Red Curry Noodles (vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free)
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Rad Red Curry Noodles!
I’ve spent a lot of my younger years in Thailand, and most of my Christmases with family there and these Red Curry Noodles bring me right back! Out of all of the varieties of curry in Thailand, my favourite have to be red and yellow, so today I’m bringing you this dish of rice noodles drenched in smooth and spicy red curry sauce, with baked tofu and vibrant veggies. To finish the dish, a squeeze of fresh lime juice for brightness, toasted peanuts for crunch, extra dried chili flakes if you like the heat and herbs like Thai basil and/or cilantro. It’s a complete meal full of flavour that you’ll want to make on repeat, especially once you see how easy it is to make!
The base of the dish is a good red curry paste. You can make it from scratch, but it is difficult to nail the spice balance perfectly (speaking from experience here, anyway…). Every time I travel to Thailand, I bring curry paste back with me, but you can also find premade curry paste in stores in most countries. Simmer that with coconut milk and sautéed aromatics, and you get curry in a flash. If you’ve ever been intimidated by Thai cooking, this is a great place to start and I promise it’s easier than you think.
This recipe is also very flexible. You can adjust the spice level to taste and you can absolutely swap out the veggies and use what you have on hand instead. I personally like to make curry when I want to use up leftover produce in the fridge. This curry sauce makes almost everything taste delicious! Instead of tofu, you can also use chickpeas, or a vegan protein of choice and if noodles aren’t your thing, serve over some fresh jasmine rice instead. Make this curry yours!
These Red Curry Noodles are vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free and can be made oil free as well.
What’s in these Red Curry Noodles?
- Red curry paste → the base of our delicious dish!
- Aromatics → the flavour basics like shallot, garlic, ginger and chili
- Vibrant veggies → I like to use carrots, broccoli and eggplant
- Baked tofu → for protein and chew
- Coconut milk → to create a luscious sauce
- Coconut sugar → used to balance the spice and the salt in the dish, we’re just using a touch!
- Gluten free soy sauce → for extra depth of flavour
And optional ingredients for garnish like fresh kaffir lime leaves, Thai basil, roasted peanuts, green onions, dried chili flakes, cilantro and lime juice.
Secrets to success
For best results, try to chop your veggies in a similar size so they’ll cook evenly. The smaller you chop, the less time you’ll need to cook!
Be sure that the curry paste you’re using is a vegan friendly curry paste. Many traditional Thai curry pastes are made with fish stock, or shrimp paste, so do check the ingredient list. Also make sure you are using a curry paste, not a sauce. One more thing! If you are not able to consume gluten, also check to make sure that your curry paste does not contain gluten. Sometimes, wheat flour is used as a thickener, or soy sauce may be used to season.
I note a few specific fresh ingredients that may be difficult to find at non-specialty grocery stores. If you’d like, you can look for an Asian grocery store, where you will likely be able to find most of the ingredients, or a specialty Thai grocery store if there’s one near you. I include substitutes, however, so don’t stress if you can’t find specific ingredients like Thai eggplant, for example!
Making curry is all about adjusting to taste, so do taste frequently and add additional ingredients as you see fit.
If you like this recipe, try…
- Coconut Green Curry Soup
- Red Curry Cauliflower Soup
- Mo’s Masala Recipe
- Crunchy Rainbow Soba Salad
- 50 Tofu & Tempeh Recipes
- Spicy Almond Butter Noodles
If you try this recipe out, tag me on Instagram @veggiekins so I can see your delicious re-creations and feature them! As always, I love when you share your reviews in the comments below, and if you make any fun substitutions, let me know how it worked out below too.
Red Curry Noodles (vegan, gluten free)
- 1 cup broccoli chopped
- 1 1/2 cup carrots thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cup Thai eggplant* diced
- 15 oz extra firm tofu diced
- neutral oil as needed
- 1 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 small shallots minced
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small Thai red chili thinly sliced (skip if you're not crazy about spice)
- 1 tbsp ginger finely grated
- 2-3 tablespoons red curry paste the Thai Kitchen brand is easy to find in most stores, but I also really love the Mekhala brand paste
- 1 can full fat coconut milk about 15oz
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce more to taste
- 8 oz rice noodles more as desired
- Optional but nice to have
- 4-5 fresh kaffir lime leaves
- handful fresh Thai basil
- To garnish
- handful roasted peanuts roughly chopped
- green onion sliced thinly
- dried chili flakes
- fresh lime use thai lime if you can find it!
- Begin by preparing your tofu if you'd like to crisp it up in the oven. Preheat oven to 400F, and meanwhile, quickly toss cubed tofu with just enough oil to coat, gluten free soy sauce and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes on a lined baking tray, flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes. You can also use an airfryer and omit oil if desired.
- In a large saucepan, sauté shallots, garlic, chili and ginger with a touch of oil for 1-2 minutes, until softened and fragrant. Next add your veggies and red curry paste and sauté for another minute or so before adding coconut milk. Increase the heat to bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add coconut sugar and gluten free soy sauce and let cook for 10-15 minutes until veggies are tender.*
- While your curry is simmering, prep rice noodles by soaking in a bowl of hot water, or according to package directions.
- Once ready to serve, strain your noodles, toss into the curry* along with baked tofu and serve with a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice, a handful of roasted peanuts, green onion, chili flakes and cilantro as desired. Alternatively, you can serve the rice noodles in bowls and pour curry over top.
- You can make this recipe oil-free by omitting when sautéing initial ingredients, however "frying" curry paste helps to bring out the aromatics in the spices, so I would recommend a small amount for best flavour and results!
- If you can't find Thai eggplant, see if you can find Chinese or Japanese eggplant. The skins tend to be a lot less tough compared to larger eggplants. Otherwise, consider peeling your eggplant to avoid tough skin.
- If you're in a pinch, chop your veggies a little more finely. This way, you can decrease the amount of time needed to cook through.
- Adjust the thickness of your curry as desired. You can add water or veggie broth to thin if you prefer more of a brothy curry, or find it to be too thick.
- When you toss noodles into the curry, they will immediately start to soak up the curry, so only toss noodles into the curry if you're ready to eat. Otherwise, I recommend reserving noodles on the side, and pour curry over noodles when ready to eat.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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