Tofu Panang Curry paired with Shiraz

Looking for something to follow your Khao Tang Na Tang? Panang curry is a cozy and spicy Thai dish that, if you wish, can be chock full of veggies and delightfully fried tofu. No need to be a hero here and make curry paste from scratch. You can make an easy and delicious curry dish in no time with a great store-bought paste and a can of coconut milk.

The Dish

This recipe works for any curry of your choosing, but I’m partial to panang. I gravitate towards broccoli, red and green bell pepper, and white onion as my choice vegetables for curry but you can substitute your favorites wherever you please. Though it’s undeniably best served with some steamed jasmine rice, I decided to do some cauliflower rice this time around.

Add just a little extra something by frying some garlic slices for flavor and texture for the rice. Just toss some garlic into the oil that you will be frying your crispy tofu in and ta-da, the best garnish that you definitely won’t be leaving on the side of your plate.

The Wine

Fruit-forward, bold, mild tannin

When it comes to spicy food, you don’t want a lot of tannin and you may also enjoy something just a hair off-dry (just a little! nothing sweet by any means). It helps temper the spice, whereas an excessively tannic and dry wine can amplify the heat from the dish in an uncomfortable way. This 95% Shiraz 5% Viognier did the trick. This wine label has also branded themselves as vegan-friendly, which is always a plus! A red Zinfandel would also be a fabulous option here.

I also paired this wine with another Thai dish, my vegetarian Khao Tang Na Tang with jackfruit. Do it big and make the Na Tang appetizer before your main entree of panang curry for a beautiful homemade Thai meal. The Shiraz pairs perfectly with both. Too easy!

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Vegetarian Panang Curry with Tofu

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  • Author: Sydney
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Thai
  • Diet: Vegan


Vegetable panang curry with crispy fried tofu, served with simple cauliflower rice. 


  • 1 can panang curry paste (I use Maesri brand)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 package extra firm tofu
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 small green bell pepper
  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Vegetable oil 
  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • Optional: Crushed roasted cashews for garnish and texture


Panang Curry

  1. Prepare tofu ahead of time by draining the package and wrapping in a towel for a few hours (or overnight if you have the time) to absorb as much excess moisture as possible.  Cube the tofu, or tear into equally sized parts for some extra craggy edges for more texture.
  2. Prep and chop veggies for sauteing.  
  3. Heat ~2 tbps of oil in a medium pan, or enough to have a very shallow layer of oil.  Place tofu in the oil and allow to fry on each side for roughly 4 minutes or until golden brown.  Maintain distance between the pieces of tofu.  
  4. Drop in a few slices of garlic to the oil and allow them to fry until golden brown and crisp. Remove and set aside for your cauliflower rice (or standard rice, if you’re going that route!). 
  5. When tofu is finished, transfer to a dish with a paper towel to absorb excess oil. 
  6. While the tofu is frying, add 1-2 tbsp oil to a pan and heat to medium.  Add half of the garlic clove, minced, and add the chopped vegetables.  Season to taste as you go.
  7. While the veggies cook, combine paste and coconut milk in a pot over medium-low heat.  Stir until the paste and coconut milk are fully combined and smooth.  You now have curry sauce!  Easy!
  8. Before the veggies become too soft, combine the veggies and tofu together in the curry sauce.  Allow everything to marinate together for a bit before serving.

Cauliflower Rice

  1. Roughly chop your head of cauliflower – small enough to be blitzed in a food process but not too small.
  2. Add cauliflower to food process and pulse on low a handful of times until the size and consistency resembles rice.  
  3. Lightly oil a pan and heat at medium-low.  Add cauliflower rice.
  4. Season with salt and garlic to taste.  
  5. Saute until slightly tender but with enough of an “al dente” firmness to best replicate rice.  
  6. Serve in a bowl alongside your curry, and top it off with a few slices of your fried garlic!  

Sydney Isaacs
Sydney Isaacs

Sydney is a 29-year old American living between France and Italy. She has a WSET Level 2 certification in wine, along with a degree in environmental engineering and an MBA. She loves exploring local farmer’s markets, haunting her favorite wine bar, and discovering new restaurants.

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