Silken Tofu Curry
This silken tofu curry is a delicious combination of melt-in-your-mouth silken tofu, tender vegetables, creamy peanut sauce, and aromatic Thai red curry flavours. Ready in just 30 minutes, enjoy it over rice for a quick and easy, flavoursome weeknight dinner.
What is silken tofu?
Silken tofu (also known as soft tofu) is a variety of tofu which is very soft in texture. You can buy tofu in many different varieties, with firm or extra firm tofu being the most commonly used. This is made by combining soy milk with coagulants, then simmering to separate the curds and whey. The curds are pressed to form a dense block; The longer it is pressed, the more firm the tofu will be.
Firm tofu is a very popular choice for vegan dishes, and with good reason! Its firm texture is a good substitute for meat as it gives a satisfying chewiness.
For this peanut tofu curry recipe however, we’ll use silken tofu. Silken tofu is made in a similar way, however the milk is not curdled, only coagulated, resulting in a silky smooth tofu. It is very delicate, and is therefore not pressed in the same way as firm tofu.
Silken tofu is less popular, seeming a little more complicated to make use of. It’s velvety and creamy, making it popular in sweet recipes. However, there are also so many savoury ways this versatile tofu can be used, such as in tofu shakshuka, scrambled tofu, or as a ricotta substitute in cannelloni or pierogi.
Can you use silken tofu in curry?
Yes! You can use silken tofu in curry, but it is very delicate and will fall apart if not pre-cooked. It’s best to bake the silken tofu into cubes, then stir them through the curry right at the end. This way, they maintain their integrity.
Why I love this silken tofu curry
I love the velvety texture of silken tofu, but ordinarily it would fall apart in a sauce. By baking it into cubes beforehand, it holds shape even when stirred through the satay tofu curry sauce. It’s lightly coated in cornflour and takes on flavour beautifully. I also love this recipe because:
- It’s another healthy meal in my weeknight dinner rotation, filled with goodness and healthy fats.
- Peanut butter and silken tofu are both great sources of protein, and between them cover many of the essential amino acids.
- Silken tofu curry is an easy weeknight meal, with minimal hands on time, making it a great option after a busy day at work.
- It’s freezer friendly, so I can make it at the weekend and freeze it in portions for weeknight meals.
- It’s customisable– from the nut butter, to the vegetables and protein. This makes it great for a fridge and cupboard clear out meal.
- It’s filled with delicious Thai flavour, and is my favourite red tofu curry recipe.
What are the ingredients?
Silken tofu– As above, you need to use silken tofu for this recipe. Keep an eye out for a ‘firm’ variety of silken tofu, as this will hold up into better pieces in the peanut curry sauce.
Thai red curry paste– It’s important that you make sure that your Thai red curry paste is vegan, as some brands will contain fish sauce. This paste gives the silken tofu curry a beautiful red colour and aromatic flavour, with plenty of citrus from the lemongrass. If you want to make your own, I love this homemade Thai red curry paste recipe.
Peanut butter– Keep your eye out for a natural 100% nuts creamy peanut butter, as this is healthiest and works best in a peanut tofu curry. If you can’t find this, opt for one which contains no added sugar.
Coconut Milk– You should use a full fat coconut milk for the creamiest vegan Thai red tofu curry.
Veggies– The veggies are cooked in the sauce until just tender with a nice crunch. I’ve chosen red bell pepper, broccoli and sugar snaps which make a really nice combination of flavours, texture and colour.
Sugar, sriracha, soy sauce, lime juice– These four ingredients are added at the end and are the finishing touch which add important sweetness, spiciness, saltiness and sourness to the silken tofu curry.
There’s no special equipment required for this recipe, you’ll just need a large pan to cook the baked tofu curry in. I like to cook this in a wok or a large frying pan, but you could also use a shallow Dutch oven in a pinch.
How to make silken tofu curry
The best way to make this dish is by getting the silken tofu into the oven first. This gives it time to cook whilst you prepare the curry. To do this, carefully open your pack of silken tofu and slide the block onto a non-stick baking sheet. It’s important that you don’t break it up yet, otherwise it will just turn to mush.
Bake it for 10 minutes at 200c/390f, then carefully break it up into cubes on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the cubes with cornflour and gently toss, then return it to the oven for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the Thai red curry. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion, garlic and ginger and fry for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the pepper and continue to fry, stirring, for 3-4 minutes.
Next, add the curry paste and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the peanut butter, followed by the coconut milk and the vegetable stock. Stir to combine all of the sauce ingredients together.
Add the broccoli and sugar snaps, then simmer the Thai peanut curry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sugar, sriracha, soy sauce and lime, then stir through the spinach to wilt it.
Once the tofu has finished cooking into soft cubes, gently fold it through the curry. Serve with rice and chopped coriander.
