Our Thai-inspired vegan peanut curry is creamy, rich, packed full of flavor, and absolutely delicious. If you are wondering why this recipe became so popular, you definitely need to give it a try!
Why you will love this recipe
This Thai-style Peanut Curry has been really popular since we first made it. The flavors, textures, and its simple cooking method, made this recipe the perfect meal for many people to introduce into their weekly rotation.
Our Peanut Curry can be cooked without any curry paste. This curry is a mixture of veggies, spices, and peanut butter to create the most delicious and hearty curry bowl.
You can customize the recipe to your taste, by adding your favorite veggies, serving it with rice or noodles, making it spicier, and adding any toppings of your choice.
Our favorite part of this recipe is that you can cook it with simple ingredients that you probably have already at home or you can find in your regular supermarket.
Our Thai Peanut Curry is:
- Gluten-free if using tamari instead of soy sauce
- Easy to make
- Made with easy-to-find ingredients
How to cook Thai Peanut Curry
Tofu. For this recipe, we use extra firm or firm tofu as the main protein (as well as peanut butter). Tempeh is a great option for Thai curries as well. If you want some extra protein, add some toasted cashews or sesame seeds before serving the dish.
Spice Blend. We use a simple spice mix to marinate the tofu. You will probably already have everything at home or you will find them easily at your local supermarket. Our spice mix contains cinnamon, turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander, sweet paprika, and sugar. You can use other spices such as five-spice powder, black pepper, white pepper, chili powder (for spice), curry powder, ground cloves, garam masala, etc.
Curry paste. We make a simple curry paste that uses garlic, onion, ginger, red chilies, and carrot. I know this is not the typical curry paste that you see in Thai curries, but believe me, it works amazingly. Leave the chilis out if you are making this recipe for kids. Alternatively, you can use this peanut curry paste from Thai Kitchen.
Vegetable Stock or water. We prefer using vegetable stock as it gives the curry sauce a more intense flavor but you can use water instead.
Peanut butter or crushed peanuts. For our Peanut curry, you can use unsalted crushed peanuts or peanut butter. We find that using smooth and creamy peanut butter makes the whole process easier.
Coconut milk. To make this curry creamy, we add coconut milk. You can as well add cashew cream or even soy cream or milk.
Fresh Veggies. Loads of fresh veggies! Chop as many veggies as you like to add to your Thai peanut curry. Our favorite vegetables to add to this vegetable curry are red bell pepper, broccoli, and carrots. You can add other vegetables such as green beans, snap peas, baby corn, onion, spinach, mushrooms, etc.
- Marinate the tofu. Cut a tofu block into cubes and prepare the marinade. In a small mixing bowl combine soy sauce, cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, coriander powder, sweet paprika, and sugar. Add the marinade to the tofu and leave it to marinate while you chop the veggies. Instead of soy sauce, you can use coconut aminos or tamari for a gluten-free option.
- Chop the veggies. For our peanut curry, you can add any vegetables that you like or may have at home. For this curry we are using broccoli, carrot, and red bell peppers.
- Heat some oil in a pan and add finely chopped garlic, onion, red chilies, ginger, and carrot. Stir fry for a couple of minutes and transfer into a blender jug.
- Add to the same blender jug the vegetable stock, crushed peanuts or peanut butter, sugar, coconut milk, and soy sauce. Blend all the ingredients until you have a smooth sauce. If you prefer to use a store-bought paste, this is the brand we recommend you buy.
- Cook the curry. Heat some coconut oil, olive oil, or another type of vegetable oil in a large pan or large pot, and add the chopped vegetables and the marinated tofu. Cook for a couple of minutes to medium heat until the vegetables and tofu start to golden.
- Add the peanut sauce. Bring to a gentle simmer for about 15 minutes. Adjust with salt and pepper and your curry will be ready to enjoy.
Variations to our Peanut Curry
- Choose your favorite veggies. You can use your favorite veggies for this curry. We recommend using crunchy veggies so they don't get too mushy while cooking. Some ideas would be veggies such as carrots, red peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, green beans, edamame beans, snow peas, spinach, peas, kale, potatoes, sweet potatoes, baby corn, or cabbage.
