If you’re looking for an authentic Vegan Thai Red Curry recipe that’s easy to make and doesn’t compromise on taste, then look no further! It has that beautiful aromatic Thai flavour and spicy kick that you’re looking for. This vegan recipe is healthier and tastier than takeout and is perfect for any time of year!
Creating the best Vegan Thai Red Curry recipe
I’ve been a big fan of Thai curries ever since I was a kid. So naturally when I first went vegan, I tried every vegan recipe on the web to try and make this dish for myself.
Unfortunately, these recipes were missing something from those traditional Thai red curries that I was searching for. They were too bland, lacking that spicy punch and weren’t comforting enough.
After many experiments, I’d stumbled upon the best vegan Thai red curry recipe and am excited to share it with you!
So, what was the missing ingredient?
The power of Umami
I had blindly assumed the secret to making a tasty Thai curry was to use onion, ginger and garlic like in most other aromatic vegan dishes. But I was wrong..
What was lacking in those other vegan Thai red curry recipes was that strong taste of Umami!
At a high level, the Japanese term Umami (“pleasant savoury taste” in English) is one of the 5 basic tastes (along with sweet, sour, salty and bitter) and describes the taste of glutamate, inosinate, or guanylate.
This taste of Umami is a key element in the taste of Thai curries and is typically found in animal based products – in particular, fish sauce and shrimp.
So when you subtract these animal based products without properly replacing with vegan food sources high in Umami, you get the bland vegan Thai curries I was talking about.
This is why tomato paste is so important this recipe! Yes tomato paste. Tomatoes are one of the best plant sources of umami and comes from their high glutamic acid content. This is why mixing tomato paste together with the vegan Thai red curry paste will really put that “umpf” back in and make this healthy vegan Thai red curry with tofu the best you’ve ever had!
How to make Vegan Thai Red Curry?
The first step, which is a key step, is to first heat some of the coconut milk in the pot so it becomes thicker and the coconut oil starts to separate. At this point, you have a lovely consistency and will now add in the vegan Thai red curry paste and tomato paste and blend together.
After the pastes have been blended, you will need to add in the rest of your coconut milk and water and bring to boil.
Once it’s boiling, you just need to add in your soy sauce, vegan brown sugar, tofu and vegetables and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. That’s it! What an easy vegan Thai red curry recipe, right?
How do you store Thai red curry?
Another awesome part of this dish is how easily it can be stored! You can even batch cook it on the weekend and simply reheat to have an amazingly tasty meal on a weeknight which is ready in no time.
I find this vegan Thai red curry lasts great in the fridge for up to 48 hours. Between the 48-72 hour mark, it would still be edible but the vegetables lose their nice texture and the taste starts to wane.
It can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Simply leave it out overnight to thaw and reheat the next day in a pot or microwave!
Just remember to always let the vegan Thai red curry completely cool off before putting into an air tight container and storing in either the fridge or freezer. Not only to preserve the lovely taste and texture of the food but also to avoid contamination.
Vegan Thai red curry recipe tips
- You may have asked yourself: Is red Thai curry paste vegan? The answer: sometimes. Not all store bought red Thai curry pastes are vegan as it may contain either fish sauce or shrimp. So always pay attention to the label at the back to make sure it’s vegan. This certified vegan Thai red curry paste is reasonably priced and has that authentic taste you desire.
- In most of my recipes, I advocate for choosing a low-fat coconut milk to make a healthier version of a dish. However, always choose full-fat coconut milk with Thai curries. It provides a richer creaminess, which is essential for making an authentic vegan Thai red curry with tofu.
- Remember to heat the coconut milk in the pan and letting the oil separate before adding in the curry and tomato paste. It really does make a huge different to the taste and texture of the curry.
- Don’t skip on the vegan sugar. Might sound like a miniscule part of the dish, but it makes a big impact. Thai curries can become very salty, so you want to add the sugar in there to balance out the flavours.
- I’ve gushed already about tomato paste and the importance of Umami to a Thai red curry. Additionally, you should also use mushrooms, soy sauce, tofu and corn in this dish as they are also good sources of Umami flavour.
- The great thing about this dish is that it’s quite versatile and you can add in or subtract the vegetables you enjoy most. Some of my favourite vegetable substitutes are bamboo shoots, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.
More healthy vegan dinner recipes to try
If you like this Vegan Thai red curry recipe, you might also like:
- Easy vegan mango “chicken” curry
- Roasted tofu, veggies and chickpea wraps
- Vegan Creamed Spinach and Mushrooms
- Vegan Mushroom Matar Masala
- Healthy vegan chilli sin carne
Please feel free to check out all my vegan recipes here for more inspiration in the kitchen!
If you tried this vegan thai red curry recipe and loved it as much as I did, please feel free to let me know by leaving a comment and a rating below. I also love seeing remakes of these recipes, so be sure to tag me @voach_thevegancoach and use the hashtag #voachrecipes if you post your creation on Instagram!
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