Serves 4-6, with steamed rice.
1 lb extra-firm tofu
1 tsp fresh lime juice
4 tsp brown sugar
1/4 cup fish sauce (I use Three Crabs brand) or 3 Tbsp mushroom soy sauce for vegan
2 tsp canola oil
1 small onion, cut into chunks
1 small red bell pepper, cut into chunks
A scant 1/2 cup Thai red curry paste (I use Mae Ploy brand)
1 13-oz can coconut milk
4 oz baby spinach leaves
4 oz sliced white mushrooms
1-2 Tbsp chopped roasted unsalted peanuts, for garnish
Drain the tofu, then cut into 1/2-inch dice. Set aside.
In a small glass measuring cup or bowl, stir together the lime juice, brown sugar and fish sauce, until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and red pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the curry paste, and stir for 30 seconds to release some of the fragrance. Pour in the coconut milk. Bring the sauce to a simmer, stirring to incorporate the curry paste, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then, add the fish sauce mixture. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens a bit.
Stir in the spinach, mushrooms and tofu. Stir gently, and cook for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked through.
Transfer the curry to a serving bowl, and top with chopped peanuts. Serve with steamed long-grain white rice or basmati rice.