Panang Tofu curry (Gluten-free and vegan)

This is a sweet and spicy curry, with fresh crunchy vegetables

Panang Tofu curry (Gluten-free and vegan)

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This Thai curry is sweet and spicy, with crunchy vegetables. It's also very fast to prepare, perfect for a weeknight


  • 3 tablespoons of Panang Curry Paste*
  • 200-250 g of hard tofu
  • 1 small carrot, cut in matchsticks (= 1 cup)
  • 2 Kaffir lime leaves, sliced thinly
  • 1 small red capsicum, cut lengthwise in small pieces
  • 1 cup of snow peas, cut (1 cup)
  • head of broccoli, chopped (2 cups)
  • 1 piece of palm sugar, or coconut sugar, to taste
  • 1 400ml can of coconut milk
  • A few cherry tomatoes
  • 5 Thai basil leaves + more to serve
  • Coriander, chili and chopped peanuts (to dress, optional)


  1. Press the tofu and cut in small slices.
  2. Heat oil in a large pan. Add the Curry paste and the tofu, and fry on medium to high heat for 7-8 minutes. Be careful not to burn the paste, it should be fragrant but not darken.
  3. Add the carrot and fry for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk, the palm sugar, ½ cup of water and cook on a slow boil until the carrots are softer but still “crisp”. It should take about 5 minutes. Add the snow peas, capsicum, broccoli and cook another few minutes until vegetables are cooked but crunchy and retain their color. Towards the end of cooking, add the cherry tomatoes, cut in half, to warm them up in the sauce (you do not want to cook them much). Adjust sauce consistency with water if necessary, and taste.
  5. Serve with rice or rice noodles and dress with extra thai basil, chili, coriander and crushed peanuts.
  6. Enjoy 🙂

*Make Panang paste as below or if you are in a rush, buy a vegan paste. I get Ayam Brand.

Panang Paste

  • 7-15 long dried red chillies (depending on how much spice you want)
  • 40g (1/4 cup) roasted peanuts
  • 5cm-piece fresh galangal or ginger, peeled, finely chopped
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
  • 3 French shallots, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 3 fresh coriander roots, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 stem lemon grass (only the pale section) finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegan fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oil (peanut oil ideally)

Panang Paste recipe

Place the chili in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Wait 10 minutes so the chili soften. Drain. Cut the chillies lengthwise, and remove the seeds (you can throw them away) Chop. In a mortar, crush the cumin and coriander seeds until they become powder. Blend the chilli, peanuts, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, shallot, coriander root, garlic, lemon grass, cumin, ground coriander and fish sauce in the mortar, or in a blender until finely chopped. Add the oil and blend, until you obtain a smooth paste.

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