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A Spicy Coconut Curry for Straddling Seasons

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Every so often, we scour the site for cool recipes from our community that we then test, photograph, and feature. This one comes from community member aargersi, who shares a vegan curry that provides the perfect sendoff to summer’s tomatoes and eggplant.


Today’s dish comes to us from aargersi, a long-time member (in the makes-us-want-to-move-to-Austin contingent of Food52ers) who has an impressive arsenal of featured recipes, many of them meaty, like her Barbacoa Beef Cheek Tacos.

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Coffee-Marinated Flank Fajitas with Pico De Gallo

Coffee-Marinated Flank Fajitas with Pico De Gallo by aargersi

In fact, she originally shared her Crispy Coconut Tofu with Burning Rings of Fire in order to “beef up the tofu selections” (her words!) here on the site, but this dish just so happens to be vegan. It’s hearty all right, and it even works well without the tofu (for any tofu skeptics), as nannydeb accidentally discovered:

Let me start this review by telling you that this dish would be perfectly fine without the tofu (for you tofu haters). How do I know this? I accidentally ate half of the crispy tofu while I was preparing the rest of the dish. With the eggplant, tomato, and onion, it's substantial on its own. Four jalapenos were the perfect amount of heat for me contrasting the sweet (light) coconut milk. When it was finished I tasted it and thought: 'Oh, I'll never go out for curry again,' it was so good. Then I saw the lime and basil sitting there and realized I had forgotten to add them, and after doing so, it was even better.

Photo by Bobbi Lin

The dish is in regular rotation at aargersi’s house, and for yours to be made with the same amount of love infused into it, you might want to follow her lead and sing the similarly named Johnny Cash song as you make it.

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Crispy Coconut Tofu with Burning Rings Of Fire

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Serves 4
  • 1 pound firm tofu
  • 1 cup onion that is quartered and sliced
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 2 cups eggplant in 1/2-inch dice (I would normally use japanese but the garden gave me Rosa Bianca and it was fine)
  • 2 red fresno peppers (see note in Step 2) (red jalapeños work if you can't find fresnos)
  • 2 serrano peppers (see same note)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg amino acids (if you can't find, use soy sauce but a little at a time and taste as you go - which really you should do anyway)
  • 1 can (13.5 ounce) light coconut milk (full fat makes this too creamy for my taste but if that's how you roll by all means - go for it!)
  • 1/2 a juicy lime
  • A few leaves each shiso and Thai basil chopped - I usually just chiffonade
  • Salt
  • Cooked rice to serve with
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