Our Thai green curry tofu is a simplified version inspired by authentic recipes. Made with ingredients you can find at the grocery store, this easy tofu curry comes together in one pan in 30 minutes. With vegan green curry paste and rich coconut milk, it has restaurant-quality flavor and is sure to be an instant family favorite!
Whether we're talking about mild curry, spicy curry, Indian curry, Thai curry, or some hybrid of any of these, I am fully on board. Just say the word "curry," and you have my attention.
If you feel the same way, then friend, this tofu green curry is for you! And I can't wait for you to try it.
It's just spicy and rich enough to keep you coming back for more. Think restaurant-quality Thai flavors that you can cook in your own kitchen in only 30 minutes! AND it's vegan.
Read on to learn about the best vegan green curry paste to use and to see how EASY it is to prepare this delicious dish.
After you try it don't be surprised if you find yourself wanting to stock up on cans of green curry paste and coconut milk (guilty!) because knowing you can whip up this amazing meal any day of the week feels sooooo good.
Aside from the taste, one of the best things about this green curry tofu is that you should be able to find everything you'll need at your regular grocery store.
- Thai green curry paste - the most important ingredient! I've tested both Thai Kitchen brand (usually very easy to find in stores) and Maesri's green curry. We prefer the spicier, more concentrated and authentic flavor of Maesri. More on this below.
- flavor boosters - though most of the flavor comes from the green curry paste itself, I figured since we're including a lot of veggies plus unseasoned tofu, why not fortify those flavors with extra lemongrass, ginger, and garlic! If you don't have access to fresh lemongrass or lemongrass paste (often found in the produce coolers), simply leave it out. No big deal! The curry will still be very flavorful.
- oil (optional) - I used a tablespoon of avocado oil while heating the curry paste, but you can omit the oil without issue.
- tofu - super-firm is the most dense and easiest to cook with in this dish (no pressing), but extra-firm tofu also works (press it first).
- vegetables - feel free to play around with the veggies and use what you have on hand. We wanted a vegetable-heavy green curry so I included onion, mushrooms, broccoli, red bell pepper, and snow peas.
- coconut milk - I like to use one can of full-fat coconut milk for authentic flavor and one can of lite (or light) coconut milk so the dish isn't SO rich.
- arrowroot or corn starch - though this certainly isn't authentic, since we're using one can of lite coconut milk, which is thinner, adding a spoonful of starch helps thicken the sauce just enough to perfectly cling to the veggies and tofu.
Other vegetables you can add to green curry:
- zucchini or yellow squash
- green beans
Selecting a Vegan Green Curry Paste
Many authentic green curry paste recipes contain fermented shrimp. This is also true for some packaged curry pastes you might come across. But at the time of writing this post, the two brands I've listed below are vegan-friendly.
Option 1: Maesri Green Curry Paste
You might find Maesri in stores, but if not you can always order it online. For the best flavor without having to hunt down the specialty ingredients needed to make green curry paste from scratch, I think seeking out Maesri is totally worth it.
Ingredients in Maesri green curry paste:
Fresh green chilies, garlic, wild ginger, shallot, lemongrass, salt, kaffir lime, sugar, galangal, spices (coriander seeds, cumin, cardamom, turmeric), pepper.
Option 2: Thai Kitchen Green Curry Paste
Thai Kitchen green curry paste is easy to find in most U.S. grocery stores. I've used it several times, and it does make a delicious dish! So if this is the only paste you can get your hands on that's just fine.
Ingredients in Thai Kitchen green curry paste:
Green chili, garlic, lemongrass, galangal (Thai ginger), salt, shallot, spices, kaffir lime.
These are the only two brands of green curry paste I've tested. If you come across others just be sure to check the labels for non-vegan ingredients and be aware that the spiciness may vary.
How To Make Green Curry Tofu
Once you start cooking things move quickly. So it helps to have everything prepped and ready to go...
