bowl of thai curry with tofu.

vegan Thai Curry with crispy tofu

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Published: 1st of May 2020 by – Last Update: 12th of October 2023

Oh, how I love curries. Combining crispy vegetables with a fruity and spicy curry sauce not only tastes terrific, but you fully load your dish with vitamins and minerals that are good for you. The spice of your vegan Thai curry can really make you sweat and has a cleansing effect.

Thai curry is not the only type of curry

There are many types of curries around the world. You find curries in Indian, Nepalese, or Pakistani cuisine built on classical curry mixes. There are Hawaiian curries with sweet pineapple and a bright and light aromatic profile.

A proper vegan Thai curry should never be made with curry powder. Instead, curry paste, called Kaeng in Thai, is used. There are many authentic Curry pastes on the market, however, not all of them are vegan. If you happen to find one of the Brand "Aroy-D" you are on the safe side.

Not only is vegan Thai curry delicious, but it is also very nutritious. Combined with rice, you have a good source of a full set of essential proteins, provided you add tofu and peas as well. Coconut milk contains high amounts of short-chained fatty acids, which are known to promote your gut health. Despite the high amount of saturated fat, coconut milk has been found to lower LDL cholesterol too. The capsaicin of the chilis has a cleansing effect. The more spice is on the plate, the more you sweat.

When and how to add the vegan Thai curry paste?

On this one, people tend to disagree a lot. Some like to roast the curry paste with the vegetables, before adding liquid to it. Some dissolve the curry paste in coconut, prior to adding it to the dish. So which one is right?

It depends on what you like. If you roast your curry first, you dampen the sharpness of certain aromas. With roasting, you will have a more broadly distributed aromatic profile but softened in its intensity.

If you dissolve your curry powder directly in liquid, you won't cut off the strong spices and you have a less broad, but more intense aromatic signature.

bowl of thai curry with tofu.

Vegan Thai curry with crispy tofu

Spicy, healthy, Delicious
4.8 from 4 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4
Calories 585 kcal


Crispy tofu

  • 200 g firm tofu
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp chickpea flour

Vegetables to stir fry

  • 1 red onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 10 g ginger
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 carrots

Vegetables to boil

  • 1 broccoli
  • 250 g mushrooms
  • 100 g peas frozen

Curry sauce

  • 400 g coconut milk
  • 1-2 tbsp curry paste
  • 5 lime leafs
  • 1 lime juiced


  • 2 pinches chopped cilantro

The rest

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup rice Basmati
  • 1 tsp sesame oil


Preparing the tofu

  • Rinse the tofu and put it onto a clean kitchen cloth.
    Wrap it in the kitchen towel and put some weight on it. I recommend adding some bottles into a big pot and to fill the empty space with water.
    Let it rest for about 20 minutes.
  • Put the tofu into a bowl and add the soy sauce, sesame oil, and chickpea flour. Stir everything until no more liquid is in the bowl and the flour spots are gone.
    Transfer the tofu onto parchment paper on a baking tray. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until brown at 180° with no preheating.

Preparing the Veggies

  • Get 3 bowls for your three phases of cooking
    Dice an onion, 3 gloves (more or less) of garlic, and a piece of ginger the size of your thumb. Put it all together in the first bowl
    Cut one red bell pepper into thin stripes and slice a carrot. Put them together in a second bowl.
    Cut the broccoli into small flowers. Get some lovely mushrooms. Enoki is recommended, but Shitake or Champions as well work just fine. fill this stuff in the final bowl

Cooking the Rice

  • Take a cup of basmati rice, put it into a small pot and wash it 3 times to remove the excess starch. Add one and a quarter cups of water and a drip of sesame oil.
    Put on the lid and start cooking on low heat.
    Don't forget to stir from time to time.
    The rice takes around 25-20 minutes to absorb all water. Give it a final stir and leave the lid open, so that the remaining water can steam out.

Frying the Vegetables

  • Get a wok and give a tablespoon of coconut oil into it. preheat it to high temperature.
    Add your onion, garlic, and ginger from the first bowl into the oil. Stir a little to evenly distribute the oil.
    Let it fry for around one minute.
    Add the bell pepper and carrot to the wok. Mix and fry for around 3-4 minutes.
    Meanwhile, move on to the preparation of the curry sauce.

Mixing the Sauce

  • Get a cup and put a spoonful of curry paste into it. I recommend starting with just a little and seeing if you can handle the spice. There is always the opportunity to add more later. Shake the coconut milk well and then give some (only some) into the cup with the curry paste. Dissolve with a fork or spoon.
    Taste the sauce and add some more curry paste if needed.


  • Give your last bowl into the wok.
    Pour your curry and the remaining coconut milk over it. Mix.
    If the curry does not cover all veggies for boiling, it is absolutely fine to add a cup of water as well. Your curry will still keep its insanely good taste.
    Now let it sit and cook for around 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, squeeze the juice of one lime. We will add that at the end.
    Give a hand full of lime leaves to the curry. Also, now is a good time to add your crispy tofu. Let it cook a little in the wok so that its crust can absorb some sauce.
    Finally, pour some frozen peas into the wok, if you like.
    After 5 minutes the dish is cooked. Time to add the lime juice and turn off the cooker.

Preparaing the Dish

  • Give a good scoop of your curry into a clean bowl.
    Press some rice into a small bowl and toss it onto the curry.
    Cut some coriander and sprinkle it over your plate.
    Add some black sesame if you like.
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Technically, most of the ingredients are exchangeable. You can swap any vegetable to one of your liking. However, it is recommended to keep the lime and the ginger in the dish. Those are, besides your curry paste and coconut milk, your main taste-drivers and should not be skipped.

Nutrients per serving

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Thai curry with crispy tofu
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keywords Asian Cuisine, Curry, Thai, Vegan, Whole-Foods, Wok
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