I like to serve my silken tofu curry with Jasmine rice, as it’s the most authentic option for a Thai curry. It’s a fragrant, long grain rice which goes lovely and fluffy when cooked.
However, if we’re eating this on a weeknight I like to keep things a little healthier and serve it with brown basmati rice. It’s a wholegrain, complex carb which is higher in fibre and contains lots of beneficial vitamins and minerals. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve.
Some other serving options include:
- Topped with spring onion, crushed peanuts, sesame seeds, and sliced chilli.
- With som tam (or green papaya) or Thai cucumber salad.
- On the side of some stir fried veggies (I like carrots, Chinese cabbage and beansprouts).
- With some Thai spiced rice crackers (make sure they’re vegan).
- Next to grilled or fried bok choi.
My top tips for the best peanut tofu curry
If you want to make this silken tofu curry as delicious as it possibly can be, I would recommend making your own homemade Thai curry paste. It’s tastier, you can make it with spices to suit your preference, and you can guarantee it will definitely be vegan. It’s super easy to make, and you can prepare it in advance and keep it ready to go in the fridge.
Aromatics are super important to this recipe, so don’t skimp out on the garlic and ginger. If you don’t like these to taste super strong, just fry them off for a little bit longer at the beginning. The flavours will mellow out as they cook. Likewise, if you like these to taste really strong, just give them a short fry at the beginning.
This is a great curry to clear out veggies in the fridge, so feel free to throw in whatever you might have- canned or frozen vegetables work well here too.
Ingredient substitutes or additions
- Want to make it milder or spicier? You can half the amount of curry paste for a milder curry. For a spicier curry, add a chopped red chilli along with your garlic and ginger, or a teaspoon of red pepper flakes with the curry paste.
- For a lighter silken tofu curry, I would recommend avoiding light coconut milk. Instead, half the amount of coconut milk and make up the difference with stock.
- Vegetables– You could use whichever vegetables you like here, but I would recommend avoiding any ‘hard’ vegetables such as squash or potato. Kale, baby corn, aubergine, and green beans are all really good options for this baked tofu curry.
- Protein– If you’re worried about using silken tofu, you could sub this out for firm tofu, chopping it into cubes and baking it in the oven like the silken tofu. You could also use tempeh or edamame beans as an alternative protein, but you can heat these straight in the sauce.
- If you need to keep it nut free, you can use almond butter instead of peanut butter. I wouldn’t recommend using a mild nut butter like cashew butter, but sunflower seed butter would also work quite well.
- To keep this silken tofu curry gluten free, make sure that your curry paste is gluten free. Swap out the soy sauce for tamari.
Yes, this Thai tofu curry is perfect to make in advance! The flavours will develop with time, so you can make it 3-4 days ahead of when you will need it. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge.
You can also freeze the curry for up to 3 months. Allow it to cool to room temperature, then transfer into one large, or 4 individual, airtight containers to freeze.
You can reheat the curry either on the hob or microwave. On the hob, bring to a simmer for 2-3 minutes until piping hot through. Alternatively, microwave on high for 2-3 minutes per portion.
If the vegan peanut curry is frozen, defrost in the fridge overnight, or on the counter for a few hours. Reheat as above.
Looking for more tofu recipes?
You might like…
- This high protein tofu Buddha bowl
- Vegan shahi korma with tofu
- Coconut tofu with miso pak choi
- Polish ‘fish’– or tofu ‘po Grecku’
- Or this tofu katsu salad
Silken Tofu Curry
- 1 block silken tofu ~350g
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 brown onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 thumb sized piece ginger minced
- 1 red bell pepper cut into strips
- 200 g red curry paste ~¾ cup
- 90 g peanut butter ⅓ cup
- 1 can coconut milk 400g/14oz
- 250 ml vegetable stock 1 cup
- 1 head broccoli cut into small florets
- 160 g sugar snap peas ~1 heaped cup
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp sriracha hot sauce
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 lime juiced
- 100 g spinach ~2 packed cups
- Carefully open your pack of silken tofu and slide the block onto a non-stick baking sheet. It’s important that you don’t break it up yet, otherwise it will just turn to mush.
- Bake the tofu for 10 minutes at 200°c/390°f, then carefully cut it up into 1/2 inch cubes on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the cubes with cornflour and gently toss, then return it to the oven for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the curry. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion, garlic and ginger and fry for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the pepper and continue to fry, stirring, for 3-4 minutes.
- Next, add the curry paste and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the peanut butter, followed by the coconut milk and the vegetable stock. Stir to combine all of the sauce ingredients together.
- Add the broccoli and sugar snaps, then simmer the curry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the sugar, sriracha, soy sauce and lime juice, then stir through the spinach to wilt it.
- Once the tofu has finished cooking, gently fold the cubes through the curry. Serve with rice and chopped coriander.
Made this recipe?
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