This Vegetarian Green Thai Curry Recipe is really easy to make; you just need to get ready for an avalanche of flavor and grab those forgotten veggies in your fridge. Plus a couple of queues!
I have been making Thai curries and Thai food in general for more than 15 years now. It is my true comfort food and also my comfort zone. I know it will be rich, delicious, easy, fast, and always make it with few kitchen staples.
Of course, I have my preferences, such as making it with coconut milk, pairing it with Jasmine rice, or topping it with crispy tofu, peanuts, and/or sprouted soybeans. But I never let the lack of any of these ingredients keep me from making this one-pot dish.
Origins of Thai Curry
The Tamil word "kari" refers to any kind of sauce or stew, and the English word curry derives from it. As a result, the term "curry" is very inclusive and may be used to refer to any type of meal, stew, or sauce.
The British introduced Thai curry to Thailand by Thai people who traveled through India and had Thai curry whilst traveling there. It was the Thai people who changed the Indian version of Thai curry into something more like what it is today.
The first Thai curry restaurant that sold Thai curry was in Thailand and it was opened by Thais. The Thai curry restaurant still exists today and is called " khao phat nam phrik Narok" which means fried rice with Thai chili paste.
Thai curry has many different names in Thailand has, each province its own variation on Thai curry. Thai curry is the national dish of Thailand and is very popular in Thailand.
Thai curry in Thailand is made with ingredients that are not often used in other types of Indian or Thai curry , such as potatoes, peanuts, pineapple & herbs that are more common in Thai curry than other types of Thai and Indian curries.
If you like Indian Curries, you should try our Masala Eggplant Curry.
I will cover the basics for making a vegan green curry, the flavor deliverers and options (including a link to our post on How to make Thai Green Curry Paste), the vegetables for a green Thai Curry, followed by my preferred vegan plant-based toppings such as Crispy Tofu and finishing with the perfect side for a Thai Curry, perfectly cooked Jasmine rice.
At the very minimum, you need to have a green curry paste and some vegetables (I like using about three). In addition, I would strongly recommend having a can of coconut milk in your kitchen.
Curry paste lasts forever (even without any preservatives) as well as canned coconut milk, so keeping these two Thai cuisine staples in your kitchen will allow you to make curry whenever you want.
I have also made curry without coconut milk, but it is just not as creamy. So it’s a different story, a yummy and lighter one, but different. You can try it if you want to make a lighter dish.
I like making my own Authentic Thai Green Curry paste Recipe. But you can also easily find good quality on Amazon. Since it has far fewer ingredients, it won’t taste as authentic, but it is a good option. I have used it countless times until I decided to start making my own Thai Green Curry Paste.
Here I will hit you with ideas for flavors, veggie suggestions, toppings, and sides and how to use them. I will also let you know which are my preferred ones.
The idea is that you get the basics and work with what you might already have in your kitchen.
- Curry paste is a must (use 1 to 3 tablespoons depending on the heat you can take).
- My Suggested stir-frying oils are peanut oil, sesame oil, or coconut oil. Of course, you can also use any other vegetable oil, but these add some nice Thai notes.
- If you have some fresh Ginger or Galangal (also known as Thai or Siamese Ginger), that is a big plus. Two tablespoons are enough, and a third adds an extra fragrant punch. Ginger has a fresh, sweet-yet-spicy taste, while galangal’s flavor is sharper, spicier, and slightly peppery.
- I pick a mix of the Allium family veggies: garlic, spring onions, shallots, and white, yellow, or red onions. I usually go for shallots and spring onions. But you can use a mix of any other onions and garlic.
- Tamarind paste (completely optional, extra sweet and sour taste, you don’t need more than 1 tablespoon).
- Freshly grated Lemongrass roots or paste (also optional): it is easy to find in some countries. Lemongrass is already part of the curry paste. But when available, I like adding an extra tablespoon as it has an enjoyable aromatic note that I find delightful.
Vegetables for a Thai green coconut curry
- My favorites a mix of starchy and fresh veggies. I like using eggplant, pumpkin, squash, zucchini, sweet potatoes, and green beans.
- Optional veggies are carrots, potatoes, and… less Thai, but they work perfectly: peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower.
- Leafy greens: bok choy or spinach. Added at the end. Just one minute before turning off the heat. They offer extra texture and freshness. At this point, you can add 1 to 2 handfuls of spinach if you want to add extra creaminess. The spinach will melt in and make the preparation thicker.
