Next time you’re craving something soothing and hearty with ample nutrition, pull up this recipe for red Thai coconut curry.
Each spoonful bursts with fragrant spices and creamy coconut milk. It’s the perfect blend of sweet, spicy, and savory flavors that will leave your taste buds wanting more.
The star of this red Thai coconut curry is undoubtedly the rich and creamy coconut milk, which forms the base of the fragrant sauce. Supported by zesty spices like ginger, chili paste, and fresh coriander, you’re looking at one flavorful soup.
The best part about this curry is its incredible versatility. Any ingredient you add will soak up the mouthwatering broth and taste like pure magic. We used broccoli, potatoes, peas, and tofu, but feel free to add whatever veggies and proteins you have on hand.
With its vibrant colors, bold flavors, and endless possibilities, this dish deserves to be a winter staple in your kitchen.
Coconut milk. This ingredient is a must for adding richness and depth to the curry. Coconut milk is a great vegan alternative to dairy and contains ample amounts of iron, potassium, magnesium, and healthy fats (1). Use full-fat coconut milk for the best texture in your curry.
Red curry paste. When it comes to making the perfect curry, Thai red curry paste is an absolute must-have. It’s made from a blend of herbs and spices, including chili peppers, garlic, ginger, and lemongrass. Adding a couple of tablespoons of red curry paste saves you from adding all these ingredients.
Ginger. Ginger is a versatile spice that adds a subtle punch of spice to this curry recipe. It is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that help reduce inflammation in the body. Ginger also aids in digestion by improving gut health and reducing nausea (2).
Soy sauce. This Asian staple condiment takes curry to a whole new level. It provides a unique umami flavor and a rich, salty flavor that blends beautifully with the sweetness of the coconut milk.
Tofu. We added cubes of tofu to this recipe for an extra boost of protein, but you can use whatever protein you have on hand.
Potatoes. It might seem like an unlikely curry ingredient, but once you try adding diced potatoes to curry, you’ll be hooked. It definitely amps up the comfort factor and helps thicken the sauce.
How To Make Red Thai Coconut Curry:
Wanna learn how to make this soothing soup? You can whip up this recipe in just 40 minutes, making it ideal for hectic winter weeknights when you’re craving something easy and comforting.
So, without further ado, let’s go over the simple instructions to make red Thai coconut curry.
Before you start, you’ll want to cook to partially cook the potatoes. Fill a small pot with water, salt the contents liberally, and place it on the stovetop over high heat.
While you’re waiting for the water to boil, wash and dice the potatoes until they’re cut into bite-sized chunks.
Place the sliced potatoes in the water and boil for 10 minutes. Once they start to soften, drain the water and set the spuds aside.
While the potatoes are boiling, you can get started on the sauce. Grab a large stockpot and drizzle the base with oil. Over medium-high heat, cook the finely diced onion and minced ginger for around 3-4 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
Add the curry paste and mix it with the onions and garlic. Let it cook for another minute.
Next, add the coconut milk, soy sauce, and chili paste. Give everything a good stir until well-mixed, then bring it to a simmer.
While the soup is simmering, find a small skillet, then drizzle the base with oil. Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the cubed tofu. Fry the tofu until it’s golden brown on all sides.
After 15 minutes, add the cooked potatoes and the rest of the veggies (minus the spinach) to the curry mixture. Let it simmer for another 5 minutes. At the end, stir in the rice wine vinegar and the spinach, until the spinach wilts.
Serve the curry in bowls over Jasmine rice. Top with tofu, sliced red chili, red onion, fresh coriander, sesame seeds, and lime juice.
Garnish with fresh cilantro instead of coriander. Fun fact, these two herbs are essentially the same thing. Cilantro comprises the leaves and stems of this plant, whereas coriander is the seeds. Both have a similar flavor, so feel free to use whatever you can find in the grocery store.
Swap in other proteins for tofu. In this recipe, we used tofu and peas as our protein, but you can also try chickpeas, lentils, tempeh, or chicken and shrimp you’re not vegetarian.
Substitute the side dish. Curry does wonders on a bed of Jasmine rice, but you can also serve this recipe with naan bread, quinoa, or just enjoy it as a hearty soup.
Add fish sauce for more flavoring. If you’re not vegetarian, try incorporating this pungent sauce for even more Thai flavor.
Switch up the vegetables. Have some bell peppers, basil, or snap peas lying around? Toss those in too!
This red Thai coconut curry makes fantastic leftovers, so be sure to make a big batch for easy work lunches and weeknight dinners.
For best results, wait for the curry to cool down to room temperature, then pour it into a large, glass, airtight container.
Tuck it away in the fridge for one to a month or in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to use it, let it thaw out in the fridge overnight and heat it up in a saucepan.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is red coconut curry spicy?
The spicy level depends on how much red curry paste and chili paste you add to your recipe. We added a few tablespoons of the former and only two teaspoons of the latter since it’s quite spicy.
If you’re spice adverse, you can omit chili paste from your recipe altogether, but we recommend keeping in the red curry paste since it gives this recipe that classic curry flavor. Without it, you’ll find this recipe lacks depth.
Can I make Thai red curry without coconut milk?
Along with the red curry paste, coconut milk is another must-have staple for making delicious curry. You can omit it, but you may need to add additional sweetness to the curry.
You could use Greek yogurt, cow’s milk, almond milk, or oat milk instead of coconut milk. We recommend adding a splash of agave to make up for the coconut’s natural sugars.
Try These Other Thai-Inspired Soups:
- Thai Chicken Curry – A protein-packed curry loaded with comforting, warm spices.
- Thai Inspired Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup – A unique fusion of Thai curry with classic chicken noodle soup.
- Thai Coconut Soup – A hearty soup with tender fish, rich coconut milk, and soft potatoes.
Red Thai Coconut Curry
- 1 white onion finely diced
- 1 thumb ginger about a 1" section, minced
- 3 tbsp red curry paste
- 27 ounces coconut milk 2 x 13.5 ounce cans
- 2 tsp chilli paste sambal oelek
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 head broccoli cut into florets
- 6 potatoes small, quartered
- 1 cup green beans
- 1 cup peas or large handful, frozen
- 16 ounces tofu one common sized package, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 cup spinach or large handful
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 red chili
- coriander fresh
- sesame seeds
- First, wash and quarter the potatoes and boil for 10 minutes, drain and set aside.
- While the potatoes are boiling, start making the sauce. Add a little oil to the bottom of a large stockpot. Cook the finely diced onion and the minced ginger over a medium/high heat for 3-4 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add the curry paste and cook for another minute.
- Next, add the coconut milk and give everything a good stir. Add the soy sauce, chilli paste and bring to a simmer.
- In another frying pan, heat a little oil and fry the tofu until it’s golden on all sides.
- Add the cooked potatoes, and the other vegetables (except the spinach) into the curry sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. At the end, stir in the rice wine vinegar and the spinach, until the spinach wilts.
- Serve the curry with rice, and top with the tofu, some sliced red chilli, sliced red onion, some fresh coriander and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
Images by Lauren Caris Short.