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Indonesian tofu and shrimp curry

January 6, 2010

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Serves 4

1 block (16 ounces) firm tofu
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground fresh chili paste (sambal oelek) or 3 red chili peppers, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
2 teaspoons turmeric
1/4 cup cashews, finely chopped
2 cups light coconut milk
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced in julienne strips
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 bay leaves
2 stalks lemongrass, halved and lightly smashed with the flat part of a knife (optional)
1 pound large shrimp, peeled
2 eggs, hard-cooked
1. On a cutting board, halve the tofu horizontally; cut each half into 12 pieces to make 24 total.

2. In a large skillet or wok over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Fry the tofu pieces for about 2 minutes, gently tossing them to brown them on all sides. With a slotted spoon, transfer the tofu to a bowl; set aside. 3. In a small bowl combine the garlic, onion, chili paste or chilies, turmeric, and nuts. Work the mixture with a spoon to form a paste.

4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the spice paste. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until it releases its aroma. Add the coconut milk, red bell pepper, lemon juice, salt, sugar, bay leaves, and lemongrass, if using. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

5. Add the shrimp and cook for 1 minute more.

6. Return the tofu to the pan with the whole eggs. Cook, stirring gently, for 2 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked through.

7. Remove the eggs from the sauce. Halve them and set them on top of the dish. Serve with white or brown rice. Adapted from Elsa Tian

Notes: