After a few technical glitches, this long overdue post has finally come into public view. thanks to Lazaro, of Lazaro Cooks, who informed me that there was a problem with this post when it wasn't showing up the way it should be.
This was the last dish I prepared and the post I was working on back in May before I fell ill.
I took this ordinary tofu and prawn curry dish by giving it a little spin in changing its presentation. This is usually served in a bowl with the tofu sliced into squares and fried to a golden brown color. Instead of slicing the tofu into squares, partly inspired by Japanese sake cups, I tried to cut the tofu blocks into three dimensional containers to hold both the curry sauce and the prawns in.
By preparing and presenting this dish in this manner, this prawn and tofu curry dish becomes an appetizer instead of the traditional main course that it usually is. The prawns were marinated in freshly squeezed coconut milk that was spiced with turmeric, hence the color, coriander seeds, galangal, bird's eye chillies and sweetened with just the slightest hint of palm sugar and scented with lemongrass and makrut ( aka 'kaffir lime leaves') leaves.
Using the upper portion of the lemongrass stalks as skewers, I grilled the prawns instead of stir frying them as is normally done, and used the marinating liquid as a basting sauce. Grilling the prawns on lemongrass skewers adds a smokey and citrus flavor to the prawns.
Since I'm not one to waste and throw away food, instead of discarding the remaining coconut milk marinade, I boiled it for five to seven minutes and used it as a dipping sauce, which was poured into the tofu 'cups' or 'boxes.'
Lemongrass-Skewered Prawns With Curry Sauce In Tofu Boxes
Make the tofu "boxes"
1/2 stalk lemon grass, sliced (with bulb and tough outer leaves removed, save the green upper portion of the stalks)
2 bird's eye chillies
2 shallots (or 1 small cooking onion)
1 thumb-size piece of galangal
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp. ground coriander
3 Tbsp. fish sauce
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1-2 tsp. palm sugar
1 makrut leaf (aka kaffir lime leaf), torn into small pieces (discard stem)
1 cup freshly squeezed coconut milk.
15 pieces of shrimps/prawns
1. Except for the shrimps/prawns, place all ingredients in the food processor. Process until well-blended.
2. Marinate the shrimps/prawns for at least an hour. Overnight, however, is preferrable.
Make the tofu "boxes"
5 stalks of lemongrass, using the thin upper part only.
15 fresh prawns, shelled (tails can be left on)
1.5 blocks of firm tofu
1. Cut each tofu block into 4 cubes. 2. Fry the tofu cubes to a golden brown color.
3. Hollow out each tofu cube. Make sure not to scoop too far down the bottom. The "walls" and base of your tofu "boxes" should be thick enough to hold the curry sauce. 4. Save the tofu fillings that were scraped out.
5. Thread 3 pieces of shrimps onto each lemongrass stick. Do not discard the marinade.
6. Grill the shrimps until it changes color.
7. Boil the curry sauce/marinade for at least 5 minutes.
8. Fill each tofu cube with the curry sauce.
9. Garnish with sliced chillies and tofu fillings that were scooped out to make the "boxes."