Returning to Stockholm to be greeted by this dish – as cooked by my husband – is basically receiving the ultimate “Welcome home!” exclamation in food form. After a whirlwind magical content creation + exploration trip to Miami, CocoCay and Nassau (more on that soon. Thank you Joyce and Royal Caribbean!), followed by considerably less magical delayed flights and long layovers in Atlanta and Paris, I returned home to be greeted by hugs from my boys… and the comforting aroma of my husband’s favourite curry, known as Panang (or Phanaeng). Having shared this many times on my Instagram stories, I thought I should finally share an actual recipe here.
If you love a dish that balances sweet, salty, spicy and sour (I relate!), this one has your tastebuds covered.
Creamy and satisfying, it’s a comfort dish that remains fresh and light enough to eat in warmer weather. I don’t claim to be an expert on Thai cuisine, though I have certainly eaten my more-than-fair share. And this may not be the most authentic representation of the dish (a dish which usually contains shrimp paste and fish sauce), but it is a worthy alternative for busy people with a penchant for plant-based deliciousness!
Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with my husband’s favourite curry*!
(*He literally makes some variation of Panang curry weekly!)
Do you have a weekly go-to recipe I need to know about? Let me know!
We need to start expanding our easy meal repertoire again. Life is BUSY right now! 😛
CRISPY TOFU PANANG (PHANAENG) RED CURRY
WITH RICE NOODLES
(easy, vegan & gluten-free)
Prep time: 30 minutes
Approximately 700g (3 packs) unseasoned fried tofu à la minute, cubed
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 capsicums/bell peppers, deseeded and sliced into thin strips
Around 2 cups (480 ml) washed broccoli florets
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp coconut oil, divided
1 small can (4 oz/115 g) vegan Panang red curry paste*
(*many traditional versions contain shrimp paste so check the packaging, if that is an issue for you)
6 kaffir lime leaves (optional, but recommended to enhance flavour)
3 tbsp peanut butter
1 1/2 cans (600 ml) organic unsweetened coconut milk
Around 2 tbsp gluten-free tamari, divided (use or more or less to taste)
Rice noodles* (or other) to serve.
*Prepare as much as required, but 1.6 oz/45 g of dry rice noodles per person is around what we use per individual serve, and we simply soak them in boiled water for around 3 minutes, before draining and adding to dishes. So easy!
Around 2 cups (480 ml) of fresh baby spinach or sautéed kale to serve (optional)
Thai basil/cilantro/parsley, dried chilli flakes, chopped salted peanuts and fresh lime wedges to serve
- Place a wok (or skillet) over medium-high heat. Add one tablespoon of the the coconut oil and the tofu pieces and fry until starting to turn crispy. Set aside.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of the the coconut oil and onion. Sauté for 1 minute, before adding the peppers and garlic. Continue to sauté for a further minute before adding the red curry paste and peanut butter.
- Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring periodically. Then add the coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves and 1 tablespoon of tamari. Add the fried tofu to the curry. Stir the ingredients to combine.
- Bring to a boil before lowering the heat and allowing the curry to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and add more tamari, a teaspoon at a time, if necessary. Remove from heat.
- Remove the kaffir lime leaves.
- Place handfuls of washed baby spinach into serving bowls. Add cooked rice noodles (or rice or quinoa if you prefer) to each bowl and spoon over a generous amount of the curry.
- Top with fresh herb/s of choice, chopped salted peanuts, and dried chilli flakes for an extra kick, if you like. And definitely squeeze over some fresh lime juice.
Please note that leftover curry will keep well if refrigerated in an airtight container (for around 5 days). It’s a great prep-ahead meal idea too!
*I’ll be sharing a from-scratch curry paste recipe soon, so stay tuned!