This Thai-inspired green curry with tofu is a real flavor bomb. It's packed with vegetables, super aromatic and high in protein. The best part is that it's ready in 30 minutes.
Let's be real, this dish may not taste exactly like the one from your favorite Thai restaurant. But it's pretty dang good for a homemade green curry! It has everything you love: a rich coconut sauce, perfectly cooked veggies and crispy tofu.
Why you'll love this recipe
Green curries are different from other Thai curries. Compared to red curry paste, green curry paste is usually a little milder and has a more unique flavor profile. Red curry on the other hand is a lot more versatile.
This green curry with tofu makes an incredible weeknight dinner that the entire family will love.
It's naturally vegan and gluten-free by using coconut milk as the base for the curry and serving it over rice.
You can meal-prep it for the week. You can make this meal up to 4 days ahead of time. Note that the tofu may lose its crispiness and get a little soggy over time. That's why we would recommend storing the tofu separately.
It's freezer-friendly. Note that the tofu may lose its crispiness and get a little soggy once defrosted. That's why we would recommend frying the tofu on the day of reheating and adding it at the last minute. But the vegetable curry freezes extremely well for up to 3 months.
Key ingredients and substitutions
Vegetables: we used zucchini and carrot in this curry but feel free to use any seasonal vegetable you like. Bell peppers, broccoli florets, green beans, sweet potatoes or butternut squash would work great as well.
Aromatics: fresh ginger and garlic definitely bring this curry to the next level. They intensify the flavors of the curry and complement those of the curry paste. You could also add some lemongrass paste to the mix.
Full-fat coconut milk: makes the curry extra creamy and helps to cut the heat from the green curry paste. Feel free to add two cans of coconut milk or a little bit of vegetable broth if you like a thinner curry. Do not replace it with light coconut milk or you'll lose the creaminess.
Green curry paste: we use store-bought green curry paste from the organic shop. You may have to try several brands at the beginning until you find one you like and that is really flavorful. Note that some curry pastes are a lot spicier than others.
Note that you can make your own green curry paste if time allows and if you're able to find all the ingredients. We really like this recipe. Omit the shrimp paste to keep it vegan.
Firm or extra-firm tofu: is often served with curries in traditional Thai cuisine. It's also a great source of plant-based protein that makes this meal very nutritious. You can substitute the tofu with a can of chickpeas to save time. Rinse them under cold water and add them straight to the curried vegetables.
Serve it over Thai jasmine rice. Alternatively, you can use brown rice or rice noodles.
Use high-quality green curry paste. If possible, don't save money on a good, qualitative curry paste. Usually, it will reflect in the dish.
Careful, spicy! If you've never used a certain brand of green curry paste before, check its spice level first. Always start with 1-2 tablespoons and add more to taste.
If serving it with rice, rinse it under cold water before cooking. It removes excess starch from the rice and prevents the grains from sticking to each other.
Step-by-step (with pictures)
Press the tofu. Remove it from its package and wrap it in a few layers of paper towels. Then, weigh it down with some heavy objects such as a skillet, book or heavy cans. Let it sit while you prepare the curry.
Wash and cut the vegetables. Peel the onion and cut into small pieces. You don't want a rough chop but you don't need to mince it super finely either). Peel the carrots. Cut the carrots and the zucchini lengthwise in half, then into 0.5"-slices (1,3 cm).
Sauté the vegetables in a bit of oil. Choose a wok pan or a deep skillet. Heat it with a little bit of coconut oil and sauté the veggies over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.
Cover and let cook. Once the veggies are lightly colored, reduce to medium heat and cover with a lid. The steam will help the veggies cook quicker.
Fry the curry paste with garlic and ginger for best results. Peel and mince the garlic cloves and the fresh ginger. Heat another frying pan or large skillet with coconut oil. Fry the garlic and ginger for 1-2 minutes. Add in the green curry paste and let it cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until fragrant.
This allows the paste to release all its aromas and it will make the curry much more flavorful than if you add it straight to the pan.
Add a splash of coconut milk to thin out the paste. Add this aromatic mixture to the vegetables with the rest of the coconut milk.
Let it simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes while you cook the tofu. No need to add the lid back on at this point.
You can a splash of tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) or fish sauce to the veggies if you like (about 1 tablespoon per 4 servings). But this is totally optional.
Fry the tofu. Cut the pressed tofu into small cubes. Add a little bit of coconut oil to the pan you used to fry the curry paste. Make sure it is really hot before you add the tofu cubes. Once the tofu is in, let it cook over medium-high heat without stirring for about 3 minutes. This created a crispy golden crust. Then, flip each cube individually. Fry them for a few more minutes on the other side.
Serve the green curry with tofu, Thai basil leaves, a squeeze of lime juice and some lime zest.
Watch the video!
Frequently asked questions
Thai green curry paste traditionally contains shrimp paste (source) and is therefore not vegan. If using store-bought curry paste, choose a brand that does not contain it.
Depending on the brand you can use between 1 tablespoon and 4 tablespoons (¼ cup) for 4 servings. Most store-bought curry pastes are relatively mild (but some are not). Always start with 1-2 tablespoons and add more to taste.
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Green Curry With Tofu
- 1 onion
- 1 zucchini
- 2 carrots
- Coconut oil or preferred cooking oil
- 0.5 inches (1,3 cm) fresh ginger
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2-4 tablespoons green curry paste depending on the heat
- 14 oz full-fat coconut milk
- 14 oz firm tofu
- Start by pressing the tofu (see notes). Then, cut it into small cubes.
- Wash the vegetables. Peel the carrots. Cut the onion, carrot and zucchini into bite-sized pieces (see step-by-step pictures in post above).
- Heat a wok pan with a little coconut oil. When hot, sauté the onion over medium-high heat until translucent. Add in the carrots and the zucchini and sauté for 5 minutes until golden.
- Reduce to medium heat and cover with a lid. Cook the veggies for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, mince the garlic and ginger.
- Heat another frying pan with coconut oil. Sauté the garlic and ginger. Add in the green curry paste and let it cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Pour a splash of coconut milk into the pan and give it a good mix. Add the mixture to the vegetables.
- Pour the rest of the coconut milk into the wok. Let it simmer uncovered while you cook the tofu.
- Make sure the frying pan is very hot. Add a little coconut oil if necessary. Cook the tofu over medium-high heat for 3 minutes with stirring. Then flip the cubes and cook for another 3 minutes until crispy.
- Serve the tofu and green curry over rice.
- To press the tofu, wrap it into paper towels and weigh it down with a heavy object (e.g., a heavy skillet or book) for at least 10 minutes. Pressing improves the texture and makes the tofu extra crispy when frying.
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