- Preheat a large, high-sided saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the oil, if using, and green curry paste. Stirring frequently, cook for about 1 minute.
- Increase heat to medium and add the onion and mushrooms. Cook for about 3 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, if using, and cubed tofu. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the red pepper, broccoli, and snow peas and cook for about 2 minutes. Zest about half of the lime directly into the pan.
- Add the can of full-fat coconut milk. Next, add about half of the can of lite coconut milk. Dissolve the starch in the can with the remaining lite coconut milk. Add this to the pan, and bring to a low boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the vegetables are crisp-tender.
Serve green curry tofu with freshly cooked rice. We enjoy jasmine rice with this saucy green curry, but brown rice is great if you prefer whole grains.
Kaffir lime and Thai basil are more traditional, but cilantro and plain old lime juice are also delicious.
- 100% vegetable - omit the tofu for a straight vegetable green curry.
- less spicy - green curry is meant to be a spicy dish, but you can always adjust the level of heat by using less curry paste, and choosing the Thai Kitchen brand over the more traditional Maesri paste.
- with crispy tofu - for this dish, since the coconut green curry sauce is the star of the show, we really don't mind the tofu being "plain" and basic. And it's nice not having the extra steps of pre-cooking the tofu.
But if you prefer a crispy tofu, either sear it first, before heating the curry paste, bake it in the oven, or air fry the tofu. Then place the crispy cubes of tofu on top of each individual serving of green curry.
Recently we've been enjoying 1-skillet meals like this White Chili Skillet Casserole, where the rice (or another grain) is cooked right in the pan. I even tested that method with this green curry.
And though it was convenient not to have to cook rice separately and super comforting to have jasmine rice soaking up all the coconut milk and flavors, we decided the green curry and veggies really do taste best with rice served on the side. This also allows for decreased cook time so the veggies stay vibrant and crisp.
Because of the volume of veggies and tofu plus the sauciness of the green curry, you'll need a large pot or pan with at least 3-inch tall sides.
A large cast iron skillet works well or a large saute pan.
You'll also need a microplane zester for the ginger, lemongrass, and lime zest.
Store leftover green curry tofu in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Can also be frozen.
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I hope you enjoy this easy green curry tofu as much as we do. If you try the recipe please comment below to let us know!
Green Curry Tofu With Vegetables
- 4 to 6 tablespoons green curry paste - See Notes; I use 1 whole (4 oz) can Maesri.
- 1 tablespoon oil, optional
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 6 ounces mushrooms, sliced - such as shiitake (remove woody stems), baby bella, or white button
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small thumb-size piece ginger root, peeled and zested
- 1 2-inch piece lemongrass, optional, outer layer removed, zested - or about 1 teaspoon lemongrass paste
- 14 to 16 ounces super-firm tofu, patted dry and cubed - or extra-firm tofu, pressed
- 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 large broccoli crown, cut into small florets, or cauliflower - about 6 ounces
- 2 handfuls fresh snow peas - about 3 ounces
- 1 (14 oz) can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 (14 oz) can lite coconut milk
- scant 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch - or corn starch
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- lime zest and juice
- cooked rice, lime, and cilantro
- Once you begin cooking things move quickly. So it helps to have everything prepped and ready to go. Preheat a large, high-sided skillet or saute pan over medium-low heat.
- Add the oil, if using, and green curry paste. Stirring frequently, cook for about 1 minute.
- Increase heat to medium and add the onion and mushrooms. Cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, if using, and cubed tofu. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the red pepper, broccoli, and snow peas and cook for 2 minutes. Add the zest of half of a lime to the pan.
- Add the can of full-fat coconut milk to the pan. Next, add about half of the can of lite coconut milk. Dissolve the starch in the can with the remaining lite coconut milk. Add this to the pan, and bring to a low boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 4 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the vegetables are crisp-tender.
- Serve with rice, fresh cilantro and lime.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.