Thai Buddha Bowl
Care of Karel* (Sales and Marketing Coordinator)
1 ½ (260g)cups of jasmine or basmati rice
1 cup (240ml) coconut milk
½ teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons oil, divided
2 small shallots, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
½ (125g) cup peanut butter
½ - ¾ (120 - 175ml) cup warm water
3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 block (400g) of extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into cubes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 medium to large carrot, finely sliced
¼ of a red cabbage, shredded
20 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
20 snow peas, sliced in half
1 small mango, diced
1 small bunch of cilantro, chopped
Vegetable oil for frying
4 tablespoons crushed peanuts
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Best eaten fresh, otherwise store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and eat within 1 to 2 days.
Boil. Cook the rice via preferred method. Once cooked and while still warm, stir through the coconut milk and salt.
Get saucy. While the rice is cooking, use this time to prep the sauce. Over a medium-high heat, to a medium pan add the oil, shallots, garlic and ginger and fry, stirring, until soft and fragrant. Add the curry paste and an additional tablespoon of oil if necessary and fry for a couple of minutes until the curry paste darkens in colour and is very fragrant. Put the curry paste in a bowl and add the peanut butter, ½ a cup of the water, soy sauce, lime juice and brown sugar and mix until smooth. Add as much of the remaining ¼ cup of water as you want to reach your desired consistency.
Coat and fry. Put the cubed tofu in a plastic or zip lock bag with the cornstarch and shake it to coat. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan and fry the tofu.
Heat. In a medium skillet, over medium heat, add enough oil to reach a depth of ½ inch. Heat the oil until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350°F, or when the end of a wooden spoon sizzles when dipped into the oil.
Top. Divide the rice between four bowls and top with the vegetables, cilantro and peanuts. Serve with the sauce on the side.
Notes from Karel: I like my tofu extra crispy, so I cook it in the oven at about 400°F for 15 - 20 minutes.
If peanuts aren't your thing, you can substitute the peanut style sauce for a soy, lime and chili type sauce (if you like spice!).
Check out some of the stores in the Sea to Sky, Vancouver area and more here.
Use vegetables and herbs bought fresh and plastic-free from markets, CSA programs and even some supermarkets: Fresh Street Market (and many other supermarkets) will halve a cabbage for you upon request and often have halves available on the shelf already, without being wrapped in plastic.
If you're REALLY keen, try making your own homemade tofu from dried soybeans.
To coat the tofu in the cornstarch, use a lidded tupperware container or reusable silicone zip lock bag to gently shake your tofu and cornstarch in instead of a disposable plastic zip lock bag.
If you're avoiding soy, Naked Natural Foods in Vancouver makes a range of soy free (!) sauces including this Naked and Saucy Soy Substitute spotted in Fresh Street Market, Whistler.
Check out what foods are in season in BC when HERE.
You can also look at We Heart Local BC for updates each month as to what's in season.
Another great way to ensure you're using seasonal produce is to subscribe to a CSA Box with a local farm and structure your meals around the seasonal produce you've received that week!
*Adapted from The Stingy Vegan - Thai Buddha Bowl with Peanut Red Curry Sauce