8 ounces Chinese long beans, green or purple, ends trimmed (available in Asian markets); may substitute thin green beans
½ cup light coconut milk
1 cup 100 percent pure coconut water, such as Vita Coco or Zico brand
1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime (1 tablespoon or so)
1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
2 cups (about 10 ounces) Baked Marinated Tofu (see related recipe)
1 tablespoon chopped roasted, salted peanuts, for garnish
Leaves from a few sprigs cilantro, finely chopped if desired, for garnish
Cut the long beans in half crosswise, then in half again lengthwise, creating super-long, thin pieces.
Combine the coconut milk, coconut water, soy sauce, lime juice, curry paste and brown sugar in a large skillet set over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil.
Add the long beans, then reduce the heat until the liquid is barely bubbling; cover and cook until the beans are just tender, about 20 minutes. Uncover, then add the tofu and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring and tossing to coat the tofu and the beans in the liquid, until the liquid reduces to a thick syrup, about 2 minutes.
Transfer to a plate. Scrape any remaining glaze from the skillet over the beans and tofu. Garnish with the peanuts and cilantro, and eat.
Cook's notes: When you cut long beans lengthwise, they seem like noodles in this low-carb dish. Pre-baked tofu is chewier and holds its shape better, but if desired, you can use fresh tofu instead: Fry it in a nonstick pan with a little peanut oil for several minutes per side, until golden brown, and set it aside while you prepare the beans; add the tofu to the dish to glaze at the end.
@Recipe nutrition:Nutrition values per serving: 400 calories, 22 g fat (5 g saturated), 31 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 21 g protein, 0 cholesterol, 820 mg sodium.
Joe Yonan, loosely based on a recipe in "A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen," by Jack Bishop (2004 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)