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Thai Red Curry with Asparagus and Tofu

Thai Red Curry with Asparagus & Tofu

This Thai Red Curry with asparagus and tofu is simplyย amazing and is so easy to make. Better still, you can serve it with rice noodles or over rice. It’s terrific with both white rice (we recommend a nice jasmine rice for this dish) or brown rice. You really can’t go wrong.

Thai Red Curry in Skillet

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Thai Red Curry with Asparagus and Tofu

Thai Red Curry on Plate

A vegetarian red curry adapted from Everyday Food’s Beef-and-Asparagus Curry.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp peanut oil (canola or vegetable oil works too)
  • 14 oz extra-firm tofu, pressed for 30 minutes (you can use a tofu press), cut into triangles
  • 1 (13.5 oz) can light unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup red curry paste
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb asparagus, tough ends removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • cooked rice or rice noodles
  • lime wedges
  • cilantro leaves

Instructions

  1. Heat peanut oil in large wok or skillet over medium high heat. Add tofu triangles and cook for 5 minutes; flip tofu over and cook 5 minutes more on other side. Place tofu on a plate lined with paper towels (to soak up excess oil) and wipe out skillet (carefully!).
  2. Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup of coconut milk and cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens (about 2 minutes). Stir in red curry paste and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add remaining coconut milk, broth, soy sauce, and sugar. Once sauce comes to a simmer, add red pepper; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in asparagus and cook 3 minutes more.
  4. Return tofu to skillet and stir until coated with curry sauce.
  5. Remove from heat and serve over noodles or rice; garnish with lime wedges and cilantro.

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58 Comments

  • Reply
    Adrienne @ How to Ice a Cake
    April 9, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Man I love good Thai food. I’ve never bought red curry paste before. Any recommendations on brand?

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      April 9, 2012 at 11:10 am

      The only brand my grocery store sells is Thai Kitchen, so that’s always the brand I use! ๐Ÿ™‚ (And it’s good too.)

  • Reply
    Lori Popkewitz Alper
    April 9, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Can’t wait to try this. I love anything with curry. Do you think the recipe would work without the brown sugar? Any replacements you would suggest?

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      April 9, 2012 at 11:09 am

      I think it would be fine without brown sugar. It gives it a subtle sweet flavor, but if you don’t mind omitting that, I don’t think it would be a problem. Otherwise, I think agave nectar would work…

  • Reply
    The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh
    April 9, 2012 at 11:32 am

    We’re not Thai food people but I like everything in this so I’m gonna make it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      April 10, 2012 at 8:15 am

      Really?! Oh man, Thai food is one of my favorite things ever. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    Genevieve
    April 9, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    I love red curry, and I think asparagus would work really well in it, even if its not particularly authentic. It’s the taste that matters, so if you managed to create a good Thai recipe that you love, then I think that’s impressive!

  • Reply
    Julie
    April 9, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    I love Thai food! We were so spoiled in NYC with amazing Thai restaurants on every corner, but now I’m left to making it on my own. I’m looking forward to trying this one and agree rice with curry is a home run. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      April 10, 2012 at 8:12 am

      Let me know if you ever find a good, authentic tasting pad Thai recipe. Because I would LOVE to be able to make that, but every recipe I’ve tried tastes nothing like pad Thai at all. And yes, curry is made for rice! The noodles were okay, but they don’t soak up the sauce very well.

  • Reply
    Connie
    April 9, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Yum! I love Thai food but have only tried to make it at home once. I need to try again.

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      April 10, 2012 at 8:09 am

      This is a good recipe to make if you try again–it tastes pretty authentic and, even better, it’s really easy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    gem
    April 9, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Love tofu – this would be a great recipe to try!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      April 10, 2012 at 8:08 am

      I’m not crazy about tofu in general, but I LOVE tofu when it’s cooked in a little bit of oil like in this recipe. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    Natalie
    April 9, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    I need to find a cheaper version of curry paste so I can try Thai recipes at home! Those little tiny jars are so expensive, but I think I’ve seen bigger tubs at Asian markets for half the price .. I’m definitely searching for them next time I go, I can’t wait to make my own curries!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      April 10, 2012 at 8:07 am

      We just went to the Asian market over the weekend–I should have looked for curry paste! I buy those tiny jars, but one of them tends to last a while for us, so I don’t mind too much. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Rachel R.
      April 10, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      I find that prices at Asian markets are substantially cheaper than shopping in the ‘ethnic aisle’ of a major grocery store, and there’s more selection.

  • Reply
    Matt @ FaveHealthyRecipes
    April 9, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    This looks so good! I’ve never made Thai food at home before, so I will definitely have to save this recipe for later.

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      April 10, 2012 at 8:03 am

      I’m always scared to cook Thai (and Indian) at home, but this recipe is totally doable and it tastes just like takeout–but healthier, I’m sure. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    BusyWorkingMama
    April 9, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    I so much prefer rice to rice noodles. It looks colorful and delicious!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      April 10, 2012 at 8:02 am

      I should have gone with my gut and used rice in the first place! But at least this gave me the chance to try out those new brown rice noodles…

  • Reply
    CulinarilyCourtney
    April 9, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Ooooh, this also looks like a great way to make tofu. I have never tried making my own curry, but I definitely love eating it when I go out. Such a colorful and tasty looking recipe!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      April 10, 2012 at 8:01 am

      I tried making Thai curry a few times in the past and they were overwhelmingly spicy–so much so that the spiciness drowned out all the other flavors. This one is so much better and super, super easy!

