A mildly odd, very delicious green curry.
This curry combination covers some major food groups in one lovely bowl: lean proteins, a hyped-up green veg (which is actually quite nice in this recipe) and carbs.
200 g firm tofu
250 g prawns
1 cup basmati rice
2–3 tablespoons green curry paste (I use the ‘Valcom’ brand)
3–4 spring onions
2–3 tablespoons fish sauce
400 g coconut cream
2 tablespoons brown sugar
small bunch kale, washed and roughly chopped
good handful bean shoots
fresh or dried chilli, to taste
Step 1: Prepare all of the curry ingredients first. Cut the tofu into inch by inch squares, or rectangles if you like nice, chunky pieces. Rinse the prawns and pat dry. I like to buy raw prawns with the tails still on, for extra flavour. Plus, I eat the tails, which is a little weird I know. Wash and slice the spring onions on the diagonal. As for the kale, give it a good wash and then thoroughly dry. Slice into 1 cm wide strips or cut length-ways for decent chunks. Ensure the bean shoots are also washed – they can be a bit stinky otherwise.
Step 2: Steam the rice as desired. I add a teaspoon of vegetable stock powder to mine and cook it well, for about 20 minutes, to ensure the rice is nice and fluffy. If there is a little water left in the pot and the rice is cooked, I turn the heat off and leave the lid on, giving the water time to evaporate.
Step 3: While the rice is cooking, prepare the curry. Use a wok or large pan and start on a high heat. Add a tablespoon of veggie oil and then the tofu. Add a splash of fish sauce to the tofu and toss it until golden and crispy, for about five minutes. Remove from the wok. Turn the heat down a touch and add a little extra oil to the wok, followed by the paste. Stir for about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the prawns and the whites of the spring onions, and toss for about a minute. I like the prawns to be just pink, but not cooked, otherwise the flavour of the curry doesn’t absorb quite as well.
Step 4: Stir in the coconut cream until combined, adding a tablespoon each of fish sauce and brown sugar, the juice of half a lime (and a kafir lime leaf or two if you have any on hand), and a sprinkling of dried chilli or half a fresh chilli, finely sliced. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the kale and allow the curry to cook away for about five minutes, or until the kale is soft and the sauce is sweet, spicy and sour. Return the tofu to the wok and stir through. At this point, you should also add any extra sugar, lime juice or fish sauce to balance the flavours, and allow the curry to bubble away for another couple of minutes. If the sauce is too spicy for your palette, pour in a bit of hot water and allow it to reduce for a minute or two. Once done, turn the heat off and add most of the bean shoots, half of the remaining spring onions, and half of the coriander.
Step 5: Serve the curry-topped rice in two or three bowls, then add leftover bean shoots, spring onions and coriander to garnish. And maybe a wedge of lime. Enjoy!