Cookus Interruptus - How to Cook Healthy Food Videos
how to cook fresh local organic foods
despite life's interruptions

Please signup for weekly updates
and regular giveaways!

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 substituting tempeh and carrots with  fried tofu and red peppers, 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 freshly grated nutmeg (or pre-ground)

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.



Si Sam
This looks delicious! Where can I find kaffir lime leaves? I've never seen them at whole foods or the supermarket. Thanks! :)
May 7, 2009, 7:01 pm

Cindi Gellert
This sounds yummy ... My challenge is a severe shell fish allergy so that I'm always leery of any fish sauce. Any particular brand that you know of that is FREE of SHELL FISH? Thanks!
May 7, 2009, 7:35 pm

Cynthia Lair
Si, Lime leaves can be found at most Asian grocery stores that carry fresh produce. In Seattle, Uwajimaya reliably has them. Cindi, Fish sauce is typically made from anchovies, sometimes squid. I don't know of any that are made from shellfish. Some international supermarkets carry a vegetarian fish sauce made from soybeans, salt, sugar, water, chili, and citric acid. In a pinch you could simply substitute soy sauce with a dab of sweetener in it for the fish sauce.
May 7, 2009, 10:45 pm

Hi Cynyhia, do you remove the seeds from the chile? also was that grated fresh nutmeg as opposed to freshly grated whole nutmeg? if so, where do you find it? thanks
May 10, 2009, 8:54 pm

Cynthia Lair
Karre, If you remove the seeds, there will be less heat in the dish; include them for more. You can buy whole nuts of nutmeg at most stores that carry a wide variety of spices and grate it fresh or use the ground. The freshly grated, however, has a much more potent flavor.
May 11, 2009, 2:28 pm

Steven Fogell
Great idea! You rock!
May 12, 2009, 1:28 pm

Gail C
Whoa, that was exciting! ...Cynthia, I love your natural enthusiasm and style! This dish has lots of flavors that my family already loves and I can't wait to try it. I will probably use another protein, though. Thank you so much.
July 17, 2009, 6:54 pm

Si Sam
Hi Cynthia, How did you fry up the tempeh? Did you marinate it first? Thanks! :) Si
August 15, 2009, 11:40 am

Peerless Peerless
This ifonrmation is off the hizool!
August 6, 2011, 1:18 am

Carrie Goller
Can't wait to try this, although I might substitute the tempeh.
December 2, 2011, 1:40 pm

irwhpcswbgk irwhpcswbgk
aclvhZ , [url=]myxlwisnobes[/url], [link=]foyltpyekibj[/link],
July 19, 2012, 7:53 am

Alli Westie
Cynthia, You're so brilliant! I love watching these videos. I also have your book and am trying to eat healthier! Thanks for your inspiration!
July 27, 2012, 10:30 am

Tessa Thralls
I made an excellent version with tofu, cauliflower, and carrots. The curry sauce is so good! I felt like I was at a Thai restaurant. Thanks for the great recipes, as always, Cynthia!
April 27, 2014, 7:46 pm

Post a comment

First Name.

Last Name

Email Address


Please type in the letters that appear: