Vegetarian Thai Curry with Udon Noodles
This is our go-to vegetarian Thai curry recipe that's both healthy and delicious. Colorful fresh vegetables are simmered in a creamy coconut curry broth and served with crispy tofu and chewy udon noodles. It's an easy-to-make meat-free meal that everyone will love, and it's ready in just 30 minutes!
For more meat-free meals, also try our Thai peanut curry, cauliflower curry with chickpeas and peas, and creamy coconut lentil curry.
This is what we refer to as our go-to vegetarian curry because it's a basic recipe that's endlessly versatile. We use a colorful mix of vegetables and lightly cook them in a creamy coconut broth, then serve it up with golden tofu cubes and toothsome udon noodles.
We happen to use onion, Japanese eggplant, baby bok choy, bell peppers, carrots, celery, and cabbage but feel free to mix it up. It's also a great recipe for using up stragglers in your crisper. If you don't like tofu, feel free to omit it or swap it for chickpeas.
Udon noodles have a really wonderful chewy texture, but you can also serve the curry with regular rice noodles, or a different grain like rice or quinoa. We think it tastes especially great with our favorite coconut rice.
It's a comforting, healthy, and delicious meat-free meal you'll find yourself making again and again!
Why you'll love it
- It's healthy and uses only fresh ingredients
- It's creamy and delicious
- It's vegetarian (and vegan)
- It's easy to make
- It's versatile
What you'll need
Here's what you'll need to make this delicious vegetarian Thai curry recipe:
- Udon noodles – look for dried udon noodles in the Asian section of your grocery store, or sometimes you can find fresh ones in the frozen section.
- Avocado oil – for frying the tofu and making it extra crispy.
- Tofu – medium-firm tofu works well here; It gets nice and golden when fried, keeps its shape, and has a good texture.
- Coconut milk – coconut milk makes the base of the delicious creamy sauce. We love full-fat coconut milk for its creaminess but you can use light, if you prefer.
- Thai curry paste – we use an authentic red Thai curry paste for maximum flavor. Scroll down to see our tips on selecting the best Thai curry paste.
- Fresh vegetables – in the pictures we use a mix of onion, Japanese eggplant, baby bok choy, bell peppers, carrots, celery, and red or green cabbage but feel free to mix it up or use what you have on hand!
- Green onions – for serving.
How to make this vegetarian Thai curry recipe
This Thai vegetarian curry is on high rotation in our kitchen. Once you know the basic steps, it's easy to make and memorize them. Here's how we make it:
- Cook the udon noodles (or grain of choice). Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the udon noodles and cook according to the package directions, drain, and rinse.
- Now fry the tofu. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the tofu, and cook until it's crispy. Carefully flip the tofu to brown it on all sides.
- Meanwhile, make the curry by combining coconut milk, curry paste, soy sauce, and coconut sugar in a large pot. Bring it to a simmer, then add the onion and eggplant, and reduce heat to gently simmer.
- After a few minutes, add all the remaining vegetables and stir well. Cook for a couple more minutes, being careful not to overcook them.
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the green onions and crispy tofu. Serve over cooked udon noodles, rice, or quinoa!
Full recipe instructions are in the recipe card below.
Thai curry is incredibly versatile and you can easily make changes to the recipe based on what you like, what you have on hand, or what you can find in the grocery store. Here are a few ideas:
- Use extra-firm tofu for a more chewy protein.
- Make this vegetarian Thai curry recipe gluten-free by using tamari and serving it with rice.
- Add veggies such as green beans, snow peas, or broccoli.
- Give it a wintery feel by adding some cubes of potatoes, sweet potatoes, or butternut squash.
- Turn this Thai red curry recipe into a Thai green curry or yellow curry by switching the color of the curry paste you use.
- Finish the curry with some cilantro or Thai basil.
How to choose the best Thai curry paste
The type of curry paste you buy will make a big difference in this recipe. We highly recommend visiting an Asian market and scouring their shelves for Thai curry pastes. The best ones always come from Thailand and have little English written on the packaging. We've had success with Amoy Thai red curry paste, and Mae Ploy is another great brand.
If a good quality Thai curry paste isn't available to you, adding ginger, garlic, and lemongrass will help bolster it up and add lots of delicious Thai flavor.
Yes, this curry will have a bit of kick, but it will all depend on your curry paste. The best thing to do is to start out conservatively. Start by adding 3-4 Tablespoons of curry paste, taste, and add more to your desired heat level.
Dried udon noodles can be found in the Asian section of most well-stocked grocery stores. If you have an Asian market close by, we recommend checking it out as it will have the best selection. You can sometimes find frozen (fresh) udon noodles in the freezer section and these are often very good.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in your fridge, and they will keep for 4-5 days. The leftovers taste great and make a healthy packable lunch!
