Prep 40 mins
Cook 30 mins
Indian merchants introduced curries to Vietnam more than ten centuries ago. The Vietnamese made curry their own by adding their own flavors such as lemongrass and ginger. For this recipe, use the Vietnamese curry powder called Golden Bells. It's milder (less cumin and fennel seeds) and won't overwhelm the lemongrass and ginger. In case it's not available, I've included a recipe for a curry powder to make at home. For a variations of this recipe, try yucca, taro, cauliflower, long beans and chayote. The recipe is adapted from the book, Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table, by Mai Pham. The Vietnamese curry recipe is from, A World of Curries, by Dave DeWitt.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 teaspoons chili paste, ground
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 cup water
- 2 pieces dried bean curd skin, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes, drained and cut into one-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
- 1 lemongrass, stalk cut into 3-inch lengths, and lightly bruised with the flat side of a knife
- 1 inch gingerroot, peeled and cut into 3 slices
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
- 1⁄2 yellow onion, cut into wedges
- 1 sweet potato, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
- 1⁄2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
- 5 sprigs fresh cilantro, cut into 2-inch lengths
Vietnamese Curry Powder (use 2 Tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
- 1 teaspoon coriander, ground
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cardamom, ground
- 1⁄4 teaspoon clove, ground
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- .Heat the oil in a wok or a large pot over moderate heat, add the shallots, garlic and curry powder and stir until fragrant, about 20 seconds.
- Add the chili paste, soy sauce, salt, sugar, coconut milk, turmeric, water, bean curd skins, lemongrass and ginger, then combine.
- Add the carrots and onion, then cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the sweet potato, cauliflower and tomato and cook until the veggies are tender, another 15 minutes or so.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with cilantro.
- Serve with steamed jasmine rice.