Toppings and garnishing
I like adding some toppings to make it beautiful and add some texture.
- Nuts and seeds: cashews, peanuts, or toasted sesame seeds.
- Extra crunch and flavor: soybean sprouts, green ends of spring onions, or cilantro leaves.
- Crispy tofu: just as in any restaurant, they offer to pair your curry with your choice of chicken or shrimps. I like my Thai green curry with Crispy tofu and/or green beans. This is easily made in the oven while you wait for your curry to be ready.
For the texture, I add peanuts or cashews along with some soybean sprouts for nice crunchy notes. Also, add the remaining crispy tofu dices if using it.
For the appearance, I use toasted sesame seeds and some coriander leaves. I also like adding chopped green onions' upper parts (these also provide some extra flavor kick).
Sides for this vegetable green Thai curry
Aim for steamed or boiled aromatic Jasmine rice. It is the indisputable and traditional companion of a Thai Curry, just as Basmati Rice is the classic pairing for Indian Curries. But, again, use any other rice such as whole bran or even aromatic basmati rice.
To make the best Thai green curry recipe, I will describe the method using my preferred veggies and toppings while offering the substitutions and when to add them.
- Stir-fry the shallots along with sesame oil and cashews (or peanuts) for 1-2 minutes on high heat until slightly browned.
- Add the curry paste, ginger, shallots, and stir fry for another minute. If using tamarind paste, add at any point from now.
- Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil.
- Add the “sturdy/hard” vegetables such as diced sweet potato (or potatoes) and carrots, plus eggplants which require a little more cooking time.
- After 5 minutes, pinch the veggies. When they are slightly soft, add the water (or vegetable stock) and some cilantro leaves. Next, add the “soft” veggies, such as diced zucchini, and let them boil for another 10 minutes.
- Halfway through these last 10 minutes, I like to taste for flavor. Add some salt if you want to. You can also choose to add an extra teaspoon of curry paste or grated ginger for extra flavor.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach and/or Bok Choy and Green Beans.
- At this point, I also add half of the crispy tofu. This way so it can absorb some of the curry juices without losing their crispiness.
- Cover with a lid on and let it rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Serve with any of the suggested toppings. I like to add them all.
How to serve
Serve your Thai Curry with freshly steamed Jasmin Rice.
Although the curry flavors are fresh, they are also spicy, making it an excellent fall curry recipe.
More Thai curry recipes
- How to perfectly cook Jasmine Rice
- Thai Green Curry Paste Recipe
- Thai Fresh Red Curry
- How to make Crispy Tofu (to garnish)
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Recipe: How to Make Thai Green Curry
- 10 oz sweet potato diced
- 1 eggplant medium, diced
- 3 shallots
- 1 oz peanuts a handful
- 8 oz coconut milk add more if want it creamier
- 2 tablespoons green curry paste
- 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
- 1 cup cilantro leaves about a bunch, chop only half
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil optional, omit if following a WFPB diet
- 3 cups water or vegetable stock
- Stir-fry the shallots along with sesame oil and cashews (or peanuts) for 1-2 minutes on high heat until slightly browned.3 shallots, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 oz peanuts
- Add the curry paste, ginger, and stir fry for another minute. If using tamarind paste, add at any point from now.2 tablespoons green curry paste, 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger, 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
- Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil.8 oz coconut milk
- Stir in the veggies. Add the “hard” vegetables such as diced sweet potato (or potatoes), plus eggplants which require a little more cooking time.10 oz sweet potato, 1 eggplant
- Pinch veggies. After 5 minutes, pinch the veggies. When they are slightly soft, add 3 cups of water and some cilantro leaves. Next, add the “soft” veggies, such as diced zucchini, and let them boil for another 10 minutes.3 cups water, 1 cup cilantro leaves
- Adjust. Halfway through these last 10 minutes, I like to taste for flavor. Add some salt if you want to. You can also choose to add an extra teaspoon of curry paste or grated ginger for extra flavor.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach and/or Bok Choy and Green Beans.2 heads bok choy, 2 cups spinach, 10 oz green beans
- Add tofu. At this point, I also add half of the crispy tofu. This way so it can absorb some of the curry juices without losing their crispiness.8 oz crispy tofu
- Cover. Place the lid on and let it rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Serve with any of the suggested toppings. I like to add them all.1 tablespoon sesame seeds, sea salt
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