- Change the protein. We like using firm tofu, but you can use other plant-based proteins like tempeh, edamame beans, seitan, mushrooms, chickpeas, or meat alternatives like "chicken" bites, or "duck". Simply marinate the chosen protein and follow the recipe as it is.
- Garnish the plate to your taste. Our suggestion is to garnish the curry with crushed peanuts and some chopped cilantro. As well, adding a fresh squeeze of lime enhances the flavor of the dish. Other options can be crushed cashews, macadamia nuts, walnuts, or pistachios. You can add sesame seeds, a drizzle of chili oil, green onions, sesame oil, and even some dried seaweed.
- Use an alternative to coconut cream. Many of you told us that this curry comes out great using alternatives to coconut milk such as oat milk or soy milk. If you are looking for a lighter meal, you can use low-fat coconut milk or one of these alternatives.
- Use store-bought curry paste. You can use red Thai curry paste or massaman paste instead of making the vegetable paste that we make for this recipe.
Our hearty Peanut Curry is the perfect main dish. Filling and packed with protein and veggies, you won't need much more.
Garnish the curry with some crushed peanuts, coriander leaves, chili flakes for a little spice, and some freshly squeezed lime juice.
Serve this curry with a side of jasmine steamed rice or rice noodles. Other options we have tried and work great as well are brown rice, wheat noodles, vermicelli noodles, soba noodles, or even quinoa.
If you add more coconut milk, water, or vegetable stock, the curry can be served as a soup or noodle soup if you add noodles.
Store and Reheat
This is one of the dishes that tastes as good or even better the next day. You can safely keep this meal in the fridge for 3-4 days, using an airtight container. We recommend you keep the rice or noodles in a separate container, so it doesn't soak the liquid up.
Another option is to freeze the meal for later use. If you are thinking of freezing this curry to serve it another day you feel like eating Thai food, we recommend not using potatoes, sweet potatoes, or zucchini, as the texture of these veggies may go weird when reheated.
To reheat your Vegan Peanut Curry, you can use a pan or a microwave.
FAQ and Tips
Can this Peanut Curry be made in advance?
You can prepare this meal in advance. Keep the rice or noodles in a separate container, and use a microwave or a pan to reheat the curry.
Can I freeze the leftovers?
Yes, you can freeze any leftovers for up to three months. I do not recommend using zucchini or potatoes if you want to freeze your curry after.
Which type of tofu should I use?
Firm tofu is the best tofu to use for this recipe. It won't break or crumble while cooking your curry.
Is this curry toddler and kid-friendly?
This peanut curry is perfect for the whole family. Simply omit the chillies from the curry paste and the whole family can enjoy this meal.
Is this curry gluten-free?
To make this vegetable curry gluten-free you'll need to use tamari instead of soy sauce and make sure you are using gluten-free stock.
My sauce came out too watery, what can I do?
If you want a thicker curry, you can add some flour or cornflour slurry (diluted cornflour in water). Another option is to use potato as one of the veggies, as it will soak some of the water of the sauce.
Vegan Thai Peanut Curry
- 500 g tofu extra firm or firm
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon sugar
Thai Peanut Curry
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 2 red chillies chopped
- 1 thumb-piece ginger grated or finely chopped
- 1 small carrot finely chopped
- 500 ml vegetable stock or water
- 80 g peanuts or peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 400 ml coconut milk
- Chopped vegetables of your choice
- 2 kaffir lime leaves optional
- Marinate the tofu. Cut the tofu block into cubes and prepare the marinade. Mix in a small bowl soy sauce, cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, coriander powder and sugar. Add the marinade onto the tofu, mix with your hands or a spoon and leave marinating while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Heat some oil in a pan and add the garlic, onion, red chillies, ginger and carrot. Stir fry for a couple of minutes until the onion has softened and all the ingredients are cooked and transfer into a big blender jug.
- Add the vegetable stock, crushed peanuts or peanut butter, sugar and soy sauce. Blend all the ingredients using a hand blender until you have a smooth sauce.
- Using the same pan or pot used before, add some more oil if needed, heat the oil and add the tofu and chopped vegetables of your choice.
- Cook for a couple of minutes until the vegetables start to golden. Pour the peanut sauce and coconut milk. Bring to simmer and leave simmering for about 15 minutes. Adjust with salt to taste and your curry will be ready to enjoy.
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