|Mini Natalia shopping at a market in Thailand|
I think that this time I spent in Asia really shaped my tastebuds, as I grew up not really enjoying traditional "american" style food like meatloaf, and hamburgers (mac and cheese being my big exception) and instead loving the Thai food my mother would make, like fried wontons (called golden bags in her little cookbook) and curries.
The curry type that my mother loved to make more than all the others was called Massaman Curry. I don't make it very often, because in order to get Massaman Curry paste I have to go to Chinatown, and search through the little shops, which, while fun, can be time consuming, and in the winter it's so cold I like to stay inside rather than going to Chinatown. However, last weekend Matthew and I decided to go to lunch and get some bubble tea, and we stopped into a grocery store to pick up some bok choy. I saw little cans of Massaman curry paste, and decided "Yes... I'm getting this."
And I made a curry. A delicious, nostalgic curry.
2 Tbsp Massaman Curry Paste
1 Cup coconut milk
1 Cup vegetable stock
1/2 Block tofu, cubed
1 can straw mushrooms, drained and chopped
1 cup chopped peppers
1/2 diced sweet potato
1 medium sized onion, diced
1 tbsp peanut oil (or another mild oil)
Vermicelli noodles or rice to serve
Mix together all of the sauce ingredients until smooth. What I then did was add the cubed tofu, and let it sit in the fridge overnight, but this is optional, I just like the flavor to soak into the tofu.
Heat a wok on med-high, and add the oil and onion. Saute until the onions are softened, and add in the mushrooms, peppers, and sweet potato. Saute for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.
Pour in the sauce and tofu, and check consistency of liquid. If it's thick, add in a bit of water or stock, until it's sort of thick, but also soupy. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to low, and allow to simmer.
Continue simmering until the sauce reduces and thickens.I simmered mine for about half an hour, but it might take longer, or shorter. Keep an eye on it, stirring every few minutes.
Serve over noodles or rice, and enjoy the magic.