This has really been my summer of Air Fryer experimentation. I know I’m late to the party but I’m making up for lost time, and I was especially thrilled with this Air Fryer Tofu. Perfectly golden and crispy, and glazed with a delectably sweet and read more
Sweetened red bean paste, or Tsubuan, is probably one of Japan’s most recognized sweet flavors. It’s used in mochi, ice cream, and pastries. It’s even delightful just spread on toast. You can find tsubuan in Asian markets, but it’s so much better when made from read more
One of our most popular menu items is our Green Curry Shrimp. And it’s easy to see why. It’s rich, creamy, spicy, and full of colorful veggies. I am a firm believer though that vegetarians deserve to get in on the fun too, and that’s how this Green Curry Tofu was born. I kept everything people love about the original, and swapped in crispy tofu for the shrimp. And for this version, I also use a commercial green curry paste which makes this a totally doable weeknight meal. Quick, easy, and delicious. Let’s do this!
Prepping the Green Curry Tofu Veggies
I start by getting the sweet potatoes ready. These soft sweet nuggets are a perfect contrast to the spicy curry sauce.
Then I boil them for 6-8 minutes until tender. You want them tender but not fall apart mush.
While the sweet potatoes are cooking, I get the veggies and tofu ready. I like the contrast of shapes when cutting my veggies so I’m using a couple of different styles. It’s totally not necessary but you should try to keep them roughly the same size.
It’s important to get a nice golden crust on the tofu. It adds a lot of texture and flavor to the dish. Use a non-stick skillet because tofu has a lot of moisture and that moisture loves to grab onto the surface of the skillet. If you use a regular stainless skillet, you will hate yourself as you struggle to keep the crust from adhering to the pan. It’s not impossible, but you will need to heat the pan for a long time and use a lot more oil. Do yourself a favor a use a non-stick skillet or a well seasoned cast iron pan.
Cooking Green Curry Tofu
Now that the veggies are prepped and the tofu has been fried, it comes together really quickly.
The secret to the lusciousness of restaurant curries is coconut cream. Now’s not the time to fall into the low fat trap. At least use full fat coconut milk rather than the watery light versions. Coconut fat is good for you and it is essential to create a rich and creamy curry. If you’re ultra concerned, eat a little less and save some for your next meal!
Because this is a vegetarian (and vegan) dish, we’re not using the traditional fish sauce. However, it’s important to give the dish that deep, salty, earthy flavor that fish sauce imparts. Today we’re mimicking that flavor with soy sauce and miso. Used in combination, you get a similar umami goodness. You can also experiment with coconut aminos and a little salt with good results.
One the veggies are added, lower the heat to medium and cover the pot with a lid. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the eggplant has softened, stirring the pan occasionally.
I like to garnish this with fresh herbs and serve with rice to scoop up all the luscious sauce. A fresh squeeze of lime is nice too!
Can’t get enough curry? Try:
I hope you love this easy, weeknight Green Curry Tofu. Please take a moment to rate and comment on the recipe, and you can show off your food pics by tagging us @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
- 4 Tablespoons Oil
- 1 Block Firm Tofu
- ½ large yellow onion, sliced
- 2 cloves large garlic
- 1 Tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
- 1–2 thai bird chilies (optional for those who really like extra spicy foods)
- 3 ounces baby spinach
- 1 Chinese eggplant, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 small sweet potato
- 1 handful cilantro or basil
- 2 oz green curry paste (I used ½ 4 oz maesri brand can)
- 10 fl oz coconut cream
- ½ Tablespoon Miso
- ½ Tablespoon Soy sauce or Coconut Aminos
- Salt and Ground Black Pepper to Taste
- Hot rice
- Limes Wedges
- Peel and trim the sweet potatoes.
- Dice the sweet potatoes into 1” pieces.
- Place the sweet potatoes into a small pot and cover with 3 cups of water.
- Place the pot on the stove and bring the water to a boil over high heat.
- Lower the heat to medium and cook for 6-8 minutes until tender but not falling apart. Drain the potatoes and set aside.
- While the sweet potatoes are cooking, open the tofu package and then cut the tofu into small 1 ½“ pieces.
