Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Jamie Oliver's Curry with Tofu


While enjoying some R&R in our hotel room in Seattle during my spring break, The Gastronomer and I stumbled across a preview episode of the new show "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution". Although I usually let The Gastronomer take care of the non-sports TV watching in our relationship, this show had me hooked right away. The basic premise is that British food network star Oliver is visiting public schools in the unhealthiest communities in the U.S. and trying to change the way they feed their kids. Apparently he has already led a successful campaign to completely overhaul the school lunch system in Britain--an impressive accomplishment for a TV chef. However, judging by the first episode, it's not going to be easy repeating the feat in the U.S. You could create a raucous drinking game out of watching the show with your friends and taking a shot every time he says "I think I'm going to cry."

Whether or not he can convince the kids in West Virginia that grilled chicken and fresh tomatoes are more delicious than pizza remains to be seen, but it's good to see a TV show that tries to change the world for the better but still manages to be entertaining. If things in fact continued to go poorly after his first week at the school, I feel like they'll rig the show somehow to make it seem like his efforts paid off. Nevertheless, I'm a little nervous for him.

In any case, when The Gastronomer recently discovered the recipe below courtesy of La Fuji Mama, she knew it was perfect for me. I'm always on the lookout for new tofu recipes, I love curry, and the timing was right. I didn't love it quite as much as The Gastronomer's Vietnamese chicken curry, but it's definitely a winner as a delicious easy weeknight dinner. Just don't be deceived into thinking it's super healthy--coconut milk is some fatty stuff.

Recipe adapted from Jamie's Food Revolution via
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 8 ounces snow peas, ends clipped
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 bunch scallions (about 7), finely chopped (you can use both the green and white parts)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cans (14-ounces each) coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 15 ounces extra firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
Press the tofu between paper towels to remove some of its moisture.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes. Lower the heat slightly and add the scallions and snow peas, then stir in the curry powder. Cook for another minute, then add the butter and stir until it melts. Add the coconut milk. Bring everything to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and stir in the cilantro and lemon juice. More salt can be added to taste at this point, but it will be particularly effective if sprinkled over each serving immediately before eating [a trick borrowed from The Gastronomer's grandmother].

In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the sesame oil. When it is hot, add the tofu. Cook, stirring and turning the tofu occasionally, until it is browned on all sides. Turn off the heat and serve the tofu with the curry sauce over rice.

Yield: 4-6 servings
Estimated Start-to-Finish Time: Not given
Actual Start-to-Finish Time: 1 hour
Substitutions: At the Gastronomer's suggestion, I added some extra vegetables to La Fuji Mama's recipe. Incidentally, I don't imagine it'd be too noticeable if you left out the tablespoon of butter, for all you vegan chefs out there.


  1. I really hope he can convince them. It's kind of horrible that public schools are just throwing greasy food at kids willy nilly, cause you only matters that we passed the state exams. Grr...

  2. Grandma's chicken curry is delish, but this one is so much faster to prepare! The cilantro really makes it unique. Thanks for making proper dinner!

  3. Thanks Gastronomer!

    Dietplaid -- have you signed his petition?

  4. Oh, I just signed it and posted it to facebook. Very cool!


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