This Thai green curry is so flavorful and has a rich creamy texture. Loaded with healthy vegetables and tofu, infused with lemongrass and other savory spices, this curry is simply soul warming.
Plus, it’s vegan, gluten free, easy to prepare and ready to serve in under 30 minutes.
As mentioned in another post, curry is the name given to food coming from Asia which has the a soup or stew consistency and which are prepared with some specific spices. Although the food has its origins in Asia the name “curry” doesn’t exist in the local languages. It was given by the British colonialists to describe the Asian flavored soups and stews. The two most popular versions of curry are Indian and Thai. And they’re quite different.
Thai curry vs Indian curry
The Indian curries are made of a tomato and onions gravy seasoned with lots of dry spices: cumin, coriander, turmeric, dried chilies, cinnamon, cardamom. This blend of ground spices (usually roasted) is called masala. In South India, coconut milk is added to this tomato gravy, but, in general, Indian curries are made with yogurt, butter or cream. Also, they have a thicker consistency.
The Thai curry base is a paste made of fresh ingredients, a few spices and shrimp paste. The usual fresh ingredients are chilies, kaffir lime zest (which is more pungent than regular lime), lemongrass, cilantro (coriander) roots, galangal (Thai ginger, which is different in flavor, texture and taste comparing to regular ginger), shallots, and garlic. And the most common used dry spices are cumin seeds, coriander seeds and white peppercorns. Although in Thai curries there are less condiments, they are spicier than the Indian curries. And they’re usually made with coconut milk, but almost never with dairy products. The consistency is thicker, in general more soup like.
Thai curry types
There are three main types of Thai curry paste: green, red and yellow. The green curry paste is based on fresh green chilies and it’s the spiciest one, contrary to what most of the Westerners believe. The red curry is obviously made with red chilies, fresh or dried. The yellow curry is strongly influenced by the Indian kitchen as it’s made with turmeric and black cardamom seeds, besides the above mentioned ingredients.
Now, that we clarified what curry is and what are the most common types, let’s see how a Thai curry is cooked!
Thai green curry ingredients
I made this curry with dry flat noodles which have a slightly chewy texture. If you don’t have any rice noodles in your pantry, I recommend to replace them with plain steamed jasmine rice. I don’t think other types of noodles (like wheat or soba noodles) are a good substitute in Thai curry recipes.
Let’s see what other ingredients we need:
Green curry soup ingredients
- coconut oil – to enhance the coconut flavor; if you don’t have coconut oil, use peanut oil which is very common in Thai cuisine;
- shallot – the traditional Thai recipe use shallots, not yellow onion;
- ginger & garlic – use either store bought paste or make your own paste from fresh garlic and ginger; and if you have fresh galangal, that’s even better;
- green curry paste – make sure you you find a vegan version, which doesn’t have shrimp paste;
- kaffir lime leaves (optional) – just to enhance flavor and color; I used preserved kaffir leaves (paste) because fresh leaves are not available in my area;
- lemongrass (optional) – also to increase flavor; if you make yourself the green curry paste or if you have a good quality curry paste, additional lemongrass might not be necessary; and, again, I used preserved lemon grass since the fresh lemongrass is very rare here ?;
- coconut milk – always present in Thai curries; use both cream and liquid;
- lime juice – balances the soup and adds the slightly sour taste specific to Thai dishes;
- vegetables – as usually, you can choose any veggies you like: broccoli, mushrooms, bell pepper (not necessarily green ?), edamame, (Thai) eggplant, okra, bamboo shots, carrots, etc.; I used broccoli, small white champignons and bok choy (if you can’t find “baby” bok choy, remove the whites as they are quite bitter);
- tofu – simple or fried; you can also use tofu puffs.
How to make Thai green curry noodle soup
Rice noodles preparation
Prepare the noodles according to the package instructions. Usually, rice noodles need to be soaked for 5 minutes in hot water. Give them a stir from time to time to loosen them up. Check their doneness level as they become mushy if overcooked. Once they’re tender, drain them and run them under cool water to stop the cooking process. Set aside and don’t worry if they get sticky; they’ll split when added into the hot curry soup.
Curry soup preparation
Start by peeling and chopping the shallot, garlic and ginger. Grate garlic and ginger to get a smooth curry texture.
Then heat the coconut oil in a wok over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the shallot, garlic and ginger and sauté for 1-2 minutes, until the fragrances are released.
Add the curry paste, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves paste (if using fresh leaves, add them later, together with the vegetables). Sauté for maximum 2 minutes, then add the coconut milk and 1/2 cup of water (or vegetable stock). Let it simmer over medium to low heat for about 7-8 minutes, until the curry starts thickening.
Bring in the veggies. First broccoli florets and mushroom as they need more time to cook. Consider the veggies are not good if overcooked. So, let them simmer in the curry soup for 2 minutes to enjoy their crunchiness and the fresh taste. Then add the bok choy, tofu and rice noodles, give it a good stir and simmer together for a few seconds.
Turn off the heat and drizzle over the fresh lime juice.
Transfer into serving bowls and enjoy!
How to store the curry
As usually, when it comes to curries, I recommend to serve it immediately. If you want to keep for longer, just double the curry soup ingredients and store it in the fridge in an airtight container. It will last for 5-6 days. Thus, whenever you’re in the mood for a green curry bowl, just simmer it, add your favorite toppings and there’s your quick dinner ?.
Other curry recipes that you might like
- Broccoli, carrot, potato and tofu curry
- Tofu makhani – Indian style tomato curry
- Palak tofu – Indian style spinach curry
If you like this vegan Thai green curry with rice noodles recipe, rate it or leave a comment below. And if you give it a try, take a picture and share it on Instagram; don’t forget to tag #choose_tasty ?.
Thai Green Curry with Rice Noodles
- 150 g rice noodles
- 2 tbsp coconut oil or peanut oil
- 1 medium shallot finely chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves finely minced
- 1 ginger knob finely minced – galangal would work better
- 1½ – 2 tbsp green curry paste
- 1 tsp preserved lemongrass fresh is much better
- ½ tsp kaffir lime leaves paste (optional) fresh leaves are much better
- 1 can of coconut milk 400 ml
- ½ cup water or veggie stock 120 ml
- ½ tsp salt or to taste
- 100 g broccoli florets
- 2 medium bok choy
- 70 g mushrooms I used small Champignons
- 150 g firm tofu cut into small cubes
- 1 small fresh green chili (optional) thinly sliced
- fresh juice from 1 lime
- Prepare the noodles according to the package instructions; when cooked, drain them and run under cold water; set aside;
- Heat the coconut oil in a large wok over medium heat; when it's hot, add chopped shallot, ginger and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes until fragrances are combined; stir from time to time;
- Add green curry paste, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves (if using paste) and sauté together for another 2 minutes; combine well al ingredients;
- Add the coconut milk, water and salt and let it simmer over medium to low heat for 7-8 minutes;
- Add broccoli and mushrooms, cook for 1-2 minutes over medium heat, then bring in the bok choy and tofu; give it a stir then add the noodles; let them cook together for a few seconds, then turn off the heat;
- Drizzle over the fresh lime juice and put the green chilies on top, if using;
- Transfer the curry into bowls and serve immediately.
- To be more efficient, prepare the rice noodles while the curry soup is simmering.
- The curry paste is usually quite salty; so, better taste the curry before adding salt to it.
- Don’t overcook the vegetables; they’ll turn mushy and tasteless.
- Fry the tofu cubes for more crunchiness.