This recipe for vegan Thai curry is a quick and easy, healthy and delicious lunch or dinner idea. Fresh tomatoes, sweet pineapple and protein-packed tofu are served up in a creamy coconut milk sauce flavoured with red curry paste. Add as much or as little chili as you want. This vegan Thai curry will be on the table in less than thirty minutes!
Coconut-based dishes are a favorite in our household. So much so that I always have at least a litre of coconut milk on hand in the pantry for last-minute dinner ideas.
Vegan Thai curries are great to quench my husband’s coconut craving and satisfy my near daily need for something spicy. Also, they come together super quickly and can be ready in under 30 minutes.
Here’s a recipe that I vegetarianized from importfood.com, which has a great recipe index of Thai dishes.
However, the note alongside their vegetarian category reads “not completely vegetarian, some of these use fish sauce”. This is always the issue for vegetarians cooking Thai dishes – the dreaded fish sauce, so ubiquitous in Thai cuisine.
You really can’t leave it out, it’s essential for bringing the salty element to the four flavours of Thai cuisine: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter.
The most commonly recommended substitute for fish sauce is soy sauce, and you can use that if it’s all you’ve got on hand, but as it’s slightly saltier than fish sauce, it might be a good idea to mix it with a little vegetable stock and a squeeze of lime for a sour note.
I use this recipe for vegetarian fish sauce and it’s the best I’ve found so far for all my Thai recipes.
This recipe for vegan Thai curry uses a red curry paste, which you can buy prepared in Asian supermarkets, but I recommend investing in a good quality stone mortar and pestle to grind your own curry pastes.
This way you can adjust the heat to your liking (and I usually need to dial it back for my husband’s sake). The original recipe calls for shrimp, which is easily substituted with tofu, otherwise the recipe is essentially the same as I found it.
Wanna see how easy it is to make Vegan Thai Curry? Watch the video and share it on Facebook:
5 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
20 minTotal Time
- 2 tablespoons oil, divided
- 1 block of extra-firm tofu, cubed
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste* (adjust to taste)
- 1 can (400 ml) of coconut milk
- 2 tomatoes, peeled, de-seeded and chopped
- 1 cup pineapple, cubed
- 2 tablespoons vegetarian fish sauce** or soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar, palm if you have it or brown
- The juice of half a lime
- 2-3 kaffir lime leaves, shredded or torn
- 1 tablespoon chili peppers, chopped (adjust to taste)
- 15 basil leaves, Thai if you can find it or regular, torn into small pieces
- Heat a wok or large pan over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of oil and the tofu. Fry until golden on all sides then remove to a plate. Add the remaining oil and the garlic to the pan and fry for about 30 seconds, then add the curry paste. Cook the curry paste, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the coconut milk, tomatoes, pineapple, vegetarian fish sauce or soy sauce, sugar, lime juice, and tofu and allow to cook until heated through. Taste and adjust the flavours; add more vegetarian fish sauce if it needs more salty, lime juice if it needs more sour. Add the lime leaves, basil, and chili peppers.
- Serve over jasmine rice.
Notes: *Store bought or see this recipe for red curry paste
**See this recipe for vegetarian fish sauce