Vegan Thai Red Curry is the mildest of the three most common Thai curries – Red, Yellow & Green. Of course that depends on whether you add extra chillies, but the base sauce or paste is pretty much that. With many dishes, making your own spice mix is fairly easy, but with Thai in particular, it requires unusual spices. This makes it difficult to make at home easily, so my advice is just buy a good quality, vegan spice mix. Always check for fish sauce or shrimp paste as they often use them. My favourite is Maesri, though Thai Taste is a close second, but I think Maesri is more authentic Thai.
As with most dishes, it’s often about the ingredients that you chose. There are many to choose from: aubergine, courgette, tomato, baby corn, water chestnuts, peppers, carrots, potatoes, cauliflower the list is long. I try to avoid dark colours – so no field mushrooms as they spoil the beatiful colours of a Thai curry. You can add tomatoes to this dish, which don’t really work with green curry for the same reasons – they spoil the colour.
I always start with a base of fresh ginger, garlic, celery and onions. True the sauce mixes have garlic and ginger in them, but you get extra freshness you use the raw vegetable. Don’t use everything in the list, but 2/3 is about right. Sometimes the baby corn comes in a pack with mange tout – you can add that too. Make sure to add it near the end or they become a bit mushy and discoloured.
Vegan fish sauce and a little palm sugar help to give it extra umami. Plus you can always add some chopped corriander just before the end. A stock cube or two doesn’t hurt.
Purists say it’s got to be served with rice – and most “influencers” if not all serve it with white rice! Crazy or what – long-grain brown (unpolished) basmati is best, but it also goes very well with wholemeal couscous.
As far as extras – I love this Vegan Thai Red Curry with hummus (naughty I know) & mango chutney – also naughty!
Thai Red Curry with Tofu
- 20 g coconut oil can use rapeseed also but coconut is best
- 2 medium onions – cook in large pan with oil.
- 30 g fresh ginger finely chopped a good thumb sized piece
- 5 cloves garlic approx 25g
- 2 sticks celery
- 3 whole finger chillies finger chillies are generally consistent & so easy to judge. You can add 1 or 2 more if you like it hotter
- 300 g Red curry paste - but the thicker one I prefer the Maesri brand - 2 packets
- 800 g coconut milk = one standard can. use full fat
- 50 g coconut cream or creamed coconut 2 ice cubes worth if frozen
- 2 sticks of lemon grass Thai or oriental mini-market
- 2 teasps vegan fish sauce Thai Taste do one
- 1` tbsp palm sugar
- 2 level teaspoons of veg stock
- 2 low salt veg stock cubes
- 1 teasp of garlic powder. optional but adds body
- 1 teasp onion powder optional but adds body
- 2 whole medium carrots – actifry for 8 mins
- 200 g baby waxy potatoes
- 2 medium orange or yellow pepper red or yellow peppers – actifry for 8 mins
- 2 medium yellow courgettes - actifry for 8 mins
- 250 g white mushrooms 1 pack generally - optional ingredient
- 1 600g cartons of tofu firm tofu.
- 150 g baby sweetcorn
- 1 tin of bamboo shoots or water chesnuts
- 30 g corriander` usually a small bag or bunch
- 150 g plant pioneers plant based "Chikin"
- 150 g halved baby plum tomatoes optional
- Slice the onions top to bottom and begin to sauté on a low heat in a tablespoon of coconut oil
- Peel and slice the garlic, and add
- Chop the ginger finely and add
- Chop the celery in 1cm pieces and add
- add in the chillies
- add in the courgettes and peppers
- I cooked the carrots and potatoes seperately and added them now
- When all is starting to soften, add the curry paste
- stir to incorporate and spread the spices into the veggies allow to heat through. Then add in the coconut milk
- If you put the rice on 25 minutes before you think the curry dish will be finished, they should be ready together! I put the tofu on to saute in my actifry - but you can just add it to the dish later on if you wish.
- Now is a good time to put the baby corn into the sauce – cut into 3 pieces –– it want’s around 20 minutes total in the sauce to be tender but not over cooked. I added some leftover sauteed tomatoes at the same time.
- Also cut up the tofu into 1 to 2 cm sized pieces and Actifry or pan fry with chilli sauce and some soya sauce.
- Also Actifry or pan fry the chicken substitute if you are using that. I did it earlier and added it now.
- sauteed tofu going in.
- adding in some mange tout cut in half at the same time.
- It then needs around 10 minutes or so longer in the sauce to complete the cooking.