  • Reply
    Stephanie @ henry happened
    April 9, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    I’ve never tried making Thai but this looks totally doable! I’m obsessed with spring rolls tho – I craved those big time in my 1st trimester.

    P.S. Your blog looks lovely!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      April 10, 2012 at 7:59 am

      Now that I’ve had success with curry, I need to give pad Thai another try. I’ve made so many different recipes and they always turn out so bland and NOT like pad Thai at all. I bet spring rolls would be easy to make!

      You’re the first person to mention my redesign, which worries me. I hope it’s not a case of “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!” ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply
    Shirley
    April 9, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    They serve pizza at Chinese buffets?? lol I hear of fried chicken and french fries, but that’s one I haven’t heard. I know how you feel though, I feel like my Indian dishes never taste like the restaurants’. And I love rice noodles, but rice is always the best gravy-soaker. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am a big tofu fan, and I’m definitely trying this one!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      April 10, 2012 at 7:56 am

      Yes, they do! I think I’ve been to a Chinese buffet about twice in the past 10 years and both times, I ended up getting pizza to round out my plate because there weren’t many vegetarian options. And both times, I realized that was a bad decision.

      I hope you like the recipe if you try it–definitely serve it with rice! I’m not a big tofu fan, but I love it when it’s fried in a little bit of oil to make it chewy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Lolo
    April 10, 2012 at 2:16 am

    Wow. This looks absolutely amazing!! I am not much of a tofu person, but I would love to try it with chicken!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      April 10, 2012 at 7:52 am

      I think this would be good with just about anything! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love red curry!

  • Reply
    Rachel R.
    April 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Pinning this ๐Ÿ™‚ Now I know what veggies to buy at the farmer’s market this week, so I can make this soon. I love Thai food.

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      April 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm

      The best thing about this recipe is that it’s so versatile–you could totally use any vegetables that look good at the market!

  • Reply
    April H
    April 10, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    I love red curry! So delicious!

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Texas Type A Mom
    April 11, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    I love the way you incorporated seasonal veggies into the mix! My Thai food is always a little off too – I don’t know what the deal is. I’ve never tried red curry though or any curry paste – does it end up tasting/smelling differently than curry powder?

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      April 11, 2012 at 7:55 pm

      I think curry powder is Indian food and paste is Thai food. The flavor is totally different because I think the curry powder is just ground up curry leaves, but the curry paste has lots of different spices added in. And the curry paste doesn’t have that curry powder smell at all. You like spicy food, so I bet you’d like it!

  • Reply
    Elina (Healthy and Sane)
    April 12, 2012 at 9:29 am

    What a gorgeous and colorful dish! I’m pinning it right away – I love trying to make ethnic food at home (although just like you, most of the time it’s delicious but not quite like the restaurant).

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      April 12, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      Thank you! I’m a big believer in home cooking, but when it comes to ethnic foods, not so much. ๐Ÿ™‚ But this curry is the best I’ve made by far!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    April 12, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Thai Kitchen red curry paste is what we have, too. I do need to start putting the Asian market into my rounds– I know I can get young coconuts, curry paste, and lots of other things there for less. Pad Thai is never going to be on my menu because I can’t have peanuts, but I have been making Asian-style sauces using almond butter instead (along with the usual Asian type ingredients like sesame, ginger, tamari, and rice vinegar).

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      April 13, 2012 at 8:59 pm

      I need to start taking advantage of our local Asian market too. Whenever I go there, I usually go for a few specific things (and the mango smoothies) and forget to look to see what else they have.

  • Reply
    Brenda Williams
    April 15, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    I love this recipe. Photos are beautiful.

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      April 15, 2012 at 5:01 pm

      Thanks! I dropped my old lens, so this is the first set of photos I took with the new one–I was really happy with how they turned out! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    hobbit
    December 11, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    my first attempt at Thai and what a success! Thank you for the easy and flavor packed recipe.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 11, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      I’m glad it turned out well! This is one of the few Thai recipes I can make myself too. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    Karen
    January 8, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    Our local Thai restaurant has a black bean curry dish specialty that features asparagus and cashews. I keep trying to duplicate it with no success. I’ve come up with some good dishes but they don’t taste the same. I’m going to try this with chicken and black bean sauce to see…..

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 9, 2014 at 8:09 pm

      I’m always trying to duplicate restaurant recipes too! Maybe this one will give you a good starting point. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Lynn @ oh-soyummy
    March 20, 2014 at 3:33 am

    Delicious! Made this tonight with about 90% of the red curry paste listed (for my spice tolerance). I would also cook the red bell pepper for one extra minute since hubby likes veggies a little more cooked! Coconut plus curry = GOOD! Thanks for this recipe!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 20, 2014 at 7:58 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe! I was just thinking about this one the other day since asparagus is in season again. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Alex
    December 8, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Any idea how the sauce (without the tofu) would hold up in the freezer? I’d love to freeze a portion and then just add tofu back in when I reheat.

  • Reply
    Rachel
    March 4, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    This was lovely! Would increasing the amount of red curry paste increase the spice level? I could do with a little more kick.

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