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Red Curry with Tofu, Green Beans and Red Bell Pepper

The last time I was in Trader Joe’s, I happened upon this bottle of Thai red curry sauce.  Trader Joe’s always has such fun ingredients and they rotate their items on a regular basis to bring customers new products.  I haven’t made Thai for a long time, mainly due to the fact that I can’t find the Thai curry paste at Ranch 99.  In several dozen shopping trips there over the last year, I’ve found almost everything else, including the Indian curry powder, but not the Thai curry paste.  So I decided to buy this Thai red curry sauce from Trader Joe’s and give it a try.

TJ's Thai Red Curry SauceI made a red curry with tofu, green beans and sliced red bell pepper tonight, and you know what, it turned out pretty good, considering the curry came from a bottle.  What I liked about it was that the dish was super easy to make and is perfect for those busy/”don’t-feel-like-cooking” weeknights.  Just chop up all the ingredients, cook, then add the curry and simmer.  Serve over white rice and voila, a nice warm comforting meal made in less than 30 minutes.  I was also happy I got a chance to use my Thai basil that has been sitting out on the patio all summer.  Its about time it earned its keep.

**By the way, on my last trip to Ranch 99, I finally found the Thai red, yellow and green curry pastes.  They keep it on the bottom shelf next to the dried seaweed and seaweed soup mix.  So random.  You’d think they’d keep it by the other curries or spices or something that makes sense.

Red Curry with Tofu, Green Beans and Red Bell Pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T vegetable oil
1 container firm tofu, cut into cubes
1 red bell pepper, washed and thinly sliced into bite-size pieces
1/2 pound green beans, washed, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
1 zucchini, peeled and sliced into half-moons
Handful of Thai basil leaves, washed and coarsely chopped
1 bottle of Thai red curry sauce

Thai basilHeat a large nonstick pan over medium heat.  Add the green beans and one-half cup of water, ensuring that the green beans are evenly spread out in a single layer (or as much as possible) in the pan.  Cover and cook until the green beans are tender to the bite, but still firm, approximately three to five minutes.  Drain, remove the green beans from the pan and set aside.

Using the same pan, heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat.  Add the minced garlic and cook until lightly toasted.  Add the cubed tofu pieces and fry over medium heat until the sides of the tofu begin to brown.  Add the green beans back into the pan, along with the thinly sliced red bell pepper pieces and zucchini.  Add the entire bottle of Thai red curry sauce and mix everything well, making sure that the curry sauce is well incorporated into the tofu and veggie mixture.  Lower the heat and let everything simmer for approximately five to seven minutes.  Add the Thai basil leaves, mix and let simmer one more minute.  Serve over white rice.

Serves 4.