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Vegan Red Thai Curry with Tofu & Vegetables

Vegan Vegetable & Tofu Thai Red Curry in wooden bowls on a black background

Did you know that you can make Vegan Red Thai Curry in 30 minutes? This stunning recipe will teach you how to make a fresh, fragrant and hearty dish that will rival any you’ll find in a restaurant or takeout – plus it’s cheaper!

I first fell in love with Red Thai Curry at a little food-court stall in Manchester. In-fact, it’s the same stall I mention in my Pad Thai recipe! As soon as I tasted that delicious silky, coconuty curry with the fluffy rice I knew I had to learn how to recreate it at home. The recipe I’m sharing with you today is so great because it’s adaptable, quick, easy, and fulfils all your cravings without having to spend money on takeout … it’s the perfect fakeaway.

The curry sauce is smooth, thick, and glossy. Packed full of flavour; just the right amount of spice, with notes of citrus coming through at the end. The vegetables are perfectly cooked and tender, while the tofu soaks up all the flavours of the curry and adds protein. It’s the perfect meal for any-time of year and any occasion.

Creamy, rich and hearty: this Vegan Red Thai Curry is better than takeout.

This recipe is Vegan & Gluten Free!

You read that right! Vegan Red Thai Curry is Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free and Nut Free!

Because we make our own curry paste from scratch, it insures that it’s adaptable for common allergies or diets. Whereas store-bought pastes may use fish sauce, therefore making it not Vegetarian or Vegan friendly, we’ll use a Vegan Oyster Sauce instead. And whereas they may use a basic Soy Sauce, we’ll opt for a naturally gluten free Tamari instead.

To make this dish Low Carb, simply serve with a healthy cauliflower rice. You could also try courgette (zucchini) noodles instead of rice or wheat based noodles.

Tips to make the best Vegan Red Thai Curry

  • Use Full Fat Coconut Milk. This makes a huge difference to the richness and creaminess of the dish. Check the cans for the highest coconut extract percentage, as this varies dramatically depending on the brand.
  • Make a fresh Curry Paste. It doesn’t take much effort and ensures that your dish will be Vegan and Gluten Free. It’s also ready in less than 2 minutes – all you have to do is chop and blend.
  • Use fresh, varied Vegetables. Which vegetables you use is up to you! I like to change it up between these options: potatoes, green beans, carrots, courgettes, baby corn, bell peppers (capsicum), bamboo shoots, beansprouts, water chestnuts, pak choy, spinach, mange tout, cauliflower, or broccoli.
  • Aromatics. If you can source them, try to include lemongrass and lime leaves. Although the curry is delicious without them, they will truly elevate the dish to the next level! Also, don’t skimp on the spices.
  • Finish with herbs. This will lift your Vegan Red Thai Curry to new heights. Garnish with fresh coriander (cilantro) or Thai Basil for a deliciously fragrant and fresh flavour.

Common Substitutes:

  • Instead of tofu, you can use seitan chick’n chunks (this will not be gluten free), tempeh, or leave it out entirely.
  • Use whole spices, to further develop the flavour of the curry paste. I have used ground spices instead as it saves time, but you can opt for dry red chillis, whole cumin seeds and whole coriander seeds. Toast them before adding to the blender along with the other ingredients for the paste.
  • Instead of lime, use lemon juice or a good rice vinegar for the citrus aspect.
  • Use shallots instead of red onions and leeks.
  • Try galangal instead of ginger. It’s the more authentic option, but harder to find.
  • Vary your vegetables. For example, instead of pak choy you can use spinach. Use whatever you have on hand in your fridge.

Is it freezeable? How to store Vegan Thai Red Curry:

You’ll be happy to know that this Vegan Thai Red Curry not only stores exceptionally well, but it also freezes perfectly too.

Cooled and stored in an airtight container, it will be fine kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Although there’s never any leftovers when I make this Thai curry, the flavour matures beautifully after a night or two.

This curry also freezes particularly well, making it perfect for those of you who like to meal prep for quick lunches throughout the week. Simply reheat from frozen using a microwave, or defrost in the fridge overnight and reheat on the stovetop or microwave.

