Vegan Thai green curry

Vegan Thai green curry

vegan thai green curry pot

As it is for many people, Thai green curry was my introduction to Thai cuisine and it’s still one of my firm favourites. This comparatively mild and herbaceous curry is a Thai restaurant menu staple for a reason – you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t like its gorgeous, well rounded flavours – spiciness soothed by cooling coconut and set against the freshness of coriander, lemongrass and lime leaves. The last two blew my mind the first time I tasted them and I have been hooked on their unique flavours ever since.

When we lived in London, going out for Thai food was probably a bi-weekly ritual and it’s something I am keen to resume here in Bristol (as you can imagine, there wasn’t any decent Thai food to be had on Paros, where we lived before moving back to the UK).

Being vegan complicates things slightly as shrimp paste and fish sauce are such essential Thai ingredients that often people forget that they render a veggie-packed dish not suitable for either vegans or even vegetarians. Well, once we move house, I will be on a mission to find a good Thai restaurant that is willing to tweak things a little if we ask nicely and you’ll know if I succeed, as hardly anything gets me as excited as finding a new favourite place to eat.

Meanwhile, here is my take on Thai green curry. I’ve had trouble finding fish-less green curry paste so I’ve decided to make my own, especially that things like lemongrass or lime leaves are now fairly easy to get hold of – they can both be found in large supermarkets (although I prefer to get them from the Asian store in town).

I make my own fish sauce (I promise to share the recipe with you at some point) and you can buy it online too but if you don’t have any to hand, adding ground up nori seaweed to the paste imparts a ‘fishy’ taste without harming a thing. I grind the sheets in my spice grinder and keep them in an air sealed jar on my shelf until they are summoned to help out in the flavour department 😛 .

vegan thai green curry key ingredients

vegan thai green curry paste

vegan thai green curry

vegan thai green curry close up

serves
4
PREP
20 min
COOKING
45 min
serves
4
PREPARATION
20 min
COOKING
45 min
INGREDIENTS
PASTE

  • 2 medium shallots
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • thumb-size piece of ginger
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, soft inner part chopped roughly
  • 4 green Thai chillies (deseeded for less heat)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground white (or black if unavailable) pepper
  • coriander stalks from a big bunch of coriander (use the leaves to serve)
  • 1 tsp salt

