If you made my last recipe, I know you have a jar of Thai green curry paste somewhere in your fridge, although you could have done the wise thing and stored it in your freezer. But, if you’re like me, you always believe you’re going to be using it right away, so you keep it in the fridge…right up until the day you notice that it’s not green curry paste anymore but green furry paste. Then it’s compost, expensive spicy compost.
Don’t let that happen to your curry paste! Whether you bought it or made it from my recipe, exotic lemongrass and ginger gave their lives for that precious substance. Use it while it’s fresh to make these delicious morsels.
Modeled on Thai fish cakes, these appetizer-sized croquettes use the sea vegetable arame to give them a hint of oceany flavor. If you don’t have or like green curry paste, you can use red curry. Or if Thai food is not your thing, make an Americanized version using Old Bay Seasoning (start with 2 teaspoons and add more to taste) instead of the curry paste and serve them with tartar sauce or horseradish-infused ketchup.
Green Curry Tofu Cakes
Arame lends a light seafood flavor to the cakes. If you can’t find it, other types of seaweed can be used, but be careful because some, such as wakame, can have a much stronger fishy flavor.
- 1/2 cup hot vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon arame, crushed between fingers slightly
- 1 teaspoon chia seed or ground flaxseeds
- 14 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained well
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons lite soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
- 2-3 tablespoons green curry paste (use even less if you’re using store-bought paste or don’t like things too spicy)
- 1/2 cup quinoa flakes or quick oats (see notes below)
- 1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup minced parsley or cilantro
- 1 cup breading, optional (see below)
- Heat vegetable broth and add arame and chia seed. (If using ground flax, add it to the tofu later.) Let stand for at least 1/2 hour to allow seaweed and chia to soften.
- Place the tofu, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, curry paste, and quinoa flakes into food processor and process until well-blended. Add the broth mixture and pulse quickly a few times to blend. Scrape into a bowl and add the red pepper and parsley or cilantro. Cover and refrigerate at least 1/2 hour. Mixture can be prepared a day in advance if necessary.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Put your breading on a plate, if you’re using one. Using a measuring spoon, scoop 2 tablespoons onto the breading, sprinkle a little breading on top, and gently shape into a 2-inch wide cake with your fingers. Use a spatula to lift the cake from the plate onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Repeat for remaining tofu mixture. (If you’re not using a breading, place 2 tablespoons of tofu directly onto your prepared baking sheet and use fingers or a spoon to gently shape it into a cake. Repeat for remaining tofu.)
- Bake at 400F for 20-30 minutes. Unbreaded cakes take less time than cakes with breading.
- Remove from oven and serve hot with dipping sauce, below, tartar sauce, or ketchup spiked with horseradish.
Preparation time: 1 hour (includes chilling time)
Cooking time: 25 minute(s)
Number of servings: 4
If you don’t have quinoa flakes, you can substitute quick oats or oat flour.
For a gluten-free breading, try using additional quinoa flakes. If gluten is not a concern, panko, bread crumbs, or crushed crackers make very crunchy cakes. You can also make these breading-free, but be sure your baking sheet is truly non-stick.
Nutrition (per 4 cakes, without breading): 173 calories, 57 calories from fat, 6.4g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 368.3mg sodium, 73.7mg potassium, 15.5g carbohydrates, 3.1g fiber, 1.6g sugar, 14g protein, 4.7 points.
I served them with a sweet and vinegary sauce made with blood orange vinegar, but regular white wine vinegar makes a less flavorful but good substitute.
Blood Orange Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/8 cup blood orange vinegar
1/2 small carrot, shredded
1/4 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and shredded
Heat the sugar, water, and vinegar in a small saucepan until sugar is melted and mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the carrot and cucumber. Let cool before serving.
Sauce makes about 4 servings. Nutrition (per serving): 55 calories, <1 calories from fat, <1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 7.5mg sodium, 59mg potassium, 13.9g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 13.2g sugar, <<1 protein, 1.6 points.