This aromatic and flavorful Thai Red Curry Tofu is vegetable-forward, comes together quickly, and tastes like a lighter version of your favorite Thai take-out dish. Serve on top of fluffy coconut rice with fresh lime wedges. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and Thai basil, if you can find it! This dish is dairy and gluten free.
2tablespoonsThai red curry paste*I recommend Thai Kitchen brand
1tablespoonfish sauce*I recommend Red Boat brand
2kaffir lime leavestorn (optional)
kosher salt + freshly ground black pepperto taste
2tablespoonsavocado or neutral high-heat oildivided
½1b (8 ounces)French green beanscut into 2-inch pieces
1inchknob of peeled fresh gingerfinely diced
3garlic clovesfinely diced
1small jalapeño pepperseeded, and finely diced
½large yellow onionjulienned
1large red bell pepperstemmed, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch thick strips
juice½ limeplus wedges for serving
handfulcilantro leavesroughly chopped, plus more for garnish
Thai basil leavesfor garnishing (optional, but recommended)
Drain and press the tofu (follow my how to press tofu guide for additional information) to remove excess moisture and water. Once pressed, slice the block into 1-inch cubes and pat with a clean kitchen linen or paper towel to absorb any excess moisture.
Combine the coconut milk, red curry paste, and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, whisking the mixture until smooth. Reduce to low heat. Add the fish sauce and lime leaves. Simmer until thickened and slightly reduced, and keep warm while you prepare the tofu and vegetable mixture. Discard the lime leaves before using.
While the sauce thickens, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large, non-stick skillet (12-inch diameter) over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the tofu pieces and spread into a single layer, setting them apart slightly. Season with salt. Sear the tofu pieces for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, flipping until lightly golden on all sides. Transfer to a large plate and set aside.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and increase to high heat. Add the green beans, a generous pinch of salt, and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly blistered. Add the diced ginger, garlic, and jalapeño pepper and sauté for 30 to 45 seconds, stirring frequently, or until fragrant. Add the onion and red bell pepper to the pan, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, tossing frequently, until the green beans are tender and the onion and bell pepper have softened.
Add the tofu back into the pan and pour the warm curry sauce over the mixture, gently tossing the mixture. The sauce should sizzle as it hits the pan. Continue cooking until the tofu is heated through and the mixture has thickened. Stir in the juice of half a lime and the chopped cilantro. Season to taste with salt or fish sauce as needed.
Serve the curry over steamed coconut rice (or jasmine rice) with lime wedges for squeezing. Garnish with cilantro and Thai basil leaves, if using.
Tips For Success:
Make Vegan: Use a vegan fish sauce substitute.
You can easily adapt the vegetables to suit your taste (broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potato, etc.), just be sure to adjust the cooking times accordingly. A variety of textures and colors will produce the best results.
If you don't enjoy tofu, you can leave it out entirely (just be sure to bulk up the vegetable mixture) or substitute it with shrimp or chicken!
Inspired and adapted from the Shrimp Thai Red Curry in Melissa Clark's Dinner.