For the Sauce:
1 2/3 cups unsweetened coconut milk
12 green cardamom pods, crushed
2 tsp. freshly minced Kaffir lime leaves
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbsp. brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste
1 1/2 tsp. kombu
Salt, to taste
• Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan.
• Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and steep, covered, for 15 minutes.
• Strain and reserve the sauce. Adjust the seasonings.
For the Skewers:
1 1/2 lbs. extra-firm tofu, cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 1/2 lbs. Japanese eggplant, skin on and cut into 3/4-inch dice
3/4 lb. whole shiitake mushrooms
1 lb. red peppers, cut into 3/4-inch dice
15 coconut-lime or bamboo skewers
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
• Thread the tofu, eggplant, mushrooms, and peppers on the skewers.
• Brush with the oils and season with the salt and pepper.
• Grill on each side for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened and browned.
• Serve with the prepared sauce.
Makes 15 skewers