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Tofu Curry is an easy weeknight meal that uses simple ingredients and is packed with flavor. It’s made with coconut milk, red curry paste and crispy tofu and served over your favorite kind of a rice for a quick meal that comes together in just over 30 minutes.
Oh my gosh do I love curry, especially when tofu is involved. However, curry is not Miguel’s favorite food (I know, what the heck?), so I don’t eat it nearly often enough.
I whipped up this tofu curry during a week when he was traveling and ate the entire thing myself. Honestly, it wasn’t that challenging because it’s so tasty and an easy weeknight meal. I’ve talked many times about various ways to prep tofu. Personally, baking it in the oven is my favorite method, but, frying it over the stove is definitely faster, so I opted for that method in this recipe.
What you’ll need
- Tofu – Always go for super firm tofu when you’re going to bake or fry it. That way, it retains little moisture and will crisp up nicely.
- Garlic, onion, ginger, red bell pepper – these are all going to add tons of flavor to the dish, so I don’t recommend substituting anything.
- Coconut milk – I almost always go for full fat coconut milk, but light coconut milk works too.
- Red curry paste – Again, no real substitutions here. I like the Thai Kitchen brand, which you can find at most grocery stores.
- Soy sauce – Or you can substitute tamari or coconut aminos if you prefer. Coconut aminos has less sodium than soy sauce, but it will slightly alter the flavor.
- Coconut sugar – The first time I made this I didn’t add sugar, but the sugar takes it to a whole other level. If you don’t have coconut sugar, use regular cane sugar.
- Rice – Brown, white, basmati, jasmine — whatever you have on hand!
- Spinach – You don’t have to add spinach, but it’s an easy way to squeeze some greens into this meal.
Step 1: Cook the rice. Be sure to cook the rice first because it takes the longest to cook. However you normally cook rice works fine in this recipe too.
Step 2: Fry the tofu. Before actually frying the tofu, you have to coat it in cornstarch so that it gets nice and crispy. I like to put the tofu in a plastic bag, then add the cornstarch, zip the bag up and shake it. That way, the tofu is completely covered in cornstarch and it only takes a minute.
Then, add the tofu to a skillet, along with 3 tbsp olive oil and fry the tofu on all sides. This should take 5-6 minutes.
Step 3: Prep the sauce. The best part of any curry dish is the sauce! This sauce is very simple and made with basic (but delicious) ingredients.
Start by sautéing the onion and red pepper in a skillet for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 more minute.
Then, add the coconut milk, curry paste, soy sauce, and coconut sugar and bring mixture to a simmer. At this time, you should add the spinach in and stir it for about 30 seconds or until it’s wilted.
Finally, add the tofu back into the skillet and stir so that it’s coated in the sauce. You enjoy it as-is over rice, or add in some chopped cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
FAQs and tips for the best curry recipe
- Use full fat coconut milk to add more flavor
- I used brown rice to keep things on the lighter side, but jasmine, basmati or white rice would also be delicious
- I like to add some sort of greens to most curry dishes. In this case, I chose spinach, but roasted broccoli would work too
Can I freeze this?
Yes and no. You can definitely make the sauce ahead of time and freeze it, but I wouldn’t freeze the tofu. Tofu–especially fried tofu–is best when made fresh, and it tends to lose it’s flavor and texture when it’s frozen. So, go ahead and make the sauce, freeze it, and then wait to make and add the tofu until you’re ready to eat it.
More tasty tofu recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below!
Easy Tofu Curry
- 1 block super firm tofu pressed
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 4 tbsp olive oil divided
- 2 cups brown rice cooked
for the sauce:
- 1 cup yellow onion diced
- 1 red pepper diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger grated
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 3 tbsp red curry paste
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 cup spinach
- 2 tbsp cilantro for garnish
- 1 tbsp lime juice optional
- Cook the brown rice according to the package instructions.
- Meanwhile, slice the tofu into 1" cubes, then place them in a plastic bag. Add cornstarch to the bag, seal it, then shake until the tofu is completely coated in the cornstarch.
- Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, then add the tofu and fry on all sides. This should take at least 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove tofu and set aside.
- In that same skillet, make the sauce: add remaining 1 tbsp oil, along with the onion and red pepper to the skillet and sauté for 2-3 minutes; then, add garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute before adding in the coconut milk, curry paste, soy sauce, and coconut sugar. Stir everything together and bring mixture to a simmer. Add the spinach and stir for 30 seconds until it's wilted, then add the tofu back into the skillet.
- Pour rice into bowls, then top it with the the tofu curry. Top everything with cilantro and enjoy!
UPDATE NOTE: This recipe was originally published in November 2019. It was updated in May 2020 with new text.