Thai green curry paste has an incredibly bold, concentrated taste and a spicy heat. Here, it’s tempered by rich, creamy coconut milk. A sprinkle of fragrant Thai basil over the curry just before serving adds a freshness that perks up all of the complex flavors in the dish.
Thai Green Curry with Tofu, Asparagus & Baby Bok Choy
1 1/2 lb. (750 g.) asparagus, ends trimmed
3 baby bok choy, halved lengthwise
2 Tbs. peanut or grape seed oil
1 yellow onion, cut into 8 wedges
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips 1 1/2 inches (4 cm.) long and 1/4 inch (6 mm.) wide
1-inch (2.5-cm.) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 can (14 oz./430 ml.) coconut milk
3 Tbs. Thai green curry paste
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.) chicken or vegetable broth
2 Tbs. Asian fish sauce
1 lb. (500 g.) firm tofu, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm.) cubes
1/2 cup (1/2 oz./15 g.) loosely packed fresh Thai basil leaves
1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus and bok choy and cook just until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain well and rinse under cold running water until cool. Pat dry.
Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the onion and bell pepper and saute, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Stir in the ginger and garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a plate. Take care to remove all the garlic and ginger from the pan or it will burn, creating a bitter curry.
Open the can of coconut milk (do not shake it) and scoop out 3 tablespoons of the thick coconut cream on the top. Return the pan to medium-high heat. Add the coconut cream and curry paste to the frying pan and stir well. Whisk in the remaining coconut cream and milk, the broth, and the fish sauce. Return the vegetable mixture to the pan, stir in the tofu, and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer briskly, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced slightly and the vegetables are tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Stir in the reserved asparagus and bok choy and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Scatter the basil over the curry. Divide the curry evenly among bowls and serve. Pass the lime wedges at the table. Serves 4-6.
Find more seasonal, vegetable-focused dishes in our new cookbook Vegetable of the Day, by Kate McMillan.