Thai Coconut Curry Stew

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 generous servings
Author Karen Gibson


for the tofu

  • 14 ounce package extra firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mild curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon green Thai curry paste

for the rice

  • 1 cup dried rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped cilantro stems
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf optional

for the stew

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 onion small dice
  • 1/2 red bell pepper small dice
  • 1 small carrot small dice
  • 1 tablespoon mild curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon green Thai curry paste
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 can coconut milk well-shaken
  • 1/2 fresh lime
  • kosher salt

suggested garnishes

  • chopped cilantro leaves
  • chopped cashews
  • sliced green onions
  • lime wedges


for the tofu

  • Remove the tofu from the package and discard (along with the soaking liquid). Gently but firmly press the tofu block between the palms of your hands over the sink to drain the soaking liquid. Turn the block and press again. Continue turning and pressing until the block no longer drips, taking care not to break the block. Alternatively, line a bowl with a thick pad of paper towels, place the block on the towels, layer another thick pad on top, and then lay something heavy on top of the tofu, such as a small cast iron skillet. Let drain for an hour. Slice the tofu into 1/2" cubes.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil over medium-high in a medium skillet until melted. Stir in the curry powder and paste until fragrant (just 10 seconds or so). Add the tofu and stir everything together to thoroughly coat the tofu cubes. Cook the tofu, turning frequently, until the edges begin to brown. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

prepare the rice

  • Cook the rice according to package directions, adding the cilantro stems and kaffir leaf to the water as it comes to a boil. When cooked, fluff the rice and set aside.

prepare the stew

  • Heat the coconut oil in a roomy sauteuse or other wide-bottomed 4 quart pot over medium until melted. Add the onion, bell pepper, and carrot, and cook until softened. Add the curry powder, curry paste, and garlic to the vegetables and saute until fragrant.
  • Increase heat to medium-high, and add the broth, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Bring the soup to a gentle boil, then reduce to medium-low, and let the soup settle down (no bubbling). Stir in the coconut milk, along with the tofu and rice. Squeeze the lime half over the soup and mix well. Taste for salt and adjust as desired.
  • Serve immediately with garnishes.