Vegetarian curry (Thai recipe)

vegetarian curry with tofu and broccoli

Thai vegetarian curry – recipe

Whenever I see a bowl of vegetarian curry (or any other curry) noodle soup, I drool. Here is a bowl filled with so many of my favorite ingredients; red curry paste, fried shallots, fish sauce, cilantro, noodles… Look at the beautiful colors… Hard to resist. I spent a few months in Singapore back in… Well, let’s just say back when Hotmail was cool and not everyone had cell phones, and ate bowls of it almost daily. Singapore is a culinary gem if you love food as much as I do – it’s where I discovered some of the most interesting and best dishes I’ve ever tasted.

Thai vegetarian curry noodle soup

They know how to rock street food and hawker centres are the go to places for authentic South East Asian fare. Hawker centres are basically outdoor food courts serving pretty much anything you can think of. I used to spend an insane amount of time in them hanging out with friends while sharing plates of noodles, fried fish, carrot cake, chicken and rice, popiah and of course, vegetarian curry. Big chunks of potatoes and carrots, string beans and sometimes pumpkin, cooked in a sweet and spicy coconut curry soup. Yum. Very hearty and filling, I also liked that it was meat free and fairly healthy.

Photo by: Willam Cho

Photo by: William Cho

Since then I’ve become a curry afficionado; laksas in Malaysia, amazing curry vindaloo in Hong Kong’s Chungking Mansions and from these two ladies who served a superb tomato based vegetarian curry down the road from where I lived. Food poisoning inducing curry in Sri Lanka (traumatizing), super spicy and so good Pakistani at Lahore Tikka House in Toronto, my mother’s sweet Japanese curry (a favorite) and of course, tikka masala from the streets of London. I have yet to make it to India but you can bet your bottom dollar that I will be darting toward the first curry stand I see, as soon as I do. Though I absolutely adore meat based curries, my heart belongs to the vegetarian kind. Be it saag paneer, baingan bharta, aloo gobi or something simple and easy like this vegetarian curry recipe, I love them all. This is one area of the culinary world where I think vegetarian dishes win.


You are probably wondering why I didn’t shoot the noodles I served the vegetarian curry with and the answer is very simple; it’s because this curry can be eaten with a lot more than just egg noodles. You can use vermicelli noodles, flat rice noodles, ramen noodles or even rice or bread. I picked egg noodles because they remain al dente for a lot longer than most others -We don’t like soggy ones here chez les Phelps.

This vegetarian curry is not spicy but rather a little sweet with a strong, savory and biting taste. The flavors are authentically South East Asian so grab a spoon and get ready for some pleasantly pungent slurps!

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Vegetarian Curry (Thai Recipe)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cuisine: Thai
Serves: 2
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, chopped bite size
  • 1½ cup broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 6oz (120g - or half a block) firm tofu
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1½ tbsp red curry paste
  • ¼ cup vegetarian fish sauce (or regular for non-vegetarians)
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • Toppings:
  • 1 boiled egg, sliced in half (optional)
  • chopped cilantro (about 2 tbsp)
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced
  1. - Wrap tofu in paper towel to remove excess water. Leave for 5 minutes.
  2. - Slice tofu into bite size cubes.
  3. - In a medium size pot over medium/high heat, add oil, garlic and tofu. Cook for 5 minutes, or until tofu is a little golden.
  4. - Add broccoli and carrots and cook for 3 minutes. Do not over stir, you want the tofu to have a nice golden brown color (better left at the bottom).
  5. - Add curry paste, curry powder and water. Stir until paste has dissolved.
  6. - Add sugar and fish sauce and stir.
  7. - Add coconut milk, stir and cook on low (simmer) for about 5 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
  8. - Turn the heat off and serve with shallots, cilantro and eggs.
  9. Serve this curry as a soup with noodles or as a side to a bowl of rice.
  10. For the shallots:
  11. - Fry with a little oil until they are crunchy, golden brown. Lay on paper towel to absorb oil.



    • says

      Hi Emily, are you talking about the fried shallots? In the white bowl are shallots I fried until they became crispy. If not, I’m using egg noodles in the finished ramen pictures.

  1. Shelbs says

    I made this today and it was fantastic! And super easy. I love the flavor, but I had to add a bit more coconut milk to even out how salty the fish sauce made it. Not complaining though, still absolutely delicious and I will be making it again quite soon. As in, probably tomorrow.

    • says

      Hi Shelbs!
      Taste is so subjective, I do the same all the time! I pick a recipe that looks good and add my own little twist to it. I’m glad you liked it and enjoyed the fact that it was easy, I try really hard to focus on keeping my recipes as simple as possible! Are you a vegetarian? If so, what do you wish you could see/find more of in recipes?

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