Vegetarian Thai Coconut Red Curry is a one pot vegan/vegetarian meal that cooks in less than 30 minutes. I love Thai curries, especially red curry. The fragrant spices are mellowed and complimented with coconut milk, creating a luscious sauce that is delicious over rice or rice noodles.
My son, Kyle, is cooking dinner for friends this coming week who requested a vegan meal. Kyle learned how to cook this summer, and he’s been cooking community-style dinners for fellow college classmates this year. I love how he is sharing his love for friends and fellowship over home-cooked meals.
So, this weekend, when Kyle texted me for ideas for a vegan meal, I came up with a variety of ideas, from vegan burrito bowls to vegan chili to vegan bolognese sauce, and this Vegetarian Thai Coconut Red Curry which also happens to be vegan.
I first made this Vegetarian Thai Coconut Red Curry for a family who had a baby earlier this year. The mother is vegetarian so I adapted my go-to Thai Red Curry Chicken with Winter Squash recipe to make it vegetarian and vegan. Instead of fish sauce, I used soy sauce, and vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Tofu and peas provide the protein in this vegetarian Thai red curry stew, and butternut squash and cauliflower add bulk and texture to this dish. Be sure to use firm tofu; otherwise, it might fall apart during the cooking process.
Other vegetables that could be used include carrots, potatoes, green beans, Japanese eggplant, bamboo shoots, baby corn, or straw mushrooms.
If you can find lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, this stew will take on some extra fragrance. Lemongrass can be found in some supermarkets where the herbs are located. I’ve only had luck finding kaffir lime leaves at Asian grocery stores.
This vegetarian Thai coconut red curry stew is delicious served over steamed rice or try rice noodles for a change.
Vegetarian Thai Coconut Red Curry
- 15 ounces coconut milk divided
- 2½ tablespoons red curry paste
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar or brown sugar
- 2 stalks lemongrass bottom third trimmed and smashed
- 14 ounces firm tofu cut into wedges (slice tofu in half horizontally first, then cut into wedges)
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 2 cups butternut squash cut up into 1" pieces
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 6 kaffir lime leaves optional
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
Heat ½ cup coconut milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until it bubbles and thickens; add red curry paste and cook for another minute or two, mixing it in well with the coconut milk. Add rest of coconut milk, soy sauce, broth, sugar, lemongrass, tofu, cauliflower, butternut squash, lime juice, and kaffir lime leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook until cauliflower and butternut squash are tender, about 20-25 minutes. Add peas and cover for another 5 minutes, or until peas are warm.
Other vegetables that can be used include potatoes, carrots, string beans, Japanese eggplant, bamboo shoots, baby corn, and straw mushrooms.