Instant Pot Thai Green Curry with Tofu (Vegan)

May 22, 2019 (Updated: November 3, 2019) By Aneesha |

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This slightly sweet and mildly spicy recipe for Instant Pot Thai Green Curry with Tofu beats take-out any day! It’s a delicious vegan curry that comes together in less than 30 minutes, and is completely customizable.

Thai green curry with vegetables and Tofu served in a blue bowl

Easy Dump & Start Recipe

This is one of my go-to weeknight dinners. I add a can of green curry paste and coconut milk to the Instant Pot, add vegetables and diced tofu, set it for pressure cooking and dinner is done in under 30 minutes!

I cook some Jasmine rice to go with it. Depending on how much time we have, I make brown or white rice.

More Dump & Start Instant Pot Recipes

What is Thai Green Curry?

Thai Green Curry is one of the most popular and hottest curries that you will find at a Thai restaurant.  It is made by cooking a homemade or store-bought curry paste with coconut milk and vegetables and protein of your choice.

Thai Green curry paste typically includes lemongrass, ginger-root, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, shallots, chilies, and, some fragrant dry spices like coriander and cumin.

Thai green curry with vegetables garnished with mint leaves

How to Make Green Curry Paste from Scratch

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

How Spicy is Green Curry?

This Thai green curry paste is on the spicier side.  If you are trying this paste for the first time, I would suggest start by adding 1/2 a can of this pre-made paste. 

If you like the curry to be more spicy, you can always add a few more tablespoons after the cooking process, and then saute it for an additional 2-3 minutes.

What to Serve with Green Curry

Thai curries taste great with Jasmine rice, an aromatic long grain rice variety from Thailand.

I like to serve this curry with Brown Jasmine rice to increase fiber content in the meal. Plus, the nutty taste of brown rice pairs really well with the creamy coconut curry. If brown rice is not your thing, you can also serve it with white Jasmine rice.

Low Carb Side with Thai Green Curry

When my husband and I are watching our carbs intake, we enjoy it with some sautéed cauli-rice and it tastes great. Cauli-rice is basically cauliflower that is shredded to a rice-like fine consistency.

I mostly buy it pre-shredded from Trader Joe’s fresh or frozen aisle and then saute it as per the bag instructions.

Thai green curry with carrots, tofu, peas and babycorn

Store-bought Thai Curry Paste

On days when I barely have time to cook, kitchen shortcuts come to the rescue.  This pre-made paste works great for weeknight dinners. 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.

This brand tends to be on the spicier side though. So if you want a milder curry paste, Thai Kitchen Green Curry Paste works well too.

How to Make Instant Pot Thai Green Curry

This is quite a simple dump & start recipe. I turn on the saute mode simply to warm up the ingredients while I’m adding them, which reduces the pressure build-up time.

Step 1: Turn Instant Pot on Saute.  Add coconut milk and curry paste and whisk it till it is blended with the coconut milk. 

Adding coconut milk to the instant pot
Adding store-bought green curry paste to the pot
Whisking together green curry paste and coconut milk

Step 2: Add baby corn, carrots (or whatever vegetables you are using), and cubed extra-firm Tofu.  Stir everything.  Make sure the curry mix is simmering at this point before you close the lid. It prevents the coconut milk from curdling.

Adding chopped carrots to the thai curry
Baby corn pieces added to the thai green curry
Adding cubed extra firm tofu to the curry

Step 3: Close lid. Hit cancel. Turn vent to sealing position. Set 2 minutes on Manual/Pressure cook mode and change the pressure to Low Pressure. After cooking, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, (QR after 5).

Closing the pressure cook

Step 4: Open the lid after the pin drops. Check for seasoning. Add brown sugar and lime juice.  Then, add frozen peas and let them hangout in the curry for about one minute so they get thawed.

Adding brown sugar in the green curry
Adding peas to the curry

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.

A wooden spoon with thai green curry with vegetables and tofu

Customize your Thai Green Curry

I personally love making this Thai Coconut Curry with Extra-Firm Tofu.  You can customize it and make this Thai green curry with Chicken, Shrimp or beef. Here are a few ways you can customize this curry:

Vegetables: You can also add your choice of vegetables like water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, zuchhini.   If adding peppers, add them after the pressure cooking step, and saute for 2 minutes.

