You might have noticed that we are fans of curries, and as the fans we are, we explore every single curry type. Let's make a Vegetarian Thai Yellow Curry that is delicious, aromatic, and delivers so much flavor!
Curry is timeless. You can make it year-round, and no one will complain. Depending on the time of the year, you can choose lighter or heavier ingredients and use seasonal produce. We make curry every week! It is mostly Thai, others Indian (like Curried Cauliflower or Curried Eggplant), and even Indonesian.
Making Thai yellow curry vegan is a breeze because you only need to make sure you omit the meat, replace it with tofu and vegetables, and ensure the curry paste you use doesn't have fish sauce.
We also love the aromatic green curry paste touch that it brings to curries; I don't know if I prefer green or yellow curry. I guess I go for green curry when I want something fresher!
Below are the yellow curry vegetables for your yellow coconut curry.
- Yellow Curry Paste: The heart of the dish, providing a burst of flavor and spice. It's a blend of herbs and spices like turmeric and lemongrass, that saves you time on prep.
- Eggplant: This veggie is a sponge for flavors, making it perfect for soaking up our curry sauce. Plus, it's low in calories and high in fiber, which is great for digestion.
- Sweet Potato: Not just for its vibrant color, but sweet potatoes add a natural sweetness that balances the spiciness of the curry. They're also packed with vitamins A and C.
- Extra-firm Tofu (optional): A protein-packed addition that absorbs flavors like a champ. If you're looking to up the protein content, this is your go-to.
- Zucchini (Courgette): Adds a light, summery touch to the curry and cooks quickly. It's also a good source of vitamin C and potassium.
- Carrots: These bring a subtle sweetness and a pop of color to the dish. Carrots are also rich in beta-carotene, which is good for your eyes.
- Ginger: This root adds a zesty kick and layers of flavor complexity. Ginger is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Shallots: Milder than onions, shallots add a subtle depth to the curry. They're also rich in antioxidants.
- Garlic: A flavor powerhouse that adds a robust, earthy taste. It is also known for its immune-boosting properties.
- Full-fat Coconut Milk: For that creamy, dreamy texture we all love in a curry. If you opt for light coconut milk, it'll be less creamy but still delicious.
- Green Beans (optional): Add a crunchy texture and a pop of green. They're also a good source of fiber and vitamins.
- Red or Yellow Chili (optional): If you're looking to turn up the heat, add some chili. It's also rich in vitamin C.
Serve with Jasmine Rice.
See the recipe card for quantities.
We need to follow some easy steps for this Vegetarian Thai curry recipe.
First, dice the vegetables into medium-sized cubes, including eggplant, sweet potato, zucchini, and carrots. Roast them in a medium pan in a preheated oven with a pinch of salt and oil.
You can skip this step and do everything in one pot; the vegetables will lose some color and textures; if you have extra time, use the oven. Optionally, you may choose to add a teaspoon of coconut or avocado oil to coat the veggie dice.
Meanwhile, chop the shallots and garlic. Peel and shred the ginger.
On medium heat, stir-fry the shallots and garlic for a minute, and add the curry paste and ginger.
When golden, add the coconut milk and stir. Now add the oven-baked vegetables and a cup of water (or vegetable stock), and let the curry simmer.
Turn off the heat and optionally top with the green beans (optional). Your Thai Coconut Curry is ready!
Hint: if you decide to go for the one-pot version, toss the vegetable cubes into the pot after the shallots and garlic are golden instead of baking the veggies. Cook for 5 minutes, add the coconut milk, and continue with the same cooking steps.
- Eggplant: If you're not a fan, you can use portobello mushrooms as they also absorb flavors well.
- Sweet Potato: Butternut squash is a great alternative, offering a similar sweetness and texture.
- Extra-firm Tofu: Tempeh or seitan can be used for a different protein source that also absorbs flavors.
- Zucchini: Yellow squash can be a straight swap, offering a similar texture and flavor profile.
- Carrots: Parsnips can be used for a similar crunch and subtle sweetness.
- Ginger: A healthy dash of ground ginger can be used, but fresh is always best for flavor.
- Shallots: Red or white onions can be used, but they have a stronger flavor.
- Garlic: Garlic powder can be used in a pinch, but the flavor won't be as robust.
- Coconut Milk:
- If you are avoiding fat, you can omit coconut milk by all means. It will be less creamy and will lack the coconutty flavor, that is for sure.
- Make sure you use 2 cups of vegetable stock in replacement, finely-diced extra eggplant, and add 10 minutes to the cooking time. That will help compensate for some of the expected creamy texture.
- Alternatively, add spinach, which wilts easily, and adds creaminess. You can also make the yellow curry with tofu and potatoes to add extra silkiness.
- If you feel like you need some oil to stir-fry, we recommend using peanut oil, which pairs very well with the curry's flavors.
- Yellow Curry Paste: If you can't find it, you can blend your own using yellow chilies, galangal, lemongrass, and spices. You can also simply use yellow curry powder.
- Green Beans: Asparagus can be a good alternative for a similar crunch.
- Red or Yellow Chili: If you want less heat, bell peppers can be used, or simply omit them.
- Add Broccoli: This green veggie not only complements the curry's flavors but also brings a unique texture to the table. To keep its vibrant color and taste intact, add the florets after the curry is ready. Just dunk them in the sauce and cover them with a lid; a little heat and steam are all it needs.
