Vegan Thai red curry

Vegan Thai red curry

vegan thai red curry

I don’t know about you, but I’m happy to be seeing the end of this week as it has not been good for me at all. I’ve been feeling really exhausted and low. My usual coping strategies are not really working and given my history with depression and intermittent anxiety issues, I am only hoping this state of mind is not here to stay.

At times like these, self-motivating is exceptionally hard and I sometimes wish I was still working in an office where I simply clock in and out and I have a bunch of colleagues to talk to. While blogging about your favourite subject for a living feels like an amazing privilege most of the time, there certainly are times when I feel like I have very little to give and it’s the last thing I want to be doing.

While editing photos for this recipe, I’ve been listening to one of my favourite podcasts, the Guilty Feminist (which never fails to make me laugh out loud) and they were discussing the subject of jealousy. One of the guests mentioned how social media gives the impression that everyone is having a much better time than you and how that makes you feel somewhat isolated and inadequate. That has been totally me this week. Not so much being jealous of any one person in particular, but just having a general feeling that everyone has their stuff figured out and I don’t.

They also pointed out that while you may feel like that about other people’s lives, there is always someone who feels that way about you! So to set the record straight, if you ever think that me or any other blogger out there leads this fantasy lifestyle filled with unicorns, cat hugs (okay, I do get a fair share of these as my cat is very affectionate), rainbow-coloured food, latte meet-ups with cool people in trendy locations, don’t be fooled! While blogging certainly can afford you some of that some of the time, it’s also a lonely pursuit involving constant washing up, lots of failures that no one is there to see, lots of procrastination, self-doubt and a sparse amount of human contact. Coupled with being new to a city, it can really make you feel very alone at times.

To lift myself out of this funk, I’ve decided to cook up something bright and full of flavour. As I’ve started the week off with a vegan version of the famous Thai corn fritters, I already had my fridge stocked with Thai red curry paste, fresh lemongrass and fragrant lime leaves, so I’ve decided it would be prudent to put them to another use.

So on the menu today is another Thai restaurant classic – Thai red curry bursting with a variety of vegetables, which you should feel free to swap for anything you have handy. The cool thing is that when combined these two would make a great dinner party menu if you are planning on any entertaining. They are both easy to make and are massive crowd pleasers. I hope you’ll make at least one of these dishes and its vibrant colours and flavours will brighten up your day a little too.

vegan thai red curry ingredients

vegan thai red curry close

vegan thai red curry spoon

20 min
40 min
20 min
40 min
  • 1-2 tbsp / 15-30 ml neutral tasting oil (I used rice bran)
  • 2 medium shallots, diced finely
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced finely
  • thumb-size piece of ginger, diced finely
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, soft inner part chopped finely
  • 2-3 tbsp vegan-friendly Thai red curry paste, depending on the brand and your heat tolerance
  • 400 ml / 14 oz coconut milk (from a tin)
  • 2 fresh Makrut (aka Kaffir) lime leaves*
  • 360-480 ml / 1½-2 cups veggie stock (or water)
  • 1 sweet potato, cubed
  • 100 g / 3.5 oz fine green beans, cut into 2-3 segments
  • ¼ cauliflower, divided into medium florets
  • 100 g / 3.5 oz tenderstem broccoli, cut into 3 segments
  • 100 g / 3.5 oz baby corn, halved
  • 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce or vegan fish sauce, more to taste
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1 tsp sugar (I used coconut sugar)
  • fresh coriander, to serve
  1. Heat up the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot.
  2. Add the diced shallots and fry them on a low heat until almost translucent (for about 5-7 minutes), stirring from time to time.
  3. Add the diced garlic, ginger and lemongrass. Keep on frying gently for another 5 minutes or so, stirring regularly. If the pot gets too dry, add a small splash of stock or water.
  4. Mix the red curry paste into the aromatics and keep on frying it off gently for about 3 minutes until you see the oils separating.
  5. Stir in the milk (you can use low-fat coconut milk if you want the curry to be skinnier).
  6. 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.
  7. Allow the sauce to come to a gentle simmer.
  8. 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 vegetables until just before serving.
  9. 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 greens. Put the potato in first (takes about 12 minutes) and cover the pot with a lid. After 6 minutes, add in the beans and cauliflower. After another 2 minutes add in the tenderstem broccoli and halved baby corn and continue simmering (with the lid on) for another 4 minutes or so.
  10. Another way to cook the green veggies, which I personally like as it preserves their vibrant colour and allows you to control crispness better, is to steam them. I steamed my beans for 2 minutes, then added the tenderstem broccoli and continued for 2 more minutes.
  11. Serve on top of plain rice garnished with fresh coriander.
*A kind reader pointed out to me that the word Kaffir is a racial slur (here is one article explaining the issue) and therefore there is a motion to start calling these limes by their Thai name, Makrut. The trouble is that the former name is so entrenched that it is what you will find on the packaging, at least here in the UK, so I feel like I’ve had to include a reference to it or else you will not know what ingredient I’m talking about.