CURRY SAUCE

  • 3 tbsp / 45 ml neutral tasting oil (I used rice bran)
  • 400 ml / 14 oz full fat coconut milk (from a tin)
  • 6 fresh Makrut (previously known as Kaffir) lime leaves
  • 360-480 ml / 1½-2 cups veggie stock (or water)
  • 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce OR vegan fish sauce*, more to taste
  • juice of half a lime
  • approx. 2 tsp sugar (I used coconut sugar), adjust to taste
  • ½ small butternut squash or a sweet potato, cubed
  • a small aubergine / eggplant, cubed
  • 50 g / 1.5 oz sugar snap peas, sliced on the diagonal
  • 100 g / 3.5 oz tenderstem broccoli
  • a handful of bean sprouts, blanched
METHOD
  1. In a food processor, combine all the paste ingredients until finely chopped.
  2. Heat up oil in a heavy-bottomed casserole dish on a low heat.
  3. Add curry paste to the hot oil and fry it off gently, for 10 minutes, stirring the entire time.
  4. Stir in coconut milk (you can use low-fat coconut milk if you want the curry to be skinnier).
  5. Finally add in the lime leaves and stock (or water). Start off with 360 ml / 1½ cups of stock and add more to achieve the desired consistency. Traditionally this curry sauce is fairly thin and soupy in consistency.
  6. Allow the sauce to come to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes on a low heat.
  7. Season with tamari (soy sauce or vegan fish sauce), lime juice and a touch of sugar (if needed). If you can, allow the curry flavours to develop overnight as it always tastes better the day after it has been made. If you are making this dish a day in advance, I recommend not cooking the vegetables until just before serving.
  8. In terms of the veggies, you could simply cook them in the simmering curry, but that gives you less control over the ‘doneness’ of the individual elements and it affects the colour of the green veggies. I personally prefer to bake the butternut squash and aubergine in the oven and to steam the sugar snap peas and broccoli. I baked the butternut squash and aubergine in a 210° C / 410° F (190° C / 375° F with fan) oven for about 20 minutes (turning them once, after 10 minutes) after coating them in a bit of olive oil. I steamed my sugar snap peas for 2 minutes and tenderstem broccoli for 5 minutes.
  9. Serve on top of plain jasmine rice garnished with blanched bean sprouts and fresh coriander.
NOTES
*If you are unable to get hold of vegan fish sauce, you can add some ground up nori to the paste for extra umami. I grind my nori sheets in my spice grinder and incorporate them into foods that traditionally contain such animal products as shrimp paste or fish sauce. It works a treat.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
409
20%
sugars
8 g
9%
fats
32 g
46%
saturates
20 g
102%
proteins
7 g
15%
carbs
29 g
11%
*per serving
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5.0
26 reviews, 50 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Andrew:
When you say "allow the curry flavours to develop overnight", do you mean left in a slow cooker on heat or to be chilled in a fridge?
Thanks.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Andrew,
    By that I mean chill in the fridge unless you live somewhere cold, in which case you can simply stick the entire (provided it's well sealed) pot outside for the night - that's what I often do when my fridge is too full. Hope this helps! Ania
Nat:
What could you substitute for Kaffir leaves? Would love to make it but cannot find these leaves
    Ania
    Ania:
    There is nothing really like it, I'm afraid. Some people use zest of regular lime - which can nice in its own right, but does not deliver the same flavour or fragrance as Makrut limes. Not sure if you tried looking for dried or frozen (any large Asian store is bound to have them in their freezer) ones, but if you did and no luck, simply just skip. Ania
Rosie:
Just made this sauce, it was really, really good! I look forward to adding different veg to it. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Rosie, I am delighted to hear that! And thank you for returning to review, I really appreciate it. x Ania
Sherri:
I have just made the sauce and it’s delishes! I have shared with a few friends already! Will definitely make again and will also look up More of your recipes Thankyou 🙏 xx
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Sherri! I'm so happy to hear that! x Ania
Tress Hannah:
What a fabulous vegan curry recipe. Easily the best curry we have ever made from scratch. Also super simple and fairly quick. If you want restaurant quality at home, then this is the recipe for you! We added Savoy cabbage as an additional vegetable!! Highly recommend!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you for your kind words, Tress! I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed this dish and didn't find it difficult to make either. x Ania
Lea:
Curry is one of those things that I just CAN'T get enough of! This recipe looks absolutely delicious. I'm adding it to my meal plan for next week.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Great to hear, Lea! I hope you'll enjoy it! x Ania
Caroline:
Delicious
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you, I'm pleased to hear that! :)
Chantal:
So. Gooood!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Chantal, lovely to hear that you've enjoyed it! Ania
Tam:
I read a lot of the feedback and thought it was a bit over the top...but it's true! This is the best recipe for Thai Green Curry I have ever made. Thanks Ania :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Phew...I'm glad you enjoyed the results and thanks for returning to leave this lovely review - I really appreciate it. x Ania
There's no way to get this green color as yours! :( mine is brown but still really good :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm glad you enjoyed its taste, K! As for the colour you can blitz a handful of spinach with coconut milk and add it in the end, it won't affect the flavour, but add extra nutrition and improve the colour :) x Ania