- Set the tofu on a plate lined with a couple pieces of paper towel. Cover the tofu with some more paper towels (you can also use a clean kitchen towel) and gently press down on it to remove excess water.
- Heat a large 12” non-stick frying pan over medium heat for several minutes and then add 3 Tablespoons of the oil.
- Place the tofu in one layer and let it cook undisturbed for 3-5 minutes until the bottom is crisp and browned.
- Using a spatula, flip the pieces of tofu over and cook the other side for another 3-5 minutes until also crispy and browned. Take the tofu out of the pan and set aside.
- Return the unwashed pan to the stove. Turn the heat to medium high.
- Add the remaining 1 Tablespoon of oil and the onions. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the ginger, garlic, and curry paste. Stir-fry for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add the eggplant, sweet potatoes, coconut milk, miso paste, and soy sauce to the pan.
- Bring the pan to a simmer, stirring to melt the miso into the sauce. Then, lower heat to medium and cover the pot with a lid. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the eggplant has softened, stirring the pan occasionally.
- Add the tofu, stir and cover. Lower heat to a medium low and cook for an additional 2 minutes until the tofu is hot.
- Taste and adjust seasoning with a little salt and ground pepper as needed.
- Add the spinach and stir to wilt. Garnish with some cilantro or basil sprigs.
- Serve the Green Curry Tofu immediately with hot rice and lime wedges.
Keywords: green curry, tofu, thai, spicy, coconut, sweet potato, vegan
Today we’re really going to put the funky in Funky Asian Kitchen. Okra Natto is a mashup I made from two beloved Japanese dishes. It’s an acquired taste for sure, but we wouldn’t be living up to our name if we didn’t challenge you on occasion, right? Natto are fermented soy beans that have a strong, sharp smell-like one of France’s stinky cheeses, or like a really good fish sauce. And then there’s the consistency, which can generally be described as slimy. So why should you acquire this taste? Natto is a superfood with an impressive array of nutrients and health benefits. It’s good for bone health, digestion, and even helps lower blood pressure. Many people in Japan eat it because they believe it purifies the blood, helping with circulation. It’s no secret that Japanese people enjoy a significantly higher life expectancy, and I’m sure this Okra Natto dish has something to do with it.
So why the Okra? I really love Okra, and you can see I have no problem with slimy foods. It’s very popular in Japan (a country of slime lovers), often popping up in salads, simple side dishes, or as a beautiful garnish for plates. A lot of cooks will try to persuade you that okra is not that slimy or come up with dishes that fight to reduce the slime factor. Not me! I say why try to turn something into something else it’s not. Embrace the slime. Seriously though, I think the slight crunch and appealing color of okra play well with the natto. So if you’re game, this Okra Natto side dish may just be your next food discovery.
Making Okra Natto
This is a very fast dish, and so easy to whip up when you want something nourishing. Look for packages of natto in the tofu section of an Asian market. It is traditional to serve it with mustard and soy sauce seasoning, so many brands will come with little packets of them. You can discard them or use them to garnish your bowl of Okra Natto. I start this recipe by quickly blanching the okra.
If you want to make this vegan, you can omit the katsuobushi. You can use the mustard and the seasoning packet too as an additional garnish. I like to serve this with soy sauce on the side.
I hope you give Okra Natto a try; this recipe is so simple and nourishing! Please take a moment to let me know what you think by rating and commenting on the recipe below, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
- 1 package natto (fermented soybeans)
- 6 ounces fresh okra
- 1 tablespoon minced scallion
- 2 pinches of katsuobushi (smoked bonito flakes)*
- 1 Tablespoon sea salt (for blanching okra)
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add the salt and the okra and boil for 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and cool under running water for a couple of seconds. Set the okra on a cutting board.
- Trim the ends off of the okra and discard. Then cut the okra into thin slices. Divide the okra into two small bowls.
- Top each bowl of okra with half of the natto packet. (You can discard the sauce and mustard or use it to top the bowls.
- Top the natto with the scallions and the katsuobushi. Serve immediately with soy sauce on the side.
*To make this vegan, omit the smoked bonito flakes.
Keywords: natto, okra, healthy, fermented, soy beans