6 g
25 g
19 g
6 g
26 g
*per serving
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8 reviews, 20 comments
I noticed in Sainsbury' today that they have dropped the 'Kaffir' from the jars which are niw called simply 'Lime Leaves'. making this recipe tonight!
    Hi Caroline,
    Great to hear, I hope you'll enjoy this curry and great to hear that Sainsbury's moved with the times and got rid of that horrible name. Ania
Hi Ania, today I came across this recipe and read your post and wanted to let you know that your blog is my favorite place of inspiration. Some time ago I was supposed to come up with a new recipe at work, and only then I realized how much work and talent such task requires. Your recipes are beautiful, delicious, healthy and have never disappointed me yet, and as I have already made really a lot of them, there were many opportunities to do so :) thank you for creating such a wonderful place!
    Aw thanks so much for your kind words, Ania! I am so touched to hear that my blog has been a source of inspiration for you - thank you for taking the time to write. x Ania
Renee Leduc:
Delicious 😋
So rich and satisfying 😌 😍
    Thank you so much, Renee! I'm glad you enjoyed it and thank you for letting me know. x Ania
Wonderful! I added seiten as well. The recipe is definitely for keeps . I also decided to steam the veges prior to adding them to the pot, each per their own time to get them al dente. Amazing, no mushy vegetables in the dish at all! Thumbs up from Israel! Thanks ♥️
    Thank you for your kind feedback, Tamar! I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed this dish and plan to make it again. Ania
If I were to add tofu to this, at what step should I add it ?
    Hi Sarah,
    Personally, I would fry or bake it separately (like in this recipe) and add it in at the end. You could also poach it in the sauce for the last 10 minutes, I guess, but I don't reckon that's the tastiest way to serve it - it will be soft and fairly bland. Hope that helps! Ania
This meal was everything i needed. It was so yummy, warming and easy to make. I am looking forward to trying more recipes, thank you sharing you gift and skills with the world.
    My pleasure, Shay and thank you for your kind words! Stay well! x Ania
New favourite! This is so good, and so versatile. We make a large pot of broth then steam whatever veggies we have on hand and throw in some brown rice or rice noodles... delicious every time.
    Thank you, Amanda - I am delighted to hear this! And thanks for taking the time to review and rate this recipe. x Ania
Dear Ania,
You have become my number one vegan blog, and every week I cannot wait to see what you come up with next. I am still working my way through all your past recipes, so have this one ear-marked for tonight. I am a bit aubergine-mad at the moment, so what do you think - cut in chunks and pre-fry the aubergine in a bit of oil before hand or simply add with the sweet potato? By the way, I have made your sticky chinese aubergine last week ( and it was a winner!
Thanks so much for sharing our recipes with us - you are a gem.
    Aw, thanks so much for your kind words, Renda! I'm delighted to hear that! You can certainly pan-fry it if you don't mind the fact that it soaks up quite a bit of oil. I tend to bake it in a 210° C / 410° F oven like in this recipe. It allows me to use less oil and I find it just as tasty. Hope that helps!! x Ania
    PS: forgot to add that it is also fab grilled on a griddle pan.
Hi Ania
Made this today it was super delicious! And so easy. Best red thai curry i have had and I made it! Will definitely be one of my fav meals to make now.
Kay -
    That's great to hear, Kay! Thank you for taking the time to review and rate this recipe - it helps my blog grow. Much appreciated! Ania
I will file this in my 'Favorite Recipes' folder! It was easy, quick and the flavors were comforting. I did make one
boo-boo though - I added the red curry paste after the coconut milk instead of cooking it with the aromatics. Next
time I'll do it right, who knows, it might blow my socks off. Thanks, Ania
p.s. didn't have fresh lemongrass so I added 4 drops of lemongrass essential oil. In case you're not a huge fan of lemongrass,
I suggest you add it one drop at a time.
    Thanks, Roberta! I'm really glad to hear that you enjoyed it! Ania
Hi Ania,
2 questions:
1. Do you have a recipe for a red curry paste? There aren’t many brands here, and I didn’t love the ones I’ve tried
2. Can I use baby corn from a can or is it better to just not use it at all? I don’t even know how fresh baby corn looks like ;)
Thank you!
    Hi Roni,
    I have not got a recipe for red curry paste yet, but I am planning to publish it at some point. I have never used canned baby corn, but I don't see why it would not work. Ania
Oh my gosh - this was super delicious. I had beans and brocollini on hand but no cauli or baby corn but it was still bowl licking good. I took your suggestion of steaming the greens separately and then adding to the sauce - beautiful and vibrant. This recipe is even been than our local Thai restaurant! Thanks for a great recipe.
    I'm so pleased to hear that, Christine! x Ania
why are there red chillies in the photo and not in the recipe?
    Creative licence :) If you do like things spicier you can always add some in together with aromatics! Hope that helps! Ania
Edyta Borowy:
This is a keeper! Will try it next week. :-)
    Thank you, that's great to hear!! Ania
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