Green curry-coconut spicy fusion tacos

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This has been the week of green curry. I brought home a can from Tian Phat on Monday and have been trying to use it in a variety of ways since. My favourite, so far, has been these green Thai curry-marinated tempeh tacos. You could easily make this recipe with the meat or seafood of your choice, but I think it’s delicious with tempeh or tofu.

Here are the elements that came together to make this delicious (almost vegan) creation…

Grilled masa corn tortillas + green Thai curry and coconut-marinated tempeh + spicy “Asian” slaw + Sriracha-citrus yogurt + daikon sprouts + crumbled peanuts + fresh cilantro = delicious fusion tacos.

This is my second run at fusion tacos, because as most of you know I am obsessed with the bulgogi style tofu tacos at Indochine Banh Mi on South Park Street. I tried recreating those once and something just wasn’t right. These are different, with the Thai curry influence, and I was extremely happy with how they turned out. I’m putting them in regular dinner rotation, maybe switching up the protein now and again. The marinating did take a little bit of time, but it was completely worth it.

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I’m not going to do a full recipe, just give you the basics. The tempeh marinade consisted of rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, lemon-infused olive oil, soy sauce, lime juice, freshly squeezed blood orange juice, fish sauce, green curry paste, more fresh ginger and garlic, fresh basil and of course coconut milk. I let that sit, sealed, for a couple hours. The cooking method to really infuse the flavour into the tempeh is to then put it on the stove, cover it in the marinade, bring to a boil them simmer for about 20 minutes. After that, jack the heat and let it completely reduce to nothing.

The Asian slaw I made had sliced napa cabbage, grated carrot, green onion, red pepper and cilantro. The dressing was hot (and tasted SO good the next day) with chiles, fresh ginger, rice vinegar, lime juice and lemon-infused olive oil. The Sriracha-citrus yogurt is simple, I used a mixture of Fox Hill plain yogurt, store-bought greek yogurt, Sriracha, lime juice and my secret ingredient, roasted garlic oil.

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Add your favourite Asian-inspired toppings and you’re good to go. I found amazing daikon radish sprouts at Selwood Green last weekend and they were perfect; those along with crumbled peanuts and fresh cilantro, and these were some spicy, yet beautifully balanced tacos.

Thanks to the Seaport Farmers’ Market I was able to use mostly all local vegetables, and grab fantastic handmade corn tortillas from El Gallo.

(To make these vegan, just leave out the fish sauce and use your favourite dairy-free yogurt.)

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Odds and Ends: Spicy Chile-Lime Red Cabbage & Butternut Squash Salad

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Today I lucked out. Poking around the fridge, I noticed we only had odds and ends, none of which seemed to make any sense to me, flavour wise, to put together. After about five minutes of Googling, I found inspiration from a few different sources, and was feeling confident.

What I came up with is possibly the longest salad description out there, but here goes: spicy chile-lime red cabbage and roasted butternut squash salad with garlic scapes, cilantro, basil, and double goat’s cheese. Served warm. So good.

What I did was roast the butternut squash in small chunks (tossed in olive oil), seasoned with salt, pepper and a little chili powder. That took about 20 minutes. Using the leftover oil from roasting the squash, I then sauteed the sliced red cabbage quickly with hot red chiles and garlic scapes.

Next, I threw them together in a bowl and let them cool off a bit. Then I tossed the ingredients in freshly squeezed lime juice, salt and pepper, fresh cilantro, basil and chives – plus chunks of firm Ran-Cher Acres goat gouda. To top it off, I crumbled Ran-Cher Acres regular goat cheese. SO delicious. Glad I went out of my way to make those odds and ends work.

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Spicy chiles, creamy squash and goat’s cheese plus crunchy cabbage made this salad balanced and tasty!