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Embracing quinoa's nutty flavor is the key to unlocking its potential

Green Curry-Coconut Quinoa With Tofu and Chile-Garlic Sauce
Active: 15 minutes | Total: 45 minutes
4 servings

When quinoa is cooked in coconut milk, the result is plump, tender quinoa that pairs perfectly with the heat of chiles. This version uses peppers in two ways: fresh Thai chiles and green chile paste. The quinoa is accompanied by crispy, seared tofu, but chicken, beef or fish will work just as well. Jeow marg len, a Laotian tomato-based condiment, adds another layer of heat. Food writer Kristen Hartke prefers to serve her quinoa with it, but you can substitute your favorite chile-garlic sauce.

Storage Notes: The cooked quinoa and tofu can be refrigerated for up to 4 days, though the tofu will lose its crispy texture. Jeow marg len can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Where to Buy: Thai chiles may be found in Asian markets or in well-stocked supermarkets.

INGREDIENTS
Two 13.5-ounce cans full fat coconut milk
Kosher salt
2 cups (13 1/2 ounces) white quinoa
1 fresh red Thai chile, slit down the middle on one side (may substitute jalapeño or habanero chile)
2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
One (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu
2 tablespoons vegetable or another neutral oil
Freshly ground white pepper (may substitute black pepper)
1/2 cup Jeow Marg Len or your favorite chile-garlic sauce, such as sambal oelek
1/4 cup (1 ounce) roasted salted peanuts, roughly chopped
Lime wedges, for serving
Fresh cilantro, for serving

DIRECTIONS
Make the quinoa: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the coconut milk and a generous pinch of salt and bring to a lively simmer. Stir in the quinoa and chile. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer gently, stirring midway through to prevent scorching on the bottom, until the quinoa is slightly sticky and toothsome and the coconut milk is mostly absorbed, 15 to 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for another 5 minutes. Stir in the curry paste and set aside.

Make the seared tofu: Pat the tofu dry with towels, then slice across into 8 equal pieces. Pat each piece dry.

 

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil until shimmering. Add the tofu and sear until golden and crisp along the edges, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn over and sear on the other side until golden and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the tofu pieces to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately season lightly with salt and pepper.

To serve, pile the quinoa on a large serving platter, then top with the seared tofu and spoon the jeow marg len or chile-garlic sauce over the top. Garnish with the peanuts, lime wedges and cilantro and serve right away.

Nutrition | Calories: 965; Total Fat: 63 g; Saturated Fat: 38 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 659 mg; Carbohydrates: 78 g; Dietary Fiber: 10 g; Sugars: 3 g; Protein: 31 g.
From food writer Kristen Hartke.

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