FUCKING AWESOME TOFU CURRY
(Thai Style Tofu Curry with Sage, Nooch and Dill)
WORDS: Johnny Lozano
I’m dating myself here, but it’s still weird for me to imagine Dill and AVE riding for any company other than Alien Workshop and Gino riding for any company other than Chocolate. I know their transition to Fucking Awesome is years past breaking news, but I still instinctively link them to their former companies (let’s be real, Dill will forever be linked to Radiohead’s “Polyethylene”; that’s what you get for making a masterpiece). All that said, having a team with Dill, AVE, Gino Iannucci, Sage Elsesser, Tyshawn Jones, Sean Pablo, Na-kel Smith, and Kevin Bradley, among others, is, well, fucking awesome.
This tofu curry recipe is similar to FA in that it takes familiar elements and tosses them into a new mix that takes your taste buds by storm, while also boasting a solid macro profile. While ordering Thai food is always a treat, it’s often anybody’s guess as to how many calories are in that order of tofu curry. If made clean, this dish is a fantastic, well-rounded post-skating meal. The rice provides the recovery carbs, the coconut milk provides some satiating fat, and the tofu adds some protein to rebuild. Like FA, it has its bases covered.
One of the best parts of this recipe is playing around with the spices. I highly doubt the team planned this, but their roster really lends itself to some good spice puns. Dill, Sage, and Iannucci (note: NOT the spices) all fit perfectly in FA; Dill, sage, and nooch (note: NOT the skaters) all fit perfectly in tofu curry. Along with the dill, sage, and nooch, you’re getting crushed red pepper for spice (warning: I am liberal with the spiciness), garlic for savory flavor, lemon for a tangy finish, and just a touch of fresh basil to round it out.
If you’re not familiar, you’re probably wondering what nooch is. Aside from sounding similar enough to Iannucci for me to jam some square pegs into round holes, nooch is the colloquial term for nutritional yeast. It typically comes in flakes and has a borderline-cheesy flavor. However, once baked into the tofu, it loses the cheesiness and creates a great, crispy marinade for the tofu that adds a little extra protein and B vitamins to the mix.
Regarding the other ingredients: You don’t need me to wax poetic on tofu. You already know it’s a complete source of protein and is recommended for heart health. You also know that it’s great for this kind of dish because it really soaks up the flavor of everything around it. For the rice, I used jasmine rice without any special prep. The curry and tofu will be so packed with spices that the rice will taste anything but plain. That said, if you want to spice it up or go with a different rice, go for it. I have no doubt that brown rice would taste just as awesome.
Ok, let’s get to it.
- 1 block (14-16 oz) extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (given the baking temperature, refined is better, but virgin will work)
- 1 can light coconut milk
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1-2 tbsp minced garlic
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Crushed red pepper to taste (I opt for spicy and usually do 1/2 tbsp)
- ½ tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 tsp ground sage leaf
- 1 tsp ground dill weed
- First thing’s first: drain and press that tofu, then cut up the tofu into 1” cubes.
- In a small bowl, melt the coconut oil and then stir in the soy sauce and nooch. Stir it up until it’s completely mixed, then throw the tofu and the marinade into a plastic bag, seal it, and then toss it around a bit so that it gets evenly coated. Set that aside for about 10-15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Once it’s heated, throw the tofu onto a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for about 35-40 minutes. Once the nooch marinade starts to look crispy, the tofu is good to go.
- Pour the coconut milk, soy sauce and salt into a small bowl and whisk until evenly mixed. In a separate bowl, mix the lemon zest, garlic, curry, sage, dill, red pepper until evenly mixed.
- In a small sauce pan, heat up the olive oil on medium heat. Once the oil is warm, throw in the spice/lemon zest mix and stir around for 45-60 seconds. Next, toss in the coconut milk/soy sauce and stir around for another few minutes. Once all of that has cooked for a few minutes, tear up the basil leaves and stir those in for another 30 seconds.
- Throw some of that tofu on top of a rice of your choice and then pour some piping hot curry over it and enjoy! It should taste pretty fucking awesome!
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