This Vegan Thai Red Curry is:

  • Adaptable
  • Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Nut Free
  • Can easily be made Soy Free
  • Freezes well: perfect for meal prepping
  • Rich & Creamy
  • Budget friendly & economical
  • Tasty served over noodles, white rice, or brown rice
Vegan Vegetable & Tofu Thai Red Curry in wooden bowls on a black background

Vegan Thai Red Curry with Tofu & Vegetables

Yield: 2-3
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This Red Thai Curry is quick, easy, Nut Free, Gluten Free, AND Vegan! It's also fresh, fragrant, and the perfect alternative to take out.

Ingredients

For the Curry Paste

  • 60g Red Onion, quartered
  • 10g Ginger, roughly chopped
  • 20g Leeks*, roughly chopped
  • 5 Garlic Cloves
  • 15g Fresh Coriander (stalks included)
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Sugar
  • 2 Cherry Tomatoes / 20g
  • 1/2 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1/2 can Full Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp Tamari Soy Sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vegetarian Oyster Sauce

For the Curry

  • 2 tsp Neutral Oil
  • Remaining 1/2 can Full Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1 Medium Carrot / ~70g
  • 120g Bell Peppers
  • 200g Pak Choy
  • 100g Courgette
  • 160g Extra Firm Tofu, cut
  • 2 Lime Leaves (optional)
  • 1 Stalk Lemongrass, cut into 3 inch pieces (optional)
  • 300ml Water

Instructions

  1. Make the paste. Add all the ingredients under 'For the Curry Paste' to a large blender. Blend on high speed until smooth.
  2. Fry the paste. Add oil to a large, deep sided frying pan, saucepan or wok over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot add the prepared curry paste. Fry, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the liquids & aromatics. Add the remaining 1/2 can of coconut milk to the pan. Mix well. Next add 300ml hot water, lime leaves, and lemongrass. Stir well.
  4. Add the vegetables. Next, add the vegetables that take longest to cook** in this case, it's carrots. It's important to add these first so they are well cooked, and to add the rest later so they don't become mushy. Cook for around 10-15 mins, or until the carrots are just under al-dente.
  5. Cook the tofu***. If you like, you can pan-fry the tofu before adding to the curry. In which case, add a little neutral flavoured oil to a pan, wait for it to heat, and arrange your tofu in the pan. Cook on one side for 3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 3 minutes. Set aside.
  6. Add the remaining vegetables and tofu. Cook for a further 5 minutes, or until perfectly cooked with the right amount of softness and crunch. At this stage taste the curry and check for seasoning - you may have to add a little salt or lime juice.
  7. Remove the aromatics and serve. Serving suggestions below.

Notes

* You can replace leeks with more onion or shallots.

** This will vary depending on what vegetables you use. Try to use common knowledge here - usually root vegetables such as potatoes or carrots will take much longer than leafy greens or softer vegetables such as courgettes and bell peppers.

*** You can also add your tofu as-is to the curry. Pan frying beforehand is optional.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 427Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 26gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 227mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 12g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

Please post a photo on Instagram and tag @ohmyvegofficial! Alternatively, leave a review & comment on my blog 💚

What to serve with Vegan Thai Red Curry

I love serving my Thai Red Curry over classic steamed jasmine rice. Alternatively, you could opt for basmati rice – either white or brown rice will make for a delicious meal. If you would prefer a less calorie & carb heavy option, you could whip up some quick cauliflower or broccoli rice.

A further way I love to serve this Thai Red Curry is over noodles – rice sticks are a great gluten free and vegan choice, while courgette (zucchinis) noodles are perfect for low carb diets.

Additionally, Crispy Vegan Spring Rolls plated alongside this dish is just sensational. It adds an addictive crispiness and crunch to your meal. Or why not choose fusion and make some Spinach and Soy Chunk Dumplings?

  1. Sue says:

    Best vegan red thai curry recipe I’ve tried and tips to vary it were great, planning on inviting friends so gluten free is a bonus too! Thank you Ellanor x

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