Note: we are not using fish sauce, as the traditional Thai curry calls for, because this is a vegan version, and we don't think it needs it. The curry is already full of flavor! If you want some extra umami flavors, you can add a teaspoon of soy sauce.
🥢 Pairing and garnishing
Every time I serve a curry, garnishing plays a major role. People get super excited when they see the presentation, which takes little time. Five minutes maximum.
- Extra flavor: add a bunch of kaffir lime leaves, cilantro, Thai basil leaves, or when adding the coconut milk, and save some to garnish.
- Extra protein. Add this crispy tofu. We make Thai yellow curry with extra firm tofu and/or green beans. Thai curries pair very well with tofu.
- Texture. Top with toasted cashews. Toast cashews on low heat for 2-3 minutes in a flat pan right before serving. Soybean sprouts also work beautifully.
- Looks. I use toasted sesame seeds and some coriander leaves. I also like adding chopped green onions' tops. You can also serve the dish with lemon wedges.
- Extra veggies. Use either green beans or bokchoy; add them when the curry is ready and close the lid. The remaining heat will do the work; serve after 5 minutes. Some people like adding red bell pepper; it is certainly not traditional, but it goes well, so feel free to use it.
- Pair. By all means, pair your curry with freshly made aromatic Thai Jasmine Rice. It is one ingredient, and it is made silently while Thai curry is developing its flavor. Find my recipe on this site.
We also love adding some freshly squeezed lime juice to the dish when already served.
- Spicy - add extra chili while cooking to imbue heat into the dish.
- Flavor - add 2 tablespoons of tamarind and ginger to add some acidity. Also, add extra ginger or lemongrass stalks or paste to add more intensity to the dish flavors. Have fun!
- Soy Sauce: If you're looking to add an umami kick to your curry, a splash of soy sauce can do wonders. It deepens the flavors and gives the dish a savory twist.
- Tamari: For a gluten-free option that doesn't skimp on flavor, tamari is your best bet. It's similar to soy sauce but without the wheat, making it a great alternative for those with gluten sensitivities.
- Yellow Curry paste - feel free to use any curry paste. There are pretty decent options. Before making my own yellow curry paste recipe, I used to buy this vegan one in China Town or even on amazon. Remember that making your own curry paste will always add a very distinctive touch to your
Equipment can have a big impact on how a recipe turns out.
I am currently cooking with my Italian stone pots that are great as multipurpose pots, but before moving, I used a great wok pan that I totally recommend.
I always double quantities because curries are always better the next day. The flavors intensify. Not only that, but curries are great for meal prepping.
If having leftovers the next day, don't bother freezing the yellow curry. You may be sneaking to the fridge and grabbing cold spoonfuls packed with glorious flavor.
Freeze and thaw either in the microwave or at low heat before eating. Even better, leave thawing 5 hours before in the fridge and warm it up gently. It is always better to expose the veggies to less heat to retain more of their texture and Nutritional value.
Curries are meant to be served with lots of liquid so that you can make nice soaked scoops with Jasmine Rice.
If you feel you don't have much liquid during the last cooking minutes, add some vegetable stock or water to the mix, and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.
Don't overcook the curry. Otherwise, the vegetables will become soggy!
🥘 More one-pot recipes
- Vegan Chili
- Thai Green Vegan Curry
- Eggplant Curry
- Fresh Red Thai Curry
- Chickpea Coconut Curry
- Vegetable Massaman Curry
Also, curry goes great with lentils, especially red lentils. The flavors are sublime!
If you love zucchini dishes, give this Lebanese-style stuffed zucchini a try; you will love them. We also use them to make vegan ceviche and lemony winter risotto; they are perfect because they can absorb tons of flavor.
If you try this Vegan Thai Yellow Curry Tofu Recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don't forget to tag a photo #ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Vegan Thai Yellow Curry Tofu Recipe
- 10 oz sweet potato diced
- 1 eggplant medium, diced
- 3 carrots small
- 1 zucchini
- 3 shallots
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon oil common or coconut oil
- 8 oz coconut milk add more if want it creamier
- 2 tablespoons yellow curry paste
- 2 tablespoons ginger freshly grated
- 3 cups water or vegetable stock
- 8 oz crispy tofu optional, included in nutrition facts
- 1 oz cashews optional, included in nutrition facts
- Dice veggies. Dice the eggplant, sweet potato, zucchini, and carrots into medium-sized cubes. Roast them in a medium pan in a pre-heated oven at 400ºF (200ºC). Optionally, you may choose to add salt and a teaspoon of coconut or avocado oil, to coat the veggie dice. Bake for 15 minutes.You can skip this step and do everything in one pot, the vegetables will lose some of their color and textures, if you have some extra time, use the oven.
- Chop the alilium veggies. Meanwhile, chop the shallots, garlic. Peel and shred the ginger and chili (optional).
- Stir-fry. Heat the sauce pan, add the coconut oil and add shallots and garlic. Keep at medium heat and add the curry paste and ginger. Also, add the chili if using.
- Stir in the coconut milk when the mixture is golden. Add the oven-baked vegetables and a cup of water (or vegetable stock), and let the curry simmer and a creamy sauce form. Then add the spinach (if using), and then add the remaining stock.Add the remaining stock: 1 or 2 cups, depending on how thick you want your curry to be.
- Turn off the heat. Optionally top with the green beans, bok choy and/or crispy tofu (optional). Let the curry settle for 5 minutes before serving.
- Garnish with toasted cashews and sesame seeds.
🌡️ Food safety
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with a high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice. See our full Nutritional Disclosure here.
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