Our Vegan Thai Green Curry served with tofu and jasmine rice, makes for the perfect treat for a weekend or a special evening. Making your own curry paste from scratch results in a satisfyingly delicious curry that will leave you craving for more!
Why you will love this recipe
We love authentic flavors. If you have been following us for a bit now, you may know how much we enjoy cooking and eating Thai food. We always try to make them as authentic as possible using plant-based ingredients. Condiments such as shrimp paste or fish sauce are very common in Thai recipes but we have found plant-based substitutions to these ingredients that will make your recipes just as yummy.
Our paste for this green curry is made from scratch. Making the paste from scratch makes a huge difference when it comes to Thai curries. All you need are the right ingredients that you mostly find in Asian supermarkets and a good blender. You can as well, adjust the spice level of the paste to make the curry to your taste.
Our Curry paste is vegan, oil-free and gluten-free. We don't use fish products to make this curry paste. As well, our paste is oil and gluten-free.
You can make our recipe using store-bought paste. If making homemade curry paste seems like too much for you, you can jump straight to the curry recipe part and skip the paste-making process. You can use already store-bought green curry paste.
Our Green Curry with Tofu is:
- Made from scratch
- Served with Jasmine rice
- A Thai-style curry
- A main dish
How to make Green Curry Paste
Ingredients for the Green Curry Paste
- Green Chillis. The key ingredients for the green curry paste are the green chillis. They will give your paste a vibrant green color and the spice that this curry calls for. Depending on the chillis you choose to make the paste, the spice level will vary. The traditional recipe calls for Thai green chillis which are quite spicy. For our curry paste, we use Serrano chillis (milder) and green Bird's Eye Chillis (spicier). Our recipe comes out medium-high spicy, and you can adapt the amount to your taste.
- Fresh Coriander. Originally, green curry paste is made with coriander root, but this ingredient is not easily found. You can make still a yummy paste using coriander. When making curry paste, make sure to use both, stems and leaves as they have similar tastes and are equally good to prepare your curry paste. If you can buy the coriander bunch with some of the roots still there, make sure to choose that one and add them to the paste.
- Aromatics. We use a few aromatics which include lemongrass stalks, shallots (or white onion), galangal, and garlic. The part of the lemongrass stalks you need is the bottom part which contains most of the flavor. If you cannot find galangal, feel free to use fresh ginger instead. We normally find frozen galangal in our local Asian supermarket.
- Kaffir lime zest and Kaffir lime leaves. Kaffir lime may be difficult to find if you are not in Thailand. Some Asian supermarkets will sell it fresh or frozen but it can be challenging. You can add lime zest instead, just make sure to add just the green part (as the white part will make your paste sour). Alternatively, leave this ingredient out and simply use lime leaves if possible. We add the lime leaves while cooking the curry instead of blending them with the rest of the ingredients. They can be blended as well, simply remove the stem.
- Miso paste. We know! Miso paste is Japanese, so why are we using it in Thai curry? Well, we tried different ingredients to substitute the prawn paste that goes in curry paste. After different tries, we found out that miso adds the perfect saltiness and flavor that we were looking for!
- Spices. Our spice blend for the green curry paste contains white and black peppercorns, ground cumin, and ground coriander. You can use cumin and coriander seeds as well. Simply toast them before using them.
- Sea salt. If you want to keep your paste a few days or a week in the fridge, it will stay good for longer if you add salt or sea salt.
To make the green curry paste, you can use a food processor (make sure you are making a big enough batch, otherwise it won't work), a mortar and pestle or a hand blender.
- Add into the food processor or blender the white ingredients: Shallots roughly chopped, lemongrass finely sliced (just the thicker part), garlic cloves and galangal roughly chopped. Blend all these ingredients until you have a consistency that already looks like a paste.
- Add the green ingredients: De-seeded and sliced green chilis, chopped coriander (roots, stems, and leaves), and kaffir or regular lime zest. Blend again for a couple of minutes. If you want to add the lime leaves in the paste, remove the steam and add them with the rest of the ingredients.
- Add the spices, sea salt, and miso paste. Blend one last time until all the ingredients are perfectly blended and you have a paste consistency.
- Your paste will be ready to make the curry or store it at this point. It can be frozen and it will last for months in the freezer or you can keep it in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
To save some time in the kitchen, prepare the curry paste in advance. Most days we will prepare the paste the day before we want to have Thai curry. You can freeze it and it will last for months in the freezer or you can keep it in the fridge for 1 week. A great choice is to use an ice cube tray to freeze smaller portions.
How to make Thai Green Curry with Tofu
- Green curry paste. If you are making your paste from scratch, follow the steps above. Otherwise, simply get your vegan store-bought paste ready.
- Tofu. We like pan-frying the tofu before but you can add the tofu into the curry raw and let it cook with the rest of the ingredients. For this recipe, we use firm or extra firm tofu.
- Coconut milk. You can find a can of coconut milk in most grocery stores. We recommend using a can of full fat coconut milk. Creamy coconut milk is tastier and if you are not having Thai curry every day, it should be fine to eat regular coconut milk. If you prefer using light coconut milk, the curry will come out a bit thinner but still delicious.
- Vegetables. For this curry, we use broccoli florets, red bell pepper, kale, and baby corn. Other vegetables that we like adding to this meal are green beans, carrots, sweet potato, snow peas, or eggplant. You can add any vegetables of your choice for this type of curry.
- Kaffir lime leaves. We add the lime leaves while cooking the curry instead of blending them with the rest of the paste ingredients. They can be blended as well, but we prefer them whole inside the curry. If you don't have kaffir lime leaves, you can add some lime juice before serving, or lime zest to the curry paste.
