This 1-pot curry is made in 30 minutes with ingredients you likely have on hand right now. Plus, the vegetable and protein options are customizable. Let us show you how it’s done!
About Green Curry
Green curry is a popular Thai dish believed to have originated in the early 20th century (source). It’s made with green curry paste, coconut milk, veggies, and meat and/or seafood.
The flavor base (Thai green curry paste) is traditionally made from a combination of green chilies, shrimp paste, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, peppercorns, kaffir limes, and cumin seeds (source). It’s spicy and flavorful and pairs perfectly with the sweetness of coconut milk.
The following is our inspired (but not traditional) plant-based take on this flavorful Thai dish. For a more authentic version of green curry (with chicken), check out this beautiful recipe from Hot Thai Kitchen.
How to Make Green Curry
To begin, add a small amount of coconut milk to a large pot (we like using a Dutch oven) and allow it to bubble and condense into a cream. The natural oil/cream released from the coconut makes it so that there’s no need for additional oil.
To the reduced coconut cream, we added green curry paste as the flavor base.
Next come mushrooms for a hearty texture and umami flavor. We like using shiitake, cremini, or button mushrooms, but other varieties will also work.
Optionally (we left it off for a lighter meal), add your favorite protein at this time (such as tempeh, shrimp, or chicken). If using tofu, we recommend using this recipe, cooking it separately, and serving on the side for best texture.
Next, we added bell peppers for natural sweetness.
More coconut milk and vegetable broth are added next, providing a rich and brothy mixture for infusing the curry flavors. We used kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass, but they are optional (in case you can’t access them).
Next, we added bamboo shoots for a quick and easy pantry-friendly vegetable. Broccoli, cabbage, or another sturdy vegetable would also work well here.
To round out the flavors, coconut aminos are added for umami flavor and coconut sugar for sweetness and to balance the subtle heat.
The mixture then simmers for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to deepen and the vegetables to soften.
For those wanting a more vibrant green color, a cup of the broth can be blended with either fresh herbs (such as basil and mint) and/or a teaspoon or two of barley grass powder. Then simply add it back to the rest of the curry.
Finally, in the last few minutes of cooking, stir in snap peas or green peas. They only take a couple minutes to cook and will turn a vibrant green color when ready.
We hope you LOVE this green curry! It’s:
It’s perfect on its own or over rice or quinoa as a light comfort meal. We also enjoy adding a handful of greens and garnishing with cashews for additional texture and protein.
More Thai-Inspired Curries
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
Servings 4 (Servings)
- 1/2 cup canned light coconut milk (reserve the rest of the can for adding to the curry later)
- 5-6 Tbsp green curry paste (add more for spicier, more intense curry, less for milder curry // or sub store-bought; we like Thai Kitchen brand or Aroy-D)
- 2 cups chopped shiitake, cremini, or button mushrooms
- 1 large red or yellow bell pepper, sliced and halved (bite-size slices)
- 2 14-oz cans light coconut milk (this includes the amount you used in step 1 — you need 2 14-oz cans coconut milk total as the original recipe is written)
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 4-5 kaffir lime leaves (optional)
- 1 stalk lemongrass, halved (optional)
- 1 cup bamboo shoots, rinsed and drained (or other sturdy vegetable of choice such as broccoli or cabbage)
- 1-2 Tbsp coconut aminos (or sub salt or tamari to taste)
- 1-2 Tbsp coconut sugar, palm sugar, or maple syrup
- 1 handful fresh basil or mint (or 1-2 tsp barley grass juice powder as original recipe is written // optional for richer color)
- 1 cup snap peas or green peas
Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add 1/2 cup (120 ml) coconut milk (as original recipe is written) and reserve the rest of the can for later.
Cook until the coconut milk is bubbling and some of the liquid has evaporated and left more of the dense cream behind. This is a technique I learned from Hot Thai Kitchen to avoid using oil since the coconut milk releases its natural oil/cream content once cooked for a few minutes. Stir occasionally and turn down heat as needed to prevent burning.
Next, add green curry paste and stir to combine with the coconut milk. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Then add your mushrooms (if adding any animal protein or tempeh, do so now // if using tofu, I’d recommend cooking using this method and serving on the side of your curry for best texture). Adding your protein or mushrooms at this time allows them to infuse with the curry paste for richer flavor. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Next, add your bell pepper and stir to coat. I like adding bell pepper at this time to soak up some of the curry paste flavor. Then add your remaining coconut milk (total cans used should be 2 as original recipe is written) and vegetable broth. Stir to combine.
Next, add kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass (optional to infuse more flavor), as well as your bamboo shoots and stir. Then add coconut aminos and coconut sugar or palm sugar (starting with the lesser amounts and working your way up as needed) and stir to combine. Let the broth come to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the flavor of the broth has become more rich and your vegetables are fork tender.
OPTIONAL: For a deeper green hue, scoop out ~1 cup (240 ml) of your broth and blend in a small blender (that’s safe for blending hot liquids) with a handful of fresh basil or mint and/or 1-2 tsp of barley grass juice powder. This creates a deeper green color curry and infuses a bit of earthy, floral flavor. Stir this mixture into the pot at this time (see photo).
Taste and adjust your broth as needed at this time, adding more salt to taste, coconut aminos for depth of flavor, or coconut sugar for sweetness. You’re looking for a rich broth with a balance of sweet, spicy, and salty. Don’t be shy with seasonings as the potency of the broth will be diluted when served with grains.
In the final few minutes of cooking, add your snap or green peas and stir to combine. They only need a few minutes to cook. Then turn off heat.
Serve as is or over grain of choice or cauliflower rice. Add tofu if serving at this time. You could also top with fresh herbs, chili peppers, lime juice, or some roasted cashews at this time (something I enjoy for more protein and texture).
Store cooled leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 4-5 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat on the stovetop over medium heat until hot.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with Thai Kitchen green curry paste, homemade vegetable broth, the lesser amounts of coconut aminos and sweetener, and without optional ingredients.
*For additional protein, we like to serve this curry with greens, peas, and quinoa and garnish with cashews.
*Methods adapted from the talented Hot Thai Kitchen.
Serving: 1 serving Calories: 206 Carbohydrates: 17.6 g Protein: 2.8 g Fat: 14.6 g Saturated Fat: 11.1 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 735 mg Potassium: 270 mg Fiber: 3.2 g Sugar: 9.6 g Vitamin A: 2125 IU Vitamin C: 66.11 mg Calcium: 22.43 mg Iron: 1.03 mg