Thai Red Curry with Sweet Potatoes and Tofu

By Ira

This is a very flavorful meal and a great way to eat your vegetables. It is simple since you can buy the red curry paste; Thai Kitchen brand is recommended and is widely available.

Serves 4 to 6 – Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Cover and Bake

  • 14 or 15 ounces extra firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or coconut oil, separated
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 14 ounce can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 4 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/4 inch strips
  • 1/2 pound snow peas, strings removed
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • salt
  • 1 cup white rice or brown rice


  • It is recommended that you use a nonstick skillet so the tofu does not stick to the pan. But if you don’t have a 12 inch non stick skillet like me, then you need to make sure that the skillet gets hot enough before you add the tofu, and that you don’t move the tofu too quickly after you add it to the pan. A wide spatula also helps to lift the tofu from the bottom and gently flipping it.
  • If you don’t like the smell of fish sauce, you can substitute soy sauce.
  • If you use 1 tablespoon of the Thai Kitchen red curry paste, then the meal will be mildly spiced. So, you can increase the amount if you like it spicier.

In order to be efficient, this is the order to prepare the vegetables:

  • If using brown rice, the start cooking this first.
  • Prepare the tofu and the sweet potatoes.
  • Cook the tofu and the sweet potatoes.
  • If using white rice, start cooking it now.
  • Prepare the red bell pepper and the snow peas.
  • Cook the red bell pepper and the snow peas.
  • Squeeze the lime juice and chop the basil leaves


If you are using brown rice, then start by cooking this first according to the package directions.

Slice the tofu into 3/4 inch pieces. Lay them on a clean kitchen towel, then gently press with a kitchen towel to release some of the water. You want the surface to be dry.

Then cut the tofu into 3/4 inch cubes.

In a 12 inch nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the tofu in a single layer and cook about 2 minutes until golden brown. Gently flip the tofu so another side gets golden brown for about 2 minutes. Remove the tofu to a plate and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the empty skillet, and lower the heat to medium low. Add the curry paste and cook stirring constantly for 1 minute.

Whisk in the coconut milk, fish sauce, light brown sugar and water.

Add the sweet potatoes and tofu. Increase the heat to medium so it comes to a simmer. Then turn it to low, cover it, and cook until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

If you are using white rice, then this is the time to start cooking this.

Add the red bell pepper and snow peas, increase the heat to medium-low, cover again, cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, until the peas are crisp-tender.

Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the basil and lime juice. Season with salt to taste and serve.


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