Hannah:
Wow this was absolutely delicious! I added in some shrimp for protein. Yum!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Hannah, I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it. Ania
Sofie:
Ania, I just made this recipe. It’s so delicious,I just didn’t have the same vegetables so I used what I had ,all the rest I keñt the same. I’m surely gonna mske it again!!
Thank you.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, Sofie! Great to hear and thank you for taking the time to review - much appreciated. x Ania
Bee Arnold:
For anyone wondering the meal is about 350 calories with out rice per person (I used a large sweet potato and light coconut milk but added a little extra milk As we are not big fans of rice)
Bee Arnold x
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Bee! I am calculating all the calories for the site right now so hopefully I will be able to provide this info soon. x Ania
Pauline:
Wow this was delicious and the paste is now our go to Thai green curry paste. Thanks a lovely recipe.
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed it, Pauline! Thanks for taking the time to let me know! Ania
Alina:
My tastebuds were so happy after trying this curry. It is more than delicious and we will definitely make it again. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us. You're great!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thank you for your kind words, Alina! I'm so pleased that you enjoyed my vegan take on this Thai classic. And thanks so much for taking the time to let me know that it was such a success - much appreciated. x Ania
Mike Smith:
I made this last night and it was just delicious - easily the best Thai Curry I have had outside of a restaurant!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Mike, that's really awesome to hear! I'm delighted! Ania
Malinder:
Hi Ania I’m surprised you can’t find it at an Asian grocers in Bristol. You may be able to get whole fresh frozen galangal which is better than powdered or none at all!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Malinder,
    I couldn't find it at the time of writing this recipe and have not been out and about much lately due to lockdown so not sure but will have another look once things have calmed down again. Ania
Malinder:
Hi Ania I finally got around to making this and it is amazing! I added fresh galangal to the paste, sweetened with palm sugar, slow cooked it with tinned jackfruit, and added steamed green beans at the end. Will definitely make over and over again.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Malinder. I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed this recipe and plan to make it again. Fresh galangal sounds ideal - wish I could find it locally! Ania
Sandra:
I made this green curry a few days ago. Thank you for creating it. It's absolutely delicious and tastes so much like the green curry l get from my take away thai place occasionally. So happy that l can now cook it at home. Really enjoyed gathering and mixing the ingredients too
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks for your kind words, Sandra. I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed both making and eating it! And thank you for letting me know. Ania
Grier Marr:
BEST HOMEMADE GREEN CURRY!! I have made so many, and they all have fallen short of tastiness! This GREEN CURRY is AMAZING! I just cannot believe this has been missing from my life. Thank you so much for this recipe. It is a keeper. I can now stop going to the not so great Thai restaurant in my town for basic green curry.
THANK YOU!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks so much! I'm delighted to hear that, Grier! You are very kind to say so! x Ania
Beth:
This was delicious. I used dried lemongrass and dried kaffir lime leaves and it tasted amazing!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Beth, I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed it! And thank you for taking the time to review the recipe - much appreciated! Ania
Carol:
Delicious and easy to make. Thank you
    Ania
    Ania:
    Great to hear!! Thank you for letting me know that you enjoyed it, Carol. x Ania
Agnieszka:
Hi Ania, this is a fantastic recipe I've recreated at home and it's been applauded! So hats off. I love your blog and other vegan recipes as well. Question though, any chance you'd be able to include (if not all nutritional facts) then at least the CALORIE count for total meal? That way I could do more of your recipes but we're trying to keep an eye on calories given we are these days home bound due to the lockdown in the UK and of course we are not as active as usually so have to be a bit more careful with how much we indulge in food and your delicious inspirations. Thank you!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Agnieszka,
    Glad to hear you are enjoying my recipes, including this one. I hear you. I would love to be able to add this information into the site but it isn't that simple, I'm afraid. I have around 500 recipes to date and there is no automatic way to calculate calories for each recipe. I would need to calculate it manually for every single recipe by looking up calorie content for each individual ingredient, adding them up and dividing into portion sizes, etc. As it is a very time consuming job and I only get a handful of people interested in that information, I am not sure I will be able to undertake this kind of project at the moment, I'm afraid. Ania
Erin Woodward:
This recipe was OUTSTANDING!!! We don't have any lime leaves here so I used the zest of one lemon and one lime. I will definitely be making this again. Thank you!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks so much, Erin! I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed it that much and thank you for letting me know that you did! x Ania
