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Thai Tofu Coconut Curry

Updated: Nov 26, 2019

Cuisine: Thai

Meal: Lunch or Dinner

Style: Vegan Main Entrée

Yield: 16 servings

Accompaniments: Jasmine Rice

Most premade curry pastes contain shrimp paste and therefore are not vegetarian. This recipe is made with tofu, fresh vegetables and a combination of sauces to create a fragrant vegan curry paste. This dish is vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free - great for anyone who wants to eat something healthy and nutritious without sacrificing taste. Vegetarian fish sauce can be found at any Vietnamese grocery store and most Asian food stores or you can substitute it with Tamari sauce (gluten free soy sauce). Galangal and frozen kaffir lime leaves can be purchased at Asian food stores as well or check with your produce vendor. Unsweetened coconut can be found at any Indian grocery store.


Coconut, shredded, unsweetened 1 cup

Tofu, firm, cubed 4 pkgs

Vegetable stock 1 pt

Coconut milk 4 cups coconut milk

Kaffir lime leaves 6 ea

Onion, diced 2 ea

Garlic, minced ¼ cup

Galangal OR Ginger, minced 2” piece

Thai Chili Sauce (Sriracha) ¼ cup

Vegetarian fish sauce (or Tamari) 2/3 cup

Lime juice 2 limes

Brown sugar 4 TB

Thai Basil, torn into pieces 1 bunch

Sweet potato or yam, peeled and cubed 4 ea

Cauliflower florets 2 heads

Shitake mushrooms, quartered 1 lb

Red bell pepper, med dice 4 ea

Snow peas, cut in half 1 lb

Cherry tomatoes, halved 1 pt

Medium Eggplant, 1” cubes 2 ea

Cilantro ½ bunch

Vegetable oil for stir frying


Place shredded coconut in a dry wok or roasting pan over medium heat. Stir continuously until the coconut is nicely toasted. Tip toasted coconut into a bowl to cool. Replace wok or roasting pan on the stove. Add vegetable oil for sautéing, plus the onion, garlic, and ginger. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes, or until onion begins to soften and the garlic is fragrant. Turn heat up to high. Add stock plus lime leaves, chili sauce, and most of the toasted coconut (reserve ¼ cup for garnish). Stir everything together.

Add the sweet potato (or yam) and cauliflower. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, eggplant (if using), and tofu, stirring to incorporate. Cover and simmer 2 more minutes. Add the bell pepper, snow peas, and tomatoes, and simmer 2-3 minutes, or until snow peas have softened but are still bright green. Tip: Don't worry if the curry seems too thick with vegetables - simply stir them in the best you can. The curry will thin out once you add the coconut milk in the next step. Turn heat down to low and add the coconut milk plus the [veg] fish sauce or soy sauce, stirring to dissolve. Add up to 2/3 of the coconut milk or more, depending on how creamy or how much sauce you want with your curry. Add the thai basil. Remove from heat and do a taste-test for salt and spice, adding more [veg.] fish sauce, soy sauce or salt. Add more chili if you prefer it spicier. If you'd like it sweeter, add more brown sugar.

Place in the hotel pan and top with fresh coriander and a sprinkling of the reserved toasted coconut. Accompany with plenty of Thai jasmine rice.

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