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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Ann Arbor, MI!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

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Vegetarian Panang Curry with Tofu

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vegetable panang curry. quick easy recipes, healthy food for picky kids, healthy food for picky husband, healthy tasty food, healthy food on a budget

Thai food is probably my favorite type of Asian food. Something about those creamy coconut curries mixed with veggies, tofu, nuts and spices just makes for such a cozy one-pot meal.

When I make Thai food at home, I usually stick to my Yellow Curry, because it is guaranteed to be delicious and satisfying every time, and I figured – why mess with that?

But then I came across this recipe from CookingLight and I was inspired to change things up a bit with my Thai cooking.

vegetable panang curry. quick easy recipes, healthy food for picky kids, healthy food for picky husband, healthy tasty food, healthy food on a budget

I modified the recipe pretty significantly, but the essence remains the same: sweet and crunchy peanut butter mixed with silky coconut milk for the curry – combined with firm tofu and fresh farmer’s market vegetables to round out the dish.

It’s sweet and spicy, and for some added texture I crumbled a few tablespoons of crushed peanuts on top.

vegetable panang curry. quick easy recipes, healthy food for picky kids, healthy food for picky husband, healthy tasty food, healthy food on a budget

The husband absolutely loved it, and I think I might have liked it even better than my Yellow Curry recipe!

The Ingredients

Adapted from CookingLight

  • 20oz block extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tbsp organic extra virgin coconut oil, plus 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 3-4 tbsp thai red curry paste
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I used 1/4 tsp for a nice kick)
  • 2 14oz cans light coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp lower sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced
  • 2 zucchini, quartered and sliced
  • 3 carrots, sliced on a diagonal
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • dash of salt (to taste)
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice for serving (1/2 cup per serving)
  • 1 tsp crushed peanuts (per serving)

vegetable panang curry. quick easy recipes, healthy food for picky kids, healthy food for picky husband, healthy tasty food, healthy food on a budget

The Directions

Step 1: Place tofu on several layers of paper towels. Cover with additional paper towels. Let stand for 30 minutes, pressing down occasionally. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add tofu; sauté 8 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove tofu from pan; keep warm.

Step 2: Add 1 tsp coconut oil to the pan. Add shallots, bell pepper, and carrots – saute 5 minutes. Then add the zucchini and broccoli – saute another 5 minutes until cooked lightly.

vegetable panang curry. quick easy recipes, healthy food for picky kids, healthy food for picky husband, healthy tasty food, healthy food on a budget

Step 3: In a medium pot, add peanut butter, curry paste, cumin, coriander, and cayenne; cook 15 seconds. Add coconut milk, soy sauce, and sugar, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add in tofu and simmer 2-3 minutes.

vegetable panang curry. quick easy recipes, healthy food for picky kids, healthy food for picky husband, healthy tasty food, healthy food on a budget

Step 4: Pour tofu and sauce into the pan with the veggies. Simmer 5 minutes until the veggies have soaked up the sauce.

vegetable panang curry. quick easy recipes, healthy food for picky kids, healthy food for picky husband, healthy tasty food, healthy food on a budget

Step 5: Remove from heat and gently stir in lime juice. Serve with brown rice, and top with 1 tsp crushed peanuts per serving.

vegetable panang curry. quick easy recipes, healthy food for picky kids, healthy food for picky husband, healthy tasty food, healthy food on a budget

Vegetarian Panang Curry with Tofu

Nutritional Info Per Serving: 400 Calories, 18.1g Fat (9.1g Saturated), 717mg Sodium, 45.3g Carbs, 8.8g Fiber, 6.6g Sugar, 16.9g Protein
Total Time1 hr
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 400kcal

Ingredients

  • 20 oz block extra firm tofu drained and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tbsp organic extra virgin coconut oil plus 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 3-4 tbsp thai red curry paste
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper I used 1/4 tsp for a nice kick
  • 2 14 oz cans light coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp lower sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 shallots diced
  • 2 bell peppers sliced
  • 2 zucchini quartered and sliced
  • 3 carrots sliced on a diagonal
  • 1 head broccoli cut into florets
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • dash of salt to taste
  • Cooked brown rice for serving
  • 1 tsp crushed peanuts per serving

Instructions

  • Place tofu on several layers of paper towels. Cover with additional paper towels. Let stand for 30 minutes, pressing down occasionally. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add tofu; sauté 8 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove tofu from pan; keep warm.
  • Add 1 tsp coconut oil to the pan. Add shallots, bell pepper, and carrots - saute 5 minutes. Then add the zucchini and broccoli - saute another 5 minutes until cooked lightly.
  • In a medium pot, add peanut butter, curry paste, cumin, coriander, and cayenne; cook 15 seconds. Add coconut milk, soy sauce, and sugar, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add in tofu and simmer 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour tofu and sauce into the pan with the veggies. Simmer 5 minutes until the veggies have soaked up the sauce.
  • Remove from heat and gently stir in lime juice. Serve with brown rice, and top with 1 tsp crushed peanuts per serving.

Notes

Adapted from CookingLight
vegetable panang curry. quick easy recipes, healthy food for picky kids, healthy food for picky husband, healthy tasty food, healthy food on a budget
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17 responses to “Vegetarian Panang Curry with Tofu”

  1. Panang is my absolute favorite Thai curry, but to make it truly authentic it usually has a thicker sauce and is served on a plate rather than in a bowl.

    It does look delicious though and it is nice to see a healthy option featuring lots of veggies!

    • Thanks! We served it in a bowl for easier slurping of the curry after all the veggies & tofu are gone 🙂 As for the thickness of the sauce, mine came out pretty thick but if you simmered it longer on the stove it would become even thicker. Hope that helps, and let me know how you like it if you try it!

  2. Hi Anjali,

    After reading you receipes and blog. I am a big fan of you. I feel we need to add more spice to this curry. When I compared to resturant taste, something is missing. I like the taste.

    • Thanks so much Radha! To add more spice, just increase the amount of cayenne pepper in the curry. I added 1/4 tsp – which was hot enough for us, but everyone’s spice thresholds are different and that’s totally fine! I’d recommend trying 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper for you (or more to taste). Hope that helps!

  3. Anjali,

    I love all your recipes – tried this curry tonight and it was AMAZING!! The sauce was honestly some of the best curry sauce my husband and I have had, restaurant included! Loving all the asian recipes you’ve been posting recently!

    Maura

    • Hi Maura! Thank you so much!! I’m so glad you liked this recipe – I totally agree with you, the sauce is absolutely divine! 🙂

  4. does this recipe have any fish paste, oyster sauce, or other type of shellfish in it – through the soy sauce and or the red curry paste?

    • Hi Katherine! The brands I used did not have any shellfish or fish in them – both the soy sauce and red curry paste I used were 100% vegetarian. Hope that helps!

    • Hi Victoria! So sorry to hear you have Gastroparesis! But yes, you should be able to modify this to fit within your dietary restrictions. Let me know if you have any questions as you start to make this recipe – I’m sure you will love it!

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