Thai Green Curry with Tofu is one of the most popular and spiciest curry dish that you will find at a Thai restaurant. This curry is made by cooking a homemade or store-bought curry paste with coconut milk. Thai curry paste is a combination of many aromatics and dry spices. The curry paste includes lemongrass, ginger-root, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, shallots, chilies, and, some fragrant dry spices like coriander and cumin. It’s lemony, earthy, spicy, and, pairs really well with the creamy coconut milk. The two balance each other so well and the result is a sweet and spicy curry that compliments any meat or vegetable you add to it. I love making this curry vegetarian by using extra-firm Tofu, but can make this curry with the protein of your choice- Chicken, Shrimp or even Beef. Thai Green Curry is another weeknight favorite in my home!
Homemade Green Curry Paste:
When I have time to plan ahead, I like to make this paste from scratch. I blend together the following with a tablespoon or so of oil for easy blending:
1 lemongrass stalks, outer layers removed
5 serrano chiles, de-seeded
1 large shallot, cut in half
3 garlic cloves
2-inch piece ginger, peeled, coarsely chopped
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves with stems
- 1/2 cup Thai basil leaves
But then there are days, where I barely have time to cook. For those days, this pre-made paste works great. I really like the Maesri brand of Thai curry pastes. They make weeknight meals taste so good. I always tell my friends that Maesri curry pastes are so authentic, that if you ever did a blind taste test, you won’t be able to tell between a restaurant version and yours.
I simply simmer this paste with coconut milk, add protein and vegetables and cook it for 2 minutes in my programable pressure cooker, Instant Pot, on Manual or Pressure Cook, QR after 5 minutes! Finish with brown sugar and few drops of lime juice. Simultaneously, I make Brown Jasmine rice and our meal is done!
Spice level Tip:
This Thai paste is on the spicier side. If you’re not sure about the spice level, start by adding 1/2 a can of this pre-made paste. If you like it to be more spicy, you can always add a few more tablespoons after the cooking process, and then saute it for a few more till everything comes together.
Customize your Thai Green Curry:
I make this curry with Chicken, Shrimp or Extra-Firm Tofu. You can add your choice of vegetables like water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, zuchhini. If adding peppers, I would them after cooking and saute for 2 minutes. When cooking this with Chicken , increase the cooking time to 4 minutes for bite size chicken pieces. When cooking this with Shrimp, cook the curry for 1 minute, QR, and then add the Shrimp, saute’ for 1-2 minutes, till they turn opaque. If you add them earlier, they’ll be over cooked. This is a very versatile curry, add your favorite combination and enjoy!
More Thai Favorites from my Kitchen:
- 1 can Coconut Milk - Chaokoh
- 1 can Maesri Thai Green Curry Paste
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2-1 can Maesri Thai Panang Curry Paste (depending on how spicy you like it)
- 1 cup Cut Baby Corn
- 1 cup chopped carrots (about 2 medium)
- 1 lb. Extra-Firm Tofu cut in 1/2-3/4 inch pieces
- After cooking
- 2 teaspoon Brown Sugar
- Few drops of lime juice
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Thai basil leaves for garnish (I used mint)
Prep: Cut Tofu into 1/2-3/4 inch pieces. Chop baby corn and carrots.
Turn Instant Pot on Saute. Add coconut milk and water. Add curry paste and whisk it till it is blended with the coconut milk. Add baby corn, carrots (or whatever vegetables you are using). Add Tofu pieces. Stir everything. Make sure the curry mix is simmering at this point before you close the lid. It prevents the coconut milk from curdling.
Close lid. Hit cancel. Set vent to Sealing mode. Press 2 minutes Manual (high). Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, (QR after 5).
Open the lid. Check for seasoning. Add brown sugar and lime juice. Add frozen peas and let them hangout in the curry for about one minute so they get thawed. You can leave them in there for another minute on Saute if you like them cooked more. If at this point, the sauce is thinner than you like, hit Saute and cook it off for a minute or two. Serve with White or Brown Jasmine rice!
If after cooking, the coconut milk seems curdled, don't worry, it hasn't gone bad. The heat and the pressure just separated the fat from the milk. You can turn on Saute mode and whisk it gently back together. It'll be a smooth curry again!