By Chef Ella Freyinger

October 2021

4 Servings


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 14 oz extra-firm tofu, cut into 1⁄2” pieces
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 2 cups kabocha squash, cut into 1⁄2” pieces
  • 2 cups japanese eggplant, cut into 1” pieces
  • 6 oz mixed mushrooms
  • 1” ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 1 cup holy basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 4 makrut lime leaves
  • Sea salt
  • You will use 1⁄3 cup of the curry paste and can refrigerate or freeze the rest to experiment with.
  • 8 bird’s-eye chilies, cut and seeded
  • 5 pequin dried-chili peppers, cut and seeded, stems removed
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 3 slices galangal, finely chopped
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chopped ginger root
  • 7 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds, toasted, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp chopped makrut lime skin
  • Kosher salt


  • Place the chilis in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak for 20 minutes. Strain and reserve liquid for another use.
  • For the curry paste, pound chilis, chopped lemongrass, galangal, and a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle until a paste has formed. Add the remaining ingredients and pound them until a smooth paste forms.
  • Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the oil and 1⁄3 cup of the curry paste. Stir the paste constantly for 3-4 minutes or until it becomes fragrant.
  • Add the tofu and then the vegetable stock. Stir to combine. Add the vegetables, bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the ginger, holy basil, and fish sauce.
  • Season to taste with salt.
  • Garnish with bean sprouts and makrut lime leaves, and serve with warm jasmine rice.
  • Enjoy!