- Water or vegetable broth. We use water to make this recipe as the curry paste is already packed with flavor but optionally, you can use vegetable broth or stock.
- Tamari or soy sauce. Use tamari for a gluten-free green curry.
- Sweetener. This ingredient is totally optional. You can add some sugar (brown sugar, coconut sugar, white sugar, or palm sugar), maple syrup, date syrup, or any other sweetener of your choice.
- Fresh coriander to sprinkle on top before serving.
- Heat some coconut oil in a pan over medium heat and add the green curry paste. Leave it cooking for 1-2 minutes.
- Add 2 tablespoons of coconut milk. Keep cooking until it starts bubbling and the oil separated from the paste.
- Add the rest of the coconut milk, water or stock, soy sauce or tamari (gluten-free), brown sugar, and lime leaves.
- Add the cut veggies and if you are not pan-frying the tofu, you can add it at this point as well cut into cubes. Bring the curry to a simmer, and cook for about 15-20 minutes.
Adjust the curry with salt, sugar, lime juice, or tamari.
To prepare the tofu, cut it into cubes or triangles. Heat some oil to medium-high heat and pan-fry the tofu. Make sure to turn the tofu pieces so they cook evenly. When the tofu starts to golden, add some soy sauce or tamari for a gluten-free option and sriracha to give the tofu some extra flavor. Then add it to the curry before serving it.
Garnish this Tofu Thai Green Curry with some freshly chopped cilantro or Thai basil, sriracha sauce, or chili flakes for a spicy kick, and a squeeze of lime juice.
We normally serve our vegan Thai green curry with jasmine rice or rice noodles. All you need to know to cook Jasmine rice to perfection you can find it in this post by Recipe Tin Eats.
If you are looking for a lighter meal, skip the rice and serve the curry on its own. You can add some extra coconut milk or stock to make it more like soup.
Another great option is to serve it as a noodle soup. This is probably our favorite way to serve it during busier days. Rice noodles cook way faster than rice, and your meal will be ready a bit quicker.
Store and Reheat
You can keep the green curry leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Keep the rice or rice noodles in a separate container and consume it within 2 days max.
If you have some curry paste leftover, you could freeze it for another day, or keep it in the fridge using an airtight container for up to a week.
To reheat the curry, use a pan or the microwave.
FAQ and Tips
What can I do with the leftover curry paste?
If you are using a food processor to make your curry paste from scratch, it's better to make a bigger batch in order for the food processor to blend all the ingredients better. That, sometimes, results in too much paste. Don't worry! Curry paste can be frozen or kept in the fridge.
Transfer any leftover paste into an air-tight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze it and save it for longer. Next time you want to cook curry, your paste will already be made! We recommend using small containers so you can unfreeze the right amount for a meal and keep the rest frozen.
Is green Curry Spicy?
Green Curry is spicier than red and yellow curry. If you are making your paste from scratch you can add more chilis or reduce the number of chilis to make the paste spicier or milder. When cooking with pre-made curry paste, you can add more or less paste depending on how spicy you like your curries.
What can I use instead of coconut milk?
If you have high cholesterol or want to avoid coconut milk altogether, you can use cashew cream, soy cream, or oat cream. We recommend using cashew cream, as in texture and flavor are the most similar to coconut milk.
Are store-bought curry paste vegan?
Depends. Brands like Aroy-D are vegan but some other brands contain prawn paste. The only way to make sure is by reading the list of ingredients before buying it.
Thai Green Curry with Tofu
Green Curry Paste Ingredients
- 2 Serrano green chillis
- 5 bird's eye chilli green
- 2 shallots finely chopped
- 2 lemongrass stalks use bottom part
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon or 12 g galangal
- A handful or about 80 g coriander include the root, stems and leaves
- Zest of half a lime just grating the green part
- 1 teaspoon miso paste use gluten-free miso paste for gluten-free option
- 1 teaspoon white peppercorn
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
Thai Green Curry Ingredients
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 ½ tablespoon green curry paste
- 400 ml coconut milk
- 250 ml stock
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce use tamari for gluten-free option
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 4 kaffir lime leaves dry or fresh
- ¼ broccoli cut into florets
- ½ cup baby corn
- ½ cup bamboo shoot
- ½ red pepper cut into thin strips
- 250 g firm tofu
Thai Green Curry Paste - Skip if you have store-bought paste
- Using gloves, cut the chillies down the side with a knife or scissors, remove the seeds and finely slice them. Set aside.
- Add into the food processor or blender the white ingredients: Shallots roughly chopped, lemongrass finely sliced (just the thicker part), garlic cloves and galagal roughly chopped. Blend all these ingredients until you have a consistency that already looks like a paste. A
- Add the green ingredients: De-seed and sliced green chilis, chopped coriander (roots, stems and leaves) and kaffir or regular lime zest. Blend again for a couple of minutes.
- Add the spices, sea salt and miso paste. Blend one last time until all the ingredients are perfectly blended and you have the right consistency (paste).
- The paste will be ready to use or to keep in the fridge for later use. You can as well freeze it at this point.
Thai Green Curry
- Heat the coconut oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the curry paste, stir and leave it cooking for a couple of minutes while you keep stirring.
- Add the coconut milk, stock, soy sauce, brown sugar, kaffir limes and the vegetables.
- At this point, you can add the tofu into the curry cut into cubes or triangles. If you wish to give your tofu some extra taste, cook it separately. Add some coconut oil in a pan and pan-fry the tofu. When it starts to golden, add 1 tablespoon soy sauce and ½ tablespoon sriracha. Mix well and cook further 4-5 minutes. Add the tofu before serving.
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