I don’t eat out often, but when I do it’s usually at a Thai restaurant where I typically order vegetarian Thai green curry. It’s basically vegetables cooked in coconut milk flavored with green curry paste – served with rice. If you’re eating oil-free you’ll be glad to know that Thai curry dishes are usually prepared without oil; however, they are not no-fat because of the coconut milk/cream.
The owner of one of my favorite local restaurants, Thai Bowl in Watertown CT, gave me pointers for making this dish. I’m so fortunate and grateful!
Thai Curry Pastes
Don’t confuse Indian pastes with Thai pastes, they are not the same thing.
Thai curry pastes come in yellow, red, or green and thus create yellow, red, or green curry dishes. They flavor the coconut broth and their quality can make or break the recipe. Yellow is typically the mildest and green is usually the hottest; red falls somewhere in between (I include a Thai Red Curry recipe in my cookbook).
Beneath the recipe card down below I give pros and cons for two popular Thai green curry paste brands available for the home cook. FYI – the brands I recommend are vegan, but others may contain shrimp.
Of course these curry pastes can be prepared in your own kitchen provided you have access to the ingredients; that will be a future post!
- Cook rice
- Roast eggplant cubes
- Make coconut broth
- Cook veggies in broth
Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Recipe (Soy-Free)
- covered medium-sized saucepan
- baking sheet
- large skillet, stainless steel or non-stick
- 1-1/2 cups dry Jasmine rice, or Basmati rice
- 1/2 pound eggplant, Asian or Italian globe eggplant, about 2 cups cubed
- 3 cups unsweetened coconut milk in carton, such as So Delicious brand
- 5.4 ounces unsweetened coconut cream, such as Native Forest brand
- 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth, such as Pacific Foods brand
- 1 or 2 Tablespoons Maesri brand green curry paste
- 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
- 1-1/2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch strips
- 2 cups bite-sized broccoli florets
- 1-1/4 cups peas
- 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 12 fresh basil leaves
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF
- Rinse the rice well then place in a covered saucepan with the appropriate amount of water according to the package directions. Time it so the rice is ready when the rest of the meal is cooked.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the unpeeled eggplant into 1-inch-cubes and arrange single layer on the baking sheet. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the eggplant is very soft and turns golden.
- Put the coconut milk, coconut cream, vegetable broth, curry paste, and salt into a mixing bowl; whisk until blended. Taste and add more curry paste and/or salt if desired.
- Pour this seasoned coconut broth into a large skillet over medium heat and bring to a low simmer. Add the roasted eggplant, red peppers, broccoli, and peas to the pan. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the veggies are cooked but still a bit crisp. Do not boil, and don't overcook. Just before serving, stir in the lime juice.
- To serve, place about 3/4 cup of rice in each bowl, top with vegetables, and generously spoon coconut broth over top.
- Garnish each bowl with 2 basil leaves.
Vegan Green Curry Paste Brands
I’ve prepared this dish with Thai Kitchen’s green curry paste; however, I prefer making it with Maesri’s brand. Here are my thoughts regarding each.
Maesri Green Curry Paste
- hot, so start with 1 or 2 Tablespoons
- unfortunately packaged in cans
- available online and at Asian grocers
- better flavor (it’s the brand many Thai restaurants use)
Thai Kitchen Green Curry Paste
- mild, will need to add at least 4 Tablespoons
- packaged in glass
- available online and might be found in local grocery stores
- I use Thai Kitchen for their red curry paste, but I personally don’t care for the flavor of their green paste
What’s your favorite green curry paste? Or maybe you make your own? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
Optional Omnivore Variations
Add one of the following to omnivore’s bowl when serving:
- Deveined and peeled cooked shrimp
- Steamed, thin-sliced, boneless chicken