Ditch the takeout this weekend and make this restaurant-worthy Vegan Thai Red Curry at home. With marinated tofu and veggies this curry is perfect comfort food. It's creamy, spicy and packed with layers of gorgeous flavours. Perfect for a cosy delicious dinner.
Thai food is my favourite comfort food, I especially love Thai curries. There's something very comforting about that creamy coconut sauce and all those fresh flavours. With crispy tofu and veggies, this curry is all of that and more!
It has just the right amount of heat and is packed with flavour. Its also vegan, gluten-free and delicious! And that crispy tofu is so tasty! You can have it with or without the tofu, it's up to you, I highly recommend it though. This is a very versatile curry so you can add more veggies or switch them up for your favourites.
What You Need to Make This Curry
- Thai Red Curry Paste - this is a quick dinner so I'm using a store-bought paste. You will find this in the world food section of your supermarket. Look for a good authentic paste that is vegan.
- Coconut Milk - If you want that creamy coconut sauce you will want to use full-fat coconut milk. Try and get the best you can buy, your local Asian food market will have the best coconut milk.
- Tofu - You will need the extra firm tofu for this dish. Extra-firm will hold up against the frying and it won't fall apart in the sauce.
- Veggies - My choice of veggies for this curry is red pepper, baby corn, and sugar snap peas. You can switch that up though, courgette and aubergine work really well too.
- Boosting the paste - Onion, garlic, ginger, brown sugar lime and coriander will boost the power of your paste! Here's a little trick for you, a store-bought paste is great for a short cut but I feel that they still need a bit of a boost. So add some extra flavour with these extra ingredients.
How to Make Vegan Thai Red Curry
- Press the tofu, this will get rid of some of the liquid from the tofu. Line a baking tray with a double layer of kitchen paper. Place the cubed tofu on the paper, cover the tofu with another double layer of kitchen paper then place a baking tray over the tofu. Place 4 can of beans on the baking tray and leave for at least 15 minutes. Then marinate the tofu. Whisk together soy sauce or tamari, lime juice and toasted sesame oil in a bowl add the tofu and leave for 20 minutes. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the marinade.
- Then fry the tofu in a little oil. I do this in batches, so as not to overcrowd the pan and end up with soggy tofu! Nobody likes soggy tofu! It doesn't take long and is so worth it!
- Cook the onion until translucent then add the paste, garlic, and ginger. Cook until the paste is dry.
- Add the pepper and cook for a minute then pour in the coconut milk. Stir the sauce gently. Fill the empty coconut milk can up to ¼ way with water. Then slowly stir that into the sauce. Add the lime juice, brown sugar, and the reserved marinade.
- Simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes or until it has reduced or to the thickness you prefer. Then add the baby corn and sugar snap peas.
- Add the crispy tofu to the sauce, stir well and make sure it is warmed through. Finally, add the coriander and serve.
Tips for Making The Best Vegan Thai Red Curry
- Find a good paste - not all curry pastes are created equally, trust me I've tried enough! And not all Thai red curry pastes are vegan. So when buying your paste check the ingredients, also the fewer ingredients seems to mean a better paste as far as I have found. This is the best Thai red curry paste I have found, it's from Thai Taste*, you can find it in supermarkets or on amazon. *This is not an advert, just my opinion.
- Make your own paste - of course making your own paste is also a good idea for when you have more time. This recipe here is great and has vegan options included. You will need to find an alternative for the Golden Mountain seasoning sauce though if you want to make it gluten-free.
- Coconut Milk - if you want this curry to be lovely and creamy then I would definitely stick with the full-fat milk. You can use a lighter version if you really need to, just be aware the sauce may turn out a little thinner.
- Don't boil the sauce - keep an eye on that sauce, if it boils up it can split. Keep it at a simmer and all will be good.
- Tofu - you will need extra firm tofu, don't use silken tofu for this dish it will be too soft and you will be very disappointed!