Nishana Saman:
Hi
Can I make this paste in advance and freeze?
Alternatively, how long will it keep in the fridge?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi,
    You can freeze it but be aware that freezing tends to dull the flavours. I reckon it will last in the fridge for about 3-4 days. Hope that helps! Ania
Charlie:
Made this tonight - it was really great - tasted very authentic and once you have bought all the ingredients it's really easy. Sadly didn't have the lime leaves but still tasted amazing. Husband loved it. Will definitely be making again.
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm so happy to hear that, Charlie! Thanks for giving it a go and for taking the time to let me know that it was a success. x Ania
Victoria Gaskins:
I've made this with and without Kaffir leaves. I prefer with, but this is a tasty dish either way.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you, Victoria! I'm pleased to hear that! x Ania
Charlotte:
This curry is absolutely amazing! Probably the best curry recipe I've ever made. I really liked making the paste and sauce first and steaming/ roasting the veg separately, so you could make sure they didn't get over cooked. Delicious! Thanks so much Ania! Charlotte x
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, Charlotte! I am so happy to hear that you like this recipe so much! And thank YOU for taking the time to let me and my readers know - much appreciated! x Ania
Tony:
Hi Ania,
I love your recipes but is their an alternative to coriander stalks as we are not big fans of it?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Tony,
    There isn't as far as I know. You can skip it if you wish, but it does add a lot of herbaceous flavour to the dish, in my opinion. Ania
Phyllis:
Thank you for the idea of nori sheets instead of fish sauce.
    Ania
    Ania:
    My pleasure, I am so glad I could help! x Ania
aya naboulsi:
amazing !!!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Aya! Glad to hear that. x Ania
Liz:
I'm not normally one to leave a post after cooking something, but I made this last night and it is freaking amazing! The depth of flavor was shocking and I know it's only going to get better the longer it sits. I used 4 serrano peppers (no seeds), which was way too spicy for my boyfriend, but was able to bring the heat level down by adding more coconut milk and rice. I'll definitely make this again, but if anyone has suggestions on peppers with a similar flavor but much less heat, I would appreciate it.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Liz! I'm glad to hear that you and your boyfriend enjoyed it! Thanks for taking the time to leave such a nice feedback. Ania
Jake Nowakowski:
Cześć Ania!
Thank you so much! I've only just been put on a vegan diet due to health reasons and was dreading the change until my sister introduced me to your recipes. I made the green curry and sweet potato and black bean bake. I was dubious at first and expected the food to be bland and flavourless. I have been converted! The green curry is one the best I've ever had in my life, full of punchy flavour, spice and tang! Absolutely fantastic. I'll be making a double batch of the paste next time and plan to always have some stashed in the fridge. The bake is fantastic also, never thought that vegan cheese could be so good. I'm looking forward to trying your other recipes, next on my list is the Laksa and pierogi. Can't wait. Thanks Again!
Cheers
Kuba
    Ania
    Ania:
    Cześć Kuba,
    You have no idea how pleased I am to hear that I am changing your mind about vegan food. I am so glad you embraced the need to change and enjoying the ride! Veganism, if done right, it's life changing (at least it was for me). All the best! Ania
Gareth:
This was a very tasty and easy recipe.
I left out the tamari/soy source and used some different veg like bell peppers, mini corn cob etc. so defiantly worth doing again.
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm very pleased to hear that, Gareth! Thanks for letting me know! x Ania
Elle:
I sadly couldn't find them at my local supermarket, but I will keep looking out for them. I'm curious to see what they taste like! Also, a great excuse to make this curry again. Not that I need one. :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Haahaha, definitely. They are really very unique, with the most beautiful aroma. Good luck, I hope you'll find them soon. Ania
Elle:
Made this without keffir and without blender, just chopped the ingredients really finely. I put a few strips of lemon zest in, left them in too long so the curry ended up quite bitter. Still, it was so tasty and it's so nice to use fresh herbs. Thank you!
    Ania
    Ania:
    So glad you enjoyed it! Makrut lime leaves have quite a unique flavour and add a lot aroma to the dish so it's worth seeking them out. I'm not sure about Holland (I'm guessing from your email that it's where you live), but here in the UK, you can get them frozen or dried in many supermarkets and they work just as well as the fresh ones. Ania
Renee:
Any ideas of what to substitute if I can’t get any lime leaves? Looking forward to making this!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Renee,
    You could just skip them, the curry won't be as aromatic, but there isn't a good substitute really. They are very unique. Some people suggest shavings/zest of regular limes, but I don't think they are similar at all. Ania
WANYA BEZERRA:
Love your way to describe recipes, although some ingredients are not available in Brazil.
Sending my appreciation for your work.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks very much! Ania
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