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Vegetarian Panang Curry with Tofu

  • 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!  

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