Thai Red Curry with Tofu

This Thai red curry recipe with tofu is super flavorful and packs a spicy kick! Thai curry is a coconut-based curry that is perfectly creamy and incorporates lots of fresh vegetables, tofu, and aromatics. I have tried numerous recipes and have found that the key to making it authentic and super tasty is by using pastes that are made in Thailand. I am not very fond of the Americanized versions of Thai curry pastes.

thai red curry with rice on a white plate

The base of the dish begins with Thai red curry paste, which is traditionally made with a mortar and pestle by grinding red chilies, garlic, shallot, lemongrass, kaffir lime, galangal, coriander seeds, cumin, and cardamom. The type and brand of red curry paste makes a HUGE difference in the taste of the overall result. In this recipe, I use the Maesri brand of red curry paste. I’ve tried to create this recipe using the Thai Kitchen brand found in most grocery stores, and it lacks flavor and intensity– an entire jar of it doesn’t even do the trick! You could use almost a full jar of it and not get that same authentic taste you’ll find in restaurants. That is why Maesri is the way to go. I’ve also heard good things about the Mae Ploy brand. If you have tried other brands, let me know what you think!

Another main ingredient is coconut milk. The best brand I’ve tasted is the Chaokoh brand. It has a richer flavor, creamier texture, and more cream compared to other supermarket brands. If you can’t find this brand, don’t worry, just be sure to buy full-fat coconut milk, not light coconut milk.

How to make Thai red curry

Prepare the tofu by wrapping a block of it in a clean dish towel and set something heavy on it, like a cast iron pan. This is to get rid of excess water in the tofu and is commonly done whenever tofu is used in a recipe.

Heat a wok to medium heat and scoop out the thick cream on top of the coconut milk into the wok until it starts to bubble. Then, mix in the red curry paste. Continue to sauté until fragrant. What you are doing here is boiling off the water in the cream so that fat breaks down further and develops more flavor.

Reduce the heat to a low simmer. Add the bamboo shoots, the remainder of coconut milk, 3 cloves of garlic, fish sauce, peapods, and palm sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes. If you would like your curry to be more of a soup, add 1 cup of chicken stock.

thai red curry simmering in a wok

While the curry is simmering, unwrap the tofu and cut it into cubes. Add in the cornstarch until it is fully coating the cubes. In a medium frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add in the garlic and tofu, and cook until golden brown and crispy. Add the tofu to the curry.

Serve over rice or noodles.

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thai red curry with rice on a white plate
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5 from 2 votes

Thai Red Curry with Tofu

This Thai red curry recipe with tofu is super flavorful and packs a spicy kick! Thai curry is a coconut-based curry that is perfectly creamy and incorporates lots of fresh vegetables, tofu, and aromatics.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: Thai red curry
Servings: 4 people
Author: Globally Flavored

Ingredients

  • 1 can coconut milk* don't shake!
  • 2 tablespoon Maesri red curry paste**
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 small can of bamboo shoots
  • 1 big handful of pea pods
  • 2 tablespoon fish sauce omit if vegetarian
  • 2 tablespoon palm sugar chopped (or brown sugar)
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 1 package of extra-firm tofu cut into cubes (or chicken, pork, or shrimp)
  • ¼ cup of cornstarch
  • 1 handful of Thai basil or Italian basil

Instructions

  • Prepare the tofu by wrapping a block of it in a clean dish towel and set something heavy on it, like a cast iron pan. This is to get rid of excess water in the tofu and is commonly done whenever tofu is used in a recipe.
  • Heat a wok to medium heat and scoop out the thick cream on top of the coconut milk into the wok until it starts to bubble. Then, mix in the red curry paste. Continue to sauté until fragrant. What you are doing here is boiling off the water in the cream so that fat breaks down further and develops more flavor.
  • Reduce the heat to a low simmer. Add the bamboo shoots, the remainder of coconut milk, 3 cloves of garlic, fish sauce, peapods, and palm sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes. If you would like your curry to be more of a soup, add 1 cup of chicken stock.
  • While the curry is simmering, unwrap the tofu and cut it into cubes. Add in the cornstarch until it is fully coating the cubes. In a medium frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add in the garlic and tofu, and cook until golden brown and crispy. Add the tofu to the curry.
  • Serve over rice or noodles.

Notes

*Make sure to get coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk, not light coconut milk.
**I use Maesri red curry paste, I find this to have the best flavor. It's vegan too!**

Try out other Thai recipes, and let me know if you liked this recipe in the comments!



4 thoughts on “Thai Red Curry with Tofu”

  • 5 stars
    Hi Annie,
    Your blog is excellent! I don’t make many Asian dishes but would love to try. Love the whole site and your descriptions. Very useful info on the brand of ingredients you use and where to find them. Pictures are great too. It looks very professional all around.,just like a specialty cookbook..

  • Hey Susan!

    Thanks so much for your compliments! I hope you are able to try some of my Asian recipes. Let me know if you have any questions or would like to see a specific recipe. Check back soon for more recipes from different continents as well!

    -Annie

  • Hi Annie, can you tell me how many people the recipe sizing is meant to serve? I guessing four people but I can’t see that in the text. Thankyou!!

  • Hi Nguyen! This recipe serve 4 people. I have updated the post accordingly, thank you for pointing that out!
    – Annie

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