Ideas for serving vegetarian Thai curry
When served with noodles or rice (like our favorite coconut rice or jasmine rice), this vegan curry is a meal on its own. Add it to your weekly meat-free menu rotation and make it on busy weeknights as a simple and nourishing dinner. It's also a great meal for date night with a glass of chilled white wine!
We love making this vegetarian curry for a crowd and serving it family-style with a few other sides like fresh spring rolls with tahini dipping sauce, baked coconut shrimp with mango sauce, and mango Thai noodle salad with sesame ginger dressing.
Popular vegetarian dinner recipes
- Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
- Vegetarian Skillet Enchiladas
- Easy Vegetarian Skillet Lasagna with Kale Olive Pesto
- Easy Vegetarian Eggplant Parmesan
- Chickpea, Tofu, and Eggplant Curry
Vegetarian Thai Curry with Udon Noodles
If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!
- 8 ounces dried udon noodles
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 package medium-firm tofu, cut into chunks and dried well
- 2 15-ounce cans coconut milk, can be light
- 6 tablespoons red Thai curry paste, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 2 medium onions, cut into thick slices
- 1 medium Japanese eggplant, cut into half-moons
- 4 bunches baby bok choy, torn into pieces
- 2 medium bell peppers, cut into strips
- 2 medium carrots, cut into rounds
- 2 stalks celery, cut into half-moons
- 1 cup purple or green cabbage, chopped
- 3 green onions, cut into 1-inch slices
- Sea salt, to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the udon noodles and cook according to the package directions (usually 8 minutes.) Drain and rinse under running water.8 ounces dried udon noodles
- Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and cook until crispy and browned on one side, about 7-8 minutes. Carefully flip the tofu and brown it on the other side.1 tablespoon avocado oil, 1 package medium-firm tofu
- Meanwhile, combine coconut milk, curry paste, soy sauce, and coconut sugar in a large pot. Bring to a simmer then add the onion and eggplant. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.2 15-ounce cans coconut milk, 6 tablespoons red Thai curry paste, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 medium onions, 1 medium Japanese eggplant, 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- Add all the remaining vegetables at the same time and stir well. Cook for 2 more minutes (be careful not to overcook the veggies, they turn to mush very easily!)2 medium bell peppers, 2 medium carrots, 4 bunches baby bok choy, 2 stalks celery, 1 cup purple or green cabbage
- Remove from heat and stir in the green onions and crispy tofu. Taste and add salt as needed. Serve over cooked udon noodles.3 green onions, 8 ounces dried udon noodles
But I’m very very impressed with your blog! It deserves more than five stars!
Also, Thai curry soups are better with rice or ramen noodles, not thick noodles.
There’s definitely lots of room to try different variations with Thai curry. One of my favourite things to eat it with is actually quinoa as it seems to soak up the flavour even better than rice 🙂
This is more of a stew than a soup. I had to put sugar in it. Unfortunately, I used Thai Kitchen red curry paste, but did not put too much of it. I will try making it again with a better curry paste.
Gorgeous dish! I love Thai curries! Pinning it!
Thanks so much, Julia!
This is gorgeous and so healthy! Best. Comfort. Food. Ever.
Thank you so much!!
I just made this! I halfed the recipe and immediately regret doing that 🙁
This was SO delicious. I put chicken in it and used brown rice.
Great curry paste selection at Sunrise Market BTW. I feel like I’m definitely going to be eating a lot of red curry now that I know how to make it 🙂
I can’t believe you shop at Sunrise too! It is such a small world ?
I actually live really close to there so I’m there nearly everyday. If you see me you should say hi!
This looks wonderful and it’s the same for me: I can’t believe how often there is a curry cooking in my kitchen. 🙂 But it’s just so easy to prepare…
One of the best meals, right!
You know, I didn’t really realize that these types of of curries could be “comfort foods” until last weekend. I made the cover recipe of this month’s Bon Appetit, and I seriously could not stop eating it:
I’m obsessed now. Your vegetarian recipe looks great – will have to try it next!
I’ve been staring at that picture on the cover of Bon Appetit all month. You’ve convinced me to try it!!
This looks amazing! I saw a picture of it on Recipe Newz and I had to come see the recipe! Pinning!
Thank you so much, Meghan!!
Curry for breakfast? You are a brave woman! It looks incredibly good though. I love all those colours – so appetising…
Lol but it’s so good! I’m actually not a big breakfast person unless there happens to be either cookies or leftovers around the house. I think that might make me a little odd 🙂
I love Thai food and this combination with Japanese Udon looks so tempting and healthy!