Protein: If using Chicken, increase the cooking time to 4 minutes for bite size boneless 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’re using beef stew pieces, cook the meat in the coconut curry sauce for 30 minutes, QR and then add all the veggies and cook on SAUTE for another 2 minutes.  If you add them earlier, they’ll be over cooked.  This is a very versatile curry, add your favorite combination and enjoy!

Thai Green Curry Tofu by Spice Cravings. Thai Green Curry with Tofu is made by cooking green curry paste with coconut milk. Thai curry paste includes many aromatics & dry spices like lemongrass. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #curry

Pro-Tips to Prevent Coconut Milk from Curdling under pressure

  • Cooking a coconut milk based curry at LOW PRESSURE prevents the fat from separating from the milk, also known as curdling.
  • When cooking with coconut milk, turn on saute while you add ingredients. Bring it to a simmer before you close the lid. This brings up the temperature of the milk and reduces the chances of curdling.
  • 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!

More Instant Pot Thai Recipes from my Kitchen

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Thai green curry with vegetables and Tofu served in a blue bowl

Instant Pot Thai Green Curry with Tofu

This slightly sweet and mildly spicy recipe for Instant Pot Thai Green Curry with Tofu beats take-out any day! It's a delicious vegan curry that comes together in less than 30 minutes, and is completely customizable.
4.6 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
NPR: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 361kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 can Coconut Milk – Chaokoh
  • 1/2 can Maesri Thai Green Curry Paste (4 oz can). Use the whole can if you want it spicier
  • 1/4 cup water (skip if you prefer a thicker curry)
  • 1 cup baby corn cut
  • 1 cup carrots chopped (about 2 medium carrots)
  • 1 lb. extra-Firm Tofu cut in 1/2-3/4 inch pieces

After cooking

  • 2 teaspoon Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Thai basil leaves for garnish (or mint)

Instructions

  • Prep: Cut Tofu into 1/2-3/4 inch pieces. Chop baby corn and carrots.
  • Turn Instant Pot on Saute.  This heats up the ingredients as we add them and reduces pressure building time. Add coconut milk. Add water only if you prefer a thinner curry. Add curry paste and whisk it till it is blended with the coconut milk.  
  • Add baby corn, carrots (or whatever vegetables you are using) and then 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 the lid. Cancel saute. Turn vent to sealing mode if using DUO model. Set 2 minutes on Manual/Pressure cook mode and change the pressure setting to Low Pressure. After cooking, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, after which manually release it, (QR after 5). To release pressure manually, turn vent to 'venting' position in DUO, or push down the valve in ULTRA.
  • Open the lid. Check for seasoning. Add brown sugar and lime juice.  Then, 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!

Note

  • 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!

Video

Notes

  • Estimated Time includes pressure build-up time.  Cook time = Time to set for pressure cooking.
  • This recipe has been successfully re-tested using ‘LOW PRESSURE’ setting. The texture of tofu and vegetables turned out better using this setting. 
  • This recipe has been tested in a 3qt and 6qt Instant Pot. If making this in an 8qt size, adjust the liquid quantity to meet the minimum requirement.  
  • 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!
  • If using chicken in this recipe instead of tofu, increase the cooking time to 4 minutes for bite size boneless chicken pieces.   When cooking this with shrimp, cook the curry for 1 minute, QR, and then add the Shrimp, saute’ for 2 minutes, or till they turn opaque and cook through.
  • If using beef stew pieces, cook the meat in the coconut curry sauce for 30 minutes, QR and then add all the veggies and cook on SAUTE for another 2 minutes.  If you add them earlier, they’ll be over cooked. 
  • If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Sodium: 110mg | Potassium: 712mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 5807IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: Green curry recipe, Instant Pot Thai Green Curry Recipe, Instant pot Thai green Curry Tofu
Did you try this recipe?Mention @SpiceCravings or tag #spicecravings!

HEY! NICE TO MEET YOU!

Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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