Thai Yellow Curry Tempeh

This recipe was cobbled together using one from Theresa Bliffert, one from and one from my book Feeding the Whole Family. It versatile in both the selection of protein and vegetables. For example, the dish is equally satisfying made with fried tofu and red peppers (instead of tempeh and carrots, beef and sweet potato strips, chicken and broccoli or shrimp and bok choy. Add any green vegetables during last few minutes of cooking. A stupendous meal served over Golden Spice Rice and next to Nappa Cabbage Slaw with Toasted Almonds. My oh my.

1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk, divided
1 small onion, diced fine
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon fresh nutmeg

1 thumb-size piece of ginger
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2-3 cloves garlic
2-3 tablespoons fish sauce*
4 red Thai chilies, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon sucanat (or sugar)
1 stalk lemon grass, tender inner bulb minced
3-4 kaffir lime leaves, left whole
1 carrot, cut into match sticks
8 ounces of tempeh, cut into strips and fried

Put 3 tablespoons of the thick coconut cream at the top of the can of coconut milk in a cast iron skillet and add onion and salt. Sauté until onion gets soft. Add coriander, cumin, and nutmeg; stir and turn heat to low.

Peel and grate ginger and turmeric (be careful of staining things with turmeric!). Put in blender with garlic, fish sauce, chilies, sucanat, lemon grass and remaining coconut milk and blend for several minutes. Add coconut blend with lime leaves, match-sticked carrot and fried tempeh to sautéed onions and spices. Let mixture simmer 5-8 minutes until reduced to desired consistency.

Preparation time 40 minutes
Makes 4-6 servings

*Besides adding the unique Thai flavor, the fish sauce serves as the salt in the dish. If omitting to make a vegan dish, add salt to get desired flavor. You’ll know you have enough when the salt strengthens the flavor but the dish doesn’t taste salty.