Rich, creamy, and full of flavor, this Vegan Thai Curry takes just 20 minutes from start to finish and requires only 6 main ingredients! This quick & easy recipe is oil-free and perfect for a busy weeknight.
1 ½cupsJasmine or other quick-cooking rice of choice(see note below)
15ozor 400g can of reduced-fat coconut milk
14ozor 400g extra firm tofu(see note below)
5 to 6tbspThai yellow curry paste(red or green also works for this recipe)
4 to 5cupsfrozen vegetables(see note below)
2tbspcurry powder or spice of choice(see note below)
lime wedges for garnish(optional)
If you aren't using extra-firm tofu, it will need to be pressed first. Do this now following these steps: Take the tofu out of the packaging and wrap it in a clean kitchen towel. Place on a plate. Stack something heavy on top (a cast-iron skillet or stack of heavy plates) and let press for 10 to 15 minutes. This will add a few extra minutes to the cooking time.
Begin heating a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Unwrap the tofu. Slice into small (½inch or 1.5cm) cubes. Season with curry powder or spice of choice. Place in the hot skillet. Let cook about 3 minutes or until the tofu has developed a sear on one side. Turn the tofu and repeat until most of the sides are nicely seared. Remove the tofu from the skillet and set aside.
For quick-cooking rice like Jasmine or Basmati, start the rice after the tofu is in the skillet. If your rice takes longer than 15 minutes to cook, start the rice BEFORE you begin cooking the tofu.
Start the rice according to package instructions. See my pointers above for cooking perfect fluffy rice. For Jasmine or Basmati Rice, measure the rice (about 1.5 cups to serve 4) and place in a fine-mesh strainer. Thoroughly rinse the rice to remove excess starches. Add the rice with water to a pot (for Jasmine or Basmati, use 2 ¼ to 2 ½ cups of water, unless directed otherwise on the package).
Place the rice over high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the rice is cooked through and there is no more excess water in the pot. DO NOT STIR the rice while it is cooking or it will get gummy and mushy.
Vegetables and Sauce
Turn the burner heat down to medium. Place the frozen vegetables in the hot skillet (no need to wash the skillet!). As the vegetables defrost, the moisture will deglaze the pan.
When the vegetables are warmed through, move them to the sides of the skillet, making an open circle in the center. Add 5 to 6 tablespoons of the curry paste to the skillet.
Add 1 can of reduced-fat coconut milk to the skillet, and stir to combine with the curry paste.
Gradually stir the vegetables into the curry sauce and heat for another 4 to 5 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced to your desired consistency.
While the curry sauce is heating, wash and chop a small bunch of cilantro for garnishing.
Put it all together!
Add the tofu to the curry sauce. Garnish with cilantro and a squeeze of lime (optional). Serve with rice. Enjoy!
To keep this under 25 minutes, choose a quick-cooking rice. I love this with jasmine or basmati rice. But you can use whatever you have on hand.
If you use extra firm tofu, it shouldn't need to be pressed. For firm tofu, unwrap the tofu, and rewrap in a dry kitchen towel. Place on a plate, and put something heavy on top (a cast-iron skillet or stack of plates works fine. Press for at least ten minutes--this might increase the overall cook time for this recipes by five minutes).
If you don't want to use tofu, you can easily substitute canned lentils or chickpeas. Just drain and rinse the legumes and add to the curry instead of the tofu.
I use a blend of frozen Asian vegetables, but this recipe will work with just about any blend you choose.
If you don't have curry powder on hand, you could substitute with coriander, garam masala, garlic powder, or even salt & pepper. The spice will just help create a little crust on the tofu.
Since I'm using a whole can of coconut milk, I go for the reduced-fat variety. I found that to be more than creamy enough for this recipe.
This Thai curry can be a little thicker than traditional. If you prefer a soupier consistency, add ½ to 1 cup of water when you add the coconut milk. (Don't worry if you add too much, you can just simmer a little longer to boil it off).