Vegan Thai Coconut Tofu Red Curry is bursting with flavor and texture. The extra step of oven-roasting the vegetables takes this popular Thai curry dish from great to oh-my-god perfection!
Red curry is a popular dish all around the world. It can easily be prepared and typically consists of creamy canned coconut milk, Thai red curry paste, and vegetables. All of these ingredients are found in grocery stores.
The main difference in my recipe is the vegetables are oven-roasted instead of sauteed. The simple step of oven-roasting brings out their flavor and texture.
This Thai Red Curry with Tofu is an easy, healthy vegan recipe. It is the perfect definition of comfort food and is flavorful enough to hit the right spots.
Thai Red Curry is generally paired with steamed Jasmine rice, but you can use a variation of rice that suits your taste buds. You can also eat this flavorful curry with Quinoa. The best part: it is a low-carb meal, making it perfect for vegans and even people on a keto diet.
In the Mood for Something Else?
Canned Coconut Milk - Coconut milk comes in several varieties. Coconut cream, low fat, full fat, and in the dairy case as a dairy milk alternative. For this recipe, you will need to use canned coconut milk. For the best flavor, I recommend using full-fat coconut milk.
Helpful Hint: Target's Organic Good and Gather brand is the best price I have found for canned coconut milk. It is about half the price of my local Kroger.
Thai Red Curry Paste - I use the Thai Kitchen brand of red curry paste. While some red curry pastes have fish oil, Thai Kitchen does not. I find this in the Asian section of my local Kroger store in a small jar.
Rice - This dish is typically made with white or brown jasmine rice. This dish is very versatile, and I recommend using your preferred white or brown rice.
Tofu - Tofu comes in different levels of firmness. I always recommend using extra firm tofu. Before marinating the tofu cubes, you will need to press out water.
Vegetables - I use just about any vegetable when making this dish. Sometimes it is specific veggies I have bought just for red curry. Other times I use extra veggies, I have in the refrigerator.
Here is a quick guide with suggestions on how to prepare different veggies. If you are using:
- Brocolli - Cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Bell Peppers - Remove the seeds and cut them into long strips. I like to add at least one red bell pepper for a pop of color.
- Carrots - Peel, if desired. Slice into ¼-inch horizontal sections at an angle.
- Cauliflower - Cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Green Beans - Split them into halves.
- Mushrooms - Smaller mushrooms half, larger mushrooms, quarter.
- Onion - Peel half and cut into thick strips.
- Snow Peas, Snap Peas - Trim the ends and remove the strings.
- Sweet Potato - Peel and cut into small cubes.
Vegetable Broth - Adds additional flavor to the creamy coconut milk sauce. Use your preferred brand of vegetable broth.
How to Make Thai Coconut Red Curry With Tofu
There are several steps to making this dish. While it might seem like a lot, the extra steps are simple and add many extra flavors! Let’s check out a step-by-step guide:
Step One: Prepare the Tofu -
Pressing the water out of the tofu can take 15 - 30 minutes. So let's start with this first. Press the water out of the tofu using a tofu press or wrapping the tofu in paper towels and placing something heavy on top of the tofu. I use a cast iron skillet.
While the tofu is being pressed, prepare the marinate. This is also a good time to preheat the oven to 425F. Cut the tofu into one-inch cubes. Gently toss with cornstarch. Then the marinade sits on top of the tofu for 5 - 10 minutes.
Step Two: Prepare the Vegetables -
Preheat the oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Rinse the vegetables and pat them dry. Then cut the vegetables into bite-size pieces. Toss the veggies with one tablespoon of olive oil and a generous pinch of sea salt. Spread the veggies evenly on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, rotate and bake for another 20 minutes.
Step Three: Prepare the Rice -
While the veggies are in the oven, prepare the rice according to the package.
Step Four: Prepare the Coconut Curry Sauce -
Creamy Coconut Red Curry Sauce
Combine 2 - 4 tablespoons of red curry sauce, full-fat coconut milk, and veggie broth. Heat over medium-high heat. While the mixture heats, gently use a whisk to help break up any clumps of coconut milk while incorporating all the ingredients.
Note: I use an entire Thai Kitchen Red Curry bottle because I like my unusually strong curry. This is the equivalent of 8 tablespoons.
Step Five: Plate, Garnish, and Enjoy -
Plate one serving of rice on half the plate. Add one serving of oven-roasted vegetables on the other half plate with one serving of tofu on top. Pour the creamy red curry sauce on top of the veggies. Finish by topping with your favorite garnishes.
My favorite garnishes include a fresh squeeze of lime juice, lime wedges, chopped cilantro, peanuts, fresh ginger, red pepper, and sliced jalapeno. I placed the red pepper and jalapeno on the side for guests to determine how spicy they would like their curry.
Thai Yellow Curry: There are different varieties of yellow curries, but the main ingredient is turmeric, which gives it a gold/yellow color. Moreover, yellow curry has yellow cumin, kaffir lime leaves, and yellow mustard seeds.
