CONTROVERSIAL: Store bought green thai curry paste was used in the making of this recipe. But pls, hear me out. Way back in the day, before I started blogging or gramming or stopped using diet coke as a snack, I had an obsession with making authentic Asian food. I got very serious about googling, acquiring the correct ingredients (Galangal only for me thanks, m8) and spending the time ensuring every aspect was legit. During this period of intense google use, I started reading about whether the pre-made pastes measured up to their home made counterparts.
It would be helpful if I could remember the name of the woman whose advice I now adhere to like gospel, but alas. All I know is that she conceded that certain brands were in fact on par, and when comparing the time taken to acquire kaffir lime zest and its friends, the paste was probably tastes even better. After all, taste factor is amplified when ease factor is high. There's a scientific and eloquently put fact for you all.
Here's the disclaimer: No supermarket brands pls. The mysteriously lady I am referring to recommended Mae Ploy brand, and so I will too. The ingredients list is nothing but actual real foods, and anything with kaffir lime peel in it gets my vote. Plus my mate google tells me that the ingredients in it are legit. Get on board, it's so easy to find in Asian grocers and I paid TWO DOLLARS FIFTY for a big old jar that will probably last a year.
2 medium sized sweet potatoes, halved
250g firm tofu, cubed
1/2 shallot, diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
small piece of lemongrass, chopped finely
2 teaspoons Mae Ploy green thai curry paste
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon tamarind paste (not traditional but it adds an interesting layer)
1 teaspoon coconut sugar
2 kaffir lime leaves, chopped
1 cup coconut milk
NOTE: additions of extra vegetables are more than welcome and quite delicious, as I personally discovered with the addition of bok choi. You will probably have some leftover curry but srsly who would complain.
1. Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius.
2. Pop your sweet potatoes on an oven tray and spray them with a bit of oil.
3. Depending on their size (mine were huge) they will take anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour, or potentially an hour and twenty for my mammoths. Do this ahead of time, as the curry component only takes about 10 minutes.
4. In a large saucepan, dry fry your cubed tofu on a medium to high heat, until the edges are sealed and the tofu is starting to brown.
5. Take the tofu out of the pan, and throw a bit of peanut oil in. On a medium heat, fry your garlic, shallot and lemongrass until it is fragrant and starting to colour. Pop in your kaffir lime leaves.
6. Add your curry paste, and cook for a few seconds until it too becomes fragrant and starts to bubble a bit.
7. Add your coconut milk and stir to incorporate everything nicely. Add your tamarind and fish sauce if you are using them, and stir again.
8. If you are adding some extra veg, do so here. If not, add your tofu and cook for about five minutes.
9. Your sweet potatoes should be cooked and ready to go. Using a sharp knife, cut around the centre of the sweet potato, leaving a small rim. Grab a spoon and scoop out the inside. You can go down as far as the skin, or leave a bit of meat on it.
10. Divide the curry mixture evenly between the four sweet potatoes. I used some extra coconut milk to fill up the sweet potatoes, which was delish and used up the rest of the can of coconut milk. #thriftygal.
11. From here, you can either place them under the grill for around five minutes, or garnish and serve.