flavor it adds to the ensemble. Easy enough for a weeknight, but great any time.

serve with fresh bean sprouts, thai basil, and lime

and with rice

Tofu Basil Red Curry
[print recipe]

1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsps Thai red curry paste
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 tsps sugar (palm is preferable)
2 tsps lime juice
2-4 Thai bird chiles, halved and seeded
12 oz. fried tofu, sliced into bite-size pieces
15 oz. can baby corn
15 oz. can straw mushrooms
10 oz. bamboo shoots
1-2 cups fresh Thai basil leaves
Thai basil leaves for garnish
bean sprouts for garnish
lime wedge for garnish

Stir fry the vegetable oil, Thai red curry paste, and 1/2 cup coconut milk in a large saucepan or pot over medium high heat until fragrant. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups of coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, chiles, tofu, baby corn, straw mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and Thai basil leaves to the pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Garnish with fresh Thai basil, fresh bean sprouts, and lime wedges. Serve with steamed rice. Serves four.

29 nibbles at “winner winner, chicken dinner!”

  1. sara says:

    This looks fantastic! I adore red curry, and that tofu looks wonderful! :)

  2. Lauren A. @ Newest Obsession says:

    Where do you get that red curry paste? I have been looking for that brand in Colorado, but haven’t been able to find it.

  3. jenyu says:

    Lauren – thanks for pointing that out. I just added it in the post, but you can find it at the Asian Seafood Market in Boulder on the west side of 28th just south of Valmont. It’s in the tiny red can (they also carry green curry, yellow curry, and many other varieties – all good!).

  4. Tracy says:

    I love your random number generator!

  5. Manisha says:

    I’m happy to see #9!

  6. Gloria says:

    Our family dog Bella also has toy #9! We also have a matching lion and giraffe versions. :o)

  7. Dana says:

    Totally my kind of food Jen. After eating starch for 2 weeks straight, this is totally what I want for dinner!

  8. megan says:

    Kaweah is so pretty!! She is so black :) We had a black lab (Beau) who my mom had to put down last year :(
    YUMMY curry!

  9. Jean says:

    What does adorable Kaweah eat that makes her look so glossy and healthy all the time?

  10. Villy @ For the love of Feeding says:

    Coconut milk is SUCH an a loved ingredient.. This must be really delicious!

  11. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    This is on my menu for next week!! Amazing!

  12. Jasmine says:

    What a lovely and hilarious way to get the numbers picked. I hope she got plenty of treats for all that running around.

  13. Lauren A. @ Newest Obsession says:

    oh YAY! you have no idea how happy you just made me and a friend of mine who have been searching for that curry paste :-). i will check it out. thanks!

  14. Kristin says:

    Mmmm…that looks delicious! I think that would be a hit here.

  15. Vicky says:

    This sounds delicious. I love that red curry pasta that’s in the can – I’ve seen it sometimes at Whole Foods – but not all of them carry it.

  16. Nancy says:

    Looks delicious!

    And I’m with you…I do not like green peppers in my Asian food. I still shudder and gag a little when I recall a friend’s Japanese curry with green peppers and broccoli.

  17. Shut Up & Cook says:

    Oh hello lover this looks AMAZING!!


    Going on the list. Always so love getting your blog posts..keep up the great work.

  18. Better Than Take Out « Newest Obsession says:

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  19. Nan says:

    Your number generator is beautiful and unique! She looks so satisfied:)

    I use the same Thai curry paste for my red curry (chicken/tofu, sweet potato, bok choy,kaffir lime, fish sauce,etc…) My daughter is a Thai curry junkie which necessitated my learning to make it. Now she makes if for us — even better! Your’s looks just as delicious! Thanks for posting!

  20. jenyu says:

    sara – thanks!

    Tracy – thank you :)

    Manisha – yes, she still carries it around from time to time :) xo

    Gloria – it’s a cute toy and amazingly has survived this long!

    Dana – I wish you would come over to my house, I’d make it for you.

    megan – thanks, all black labs are beautiful – right? :)

    Jean – we feed her Iams, but honestly, I think it’s genetics.

    Jasmine – she did, indeed!

    Nancy – right on!

    Shut Up & Cook – thank you!

    Nan – you’re welcome :)

  21. Linda says:

    Hi Jenny,

    I have a (embarrasing)question. I’m wondering if I’m the Linda that won one of the S’mores Kits? There were two Lindas that left a comment. Me and one other. I haven’t heard anything from Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, so I am assuming I am not the Linda that won? I was cautiously excited. Should I let that go, or keep hanging on? 8-)

  22. jenyu says:

    Linda – Oh, I’m sorry sweetie. It was the other Linda (I emailed all of the winners). But hopefully better luck next time! xo

  23. Linda says:

    That’s okay. I get so much from your posts that the win would have just been icing on the cake! And I still have the cake…8-)

  24. Jaime Lynn says:

    I just made this. What a fantastic dish. I will forever be keeping this in my rotation !!

  25. The Grocery Store « jewelsincolorado says:

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  26. Bindu says:

    Plan to make this for a lunch club that I do with my coworkers. Is it necessary to use fish Sauce? My group is vegetarian so it would be perfect without the fish sauce. Any recommendations on substitutions?

  27. jenyu says:

    Bindu – I think you can substitute soy sauce for fish sauce. It won’t be the same, but I see that some folks suggest this for vegetarians.

  28. Roopa says:

    I am a vegetarian. Is there any substitute for fish sauce without compromising the taste?

  29. jenyu says:

    Roopa – I think there are vegetarian fish sauces you can try to source for the recipe. Otherwise, it’s hard to think of a good sub since it’s pretty pungent and unique!

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