Thai Green Curry: A Thai green curry recipe does not have a lot of differences in the recipe or the way it is prepared. However, the kind of chilies used makes all the difference in the flavor. For green curries, most recipes use fresh green chilies. If you want to intensify the curry's green color, you can use other herbs, such as Thai basil leaves, kaffir lime leaves, and cilantro.
Spice Levels: Everyone has a different threshold for spice. Adding various spices can add heat to this Vegetarian Thai Red Curry Recipe. You can add a bit of sriracha or chili flakes to the mix.
Rice Vermicelli Noodles - These are popular in Malaysia and are a fantastic combination with curry. The rich and creamy sauce will excite the taste buds.
Noodles: Prepare your favorite Asian noodles and serve the curry over them to make curry noodles. I find that rice noodles work very well with any Thai curry dish.
Naan bread: Thai red curry and naan bread are a perfect match. You can replace the rice with naan bread, or if you are like me, enjoy naan bread with red curry and rice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Generally speaking, a regular red curry sauce is NOT vegan because it is made with fish sauce. This is also true for most Thai Red curries available at restaurants. Moreover, most red curries contain chicken pieces or other meat or fish. However, this recipe uses a vegan paste and tofu as meat substitutes. As a result, this Vegan Thai Red Curry is considered vegan.
Thai curries are generally made with healthy ingredients. I recommend always reading the nutritional label, as each curry can differ.
This Vegan Thai Red Curry is a dairy and meat-free recipe. However, if you have allergies, then substitute the ingredients with the alternative mentioned below:
Corn-free: Use arrowroot or tapioca flour instead of corn starch.
Coconut-free: Sesame or peanut oil can be substituted for soy cream
Gluten-Free: Tamari sauce or coconut aminos are certified gluten-free soy sauces which can be used for this recipe.
Refrigerator - Bring the curry to room temperature. Afterward, you can place it in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. Using a non-stick pan or microwave, warm up this delicious meal.
Freezer - Thai Red Curry with Tofu is also freezable. You freeze it up for three months in an airtight container. When reheating Thai red curry, you must let it thaw first. After that, heat the curry in a microwave or using a pan. It is imperative to understand that freezing the curry will change the texture of the tofu, and you might find it chewier.
Did you make this? Let me know how it turned out by commenting below, taking a picture, and tagging me on Instagram.
Vegan Thai Coconut Tofu Red Curry
- 2 Baking Sheets
- 1 Small saucepan
- 1 Medium saucepan
- 1 Knife
Sheet Pan Ingredients (Tofu + Veggies)
- 1 14 ounce package of extra firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger, or ¼ teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 small head of broccoli cut into florets
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper but into strips
- 3 carrots: peeled, sliced, and cut on the diagonal
- 1 small red onion: peeled and sliced into thick diagonal strips
Rice and Curry
- 1 cup jasmine rice, uncooked
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 - 4 tablespoons red curry paste
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- ½ cup vegetable broth
Garnish Suggestions - Use just enough to sprinkle on top of each plate
- chopped cilantro, chopped peanuts, grated fresh ginger, lime wedge, red pepper flakes
- Tofu: Preheat the oven to 425F. Press the water out of the tofu. Cut the tofu in half, then into one-inch strips, then into one-inch cubes. Gently toss the tofu cubes with corn starch. Make the marinade by mixing 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, 3 tablespoons of rice vinegar,1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger (or ¼ teaspoon of ginger powder). Pour the marinade on top of the tofu and let sit for 5 - 10 minutes.1 14 ounce package of extra firm tofu, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 3 tablespoon olive oil, divided, 4 tablespoons soy sauce, 3 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger, or ¼ teaspoon ginger powder
- Roasted Veggies - Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wash, dry, and prepare the vegetables. Toss the vegetables in one tablespoon of olive oil and arrange them on the baking sheet. Sprinkle salt on top and roast in the oven at the same time as the tofu.1 small head of broccoli cut into florets, 1 red or yellow bell pepper but into strips, 3 carrots: peeled, sliced, and cut on the diagonal, 1 small red onion: peeled and sliced into thick diagonal strips
- Rice - Cook the rice according to the instructions on the package. Once done, remove from heat and keep covered until ready to serve. Just before serving, sprinkle with salt and toss with a fork.1 cup jasmine rice, uncooked
- Red Curry Sauce - Combine 2 - 4 tablespoons of red curry paste, coconut milk, and broth together. Heat over medium heat. While the mixture heats, gently use a whisk to help break up any clumps of coconut milk while incorporating all the ingredients together. Note: Because I like my curry unusually strong, I use an entire bottle of Thai Kitchen Red Curry. This is the equivalent of 8 tablespoons.2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 - 4 tablespoons red curry paste, 1 can full fat coconut milk, ½ cup vegetable broth
- Plate, Garnish, and Serve: Plate one serving of rice on half the plate. On the other half plate, add one serving of oven-roasted vegetables with one serving of tofu on top. Pour the creamy red curry sauce on top of the veggies. Finish by topping with your favorite garnishes. My favorite garnishes include lime wedges, chopped cilantro, peanuts, fresh ginger, and sliced jalapeno.chopped cilantro, chopped peanuts, grated fresh ginger, lime wedge, red pepper flakes