What to Serve with Thai Red Curry
We usually serve this with Jasmine rice and plenty of lime wedges on the side. I like to add fresh coriander/cilantro leaves and sliced scallions too. You could also serve it with brown rice or quinoa.
Can I Make this Ahead?
This dish comes together quite quickly, but you can make it even quicker if you can make the tofu ahead of time. I would make the tofu a day ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to use it. Add it into the curry and make sure it is piping hot. There may be a slight change of consistency in the tofu because of cooking it longer in the sauce.
Need More Tasty Vegan Dinner Recipes?
- Vegan Massaman Curry
- Sesame Tofu with Stir-Fried Veggies
- Mushroom Curry
- Red Lentil Dal
- Satay Sweet Potato Curry
Vegan Thai Red Curry
- 1 ½ tablespoon sunflower oil
- 1 medium brown onion sliced very thinly
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 x 5cm piece of ginger (about a thumb-size piece) finely grated
- 60 g vegan Thai red curry paste (3 tbsp)
- 1 x 400g can of coconut milk (1 x 13.5 fl oz can) full fat
- 100 g baby corn (approx 1 cup) cut in half lengthways
- 1 medium red bell pepper seeds and pith removed then sliced thinly
- 140 g sugar snap peas (approx 2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 lime, juice of
- A small handful of coriander/cilantro + more for serving
For the crispy tofu
- 280 g extra firm tofu (1 x 9oz pack) cut into cubes
- 2 tbsp tamari / dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- ½ tablespoon sunflower oil
- Jasmine or sticky rice
- Lime wedges
- Coriander/cilantro leaves
- 2 spring onions finely sliced
To Make the Crispy Tofu
- First, drain the tofu - place a double layer of kitchen paper on a baking tray. Add the cubed tofu, cover with another double layer of kitchen paper then place another baking tray over the covered tofu. Place 4 cans of beans on top of the tray and leave for 15-20 minutes.In a large bowl whisk together 2 tablespoons of tamari or soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of lime juice.Place the drained tofu into the tamari/soy marinade and leave for 20 minutes.Heat ½ a tablespoon of oil in a pan then start frying the tofu until crispy. Once all the tofu is cooked remove from the pan and keep warm.Reserve 2 tablespoons of the marinade.
To Make the Vegan Thai Red Curry
- Heat 1 and a ½ tablespoons of oil in a large pan, add the onion and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. Then add the garlic and ginger and cook for a minute. Now add the Thai red curry paste and stir everything together.Add the red pepper, cook for a minute then pour in the coconut milk. Add ½ a cup of water to the empty can, give it a little swish then slowly add that to the pan. Now stir in the lime juice, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and the reserved marinade.Stir well and simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce has reduced to the consistency you like.
- Next, add the baby corn and sugar snap peas, cook for a further 3 minutes then add the crispy tofu, simmer until the tofu is hot.Finally, add the coriander add serve immediately.Serve with sticky or jasmine rice, lime wedges and a few coriander/cilantro leaves and sliced spring onions/scallions.
- Tofu - you will need extra firm tofu for this recipe, You can find it in most large supermarkets or health food stores.
- Thai Red Curry Paste - I use a store-bought curry paste to make this dish, you can make your own if you wish. You will find Thai red curry paste in most large supermarkets or at your local Asian food market.
- Coconut Milk - Full-fat coconut milk will give you the best results for this, however, if you are counting the calories then you can use a reduced-fat version, just be aware the sauce may be a bit thinner.
- Storing and Freezing - This dish really is best served fresh, I don't recommend freezing this dish. The vegetables have high water content and there is a risk they will turn mushy. Also, freezing will change the consistency of the tofu making it soggy. You can keep any leftovers in the fridge for a day or two and reheat on the hob, again there may be changes in consistency.
- Nutritional Information - all nutritional information is approximate and is calculated using an online nutrition tool. It does not include rice.
- Weights and Measurements - I weigh all my ingredients using an electric scale, all measurement are metric. Cup measurements are approximate.