Thai Red Curry with Asparagus and Tofu

love Thai food, but it’s very rare that I cook a Thai recipe and have it turn out right. Even when it’s good, it’s just slightly off. It always tastes like a pale imitation of real Thai food. It’s like when you go to a Chinese buffet and you get a slice of pizza from the hot bar. It has crust and cheese and tomato sauce, but there’s just something wrong about it. So when I decided to make this Thai Red Curry with Asparagus and Tofu recipe, I figured it would be the same–it would never taste like real Thai red curry. But I was psyched about the prospect of asparagus in a curry dish, so I had to try it.

Guess what? This actually tastes like restaurant-style red curry. It really does! Okay, maybe not the asparagus part–I have yet to encounter an asparagus curry on a Thai takeout menu. But the sauce? It has that nice sweet-and-spicy balance (not to mention the creamy texture from the coconut milk) that I love about Thai curries.

Thai Red Curry in Skillet
So that’s the good news. Here’s the not-so-good news. The original recipe I adapted this from called for rice noodles. I used those and I think this would have been much better with rice–in fact, next time I make this, I will definitely be making it with rice. Curries are saucy and rice soaks up sauce much better than noodles. Oh, and if you’re not a tofu fan, try adding more veggies instead–mushrooms and snow peas would be great in this curry.

Thai Red Curry with Asparagus and Tofu

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 4

Thai Red Curry with Asparagus and Tofu

A vegetarian red curry adapted from Everyday Food’s Beef-and-Asparagus Curry.


  • 1 tbsp. peanut oil (canola or vegetable oil works too)
  • 14 oz. extra-firm tofu, pressed for 30 minutes, cut into triangles
  • 1-13.5 oz. can light unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 c. red curry paste
  • 3/4 c. vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. asparagus, tough ends removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • cooked rice or rice noodles, lime wedges, and cilantro leaves for serving


  1. Heat peanut oil in large wok or skillet over medium high heat. Add tofu triangles and cook for 5 minutes; flip tofu over and cook 5 minutes more on other side. Place tofu on a plate lined with paper towels (to soak up excess oil) and wipe out skillet (carefully!).
  2. Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup of coconut milk and cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens (about 2 minutes). Stir in red curry paste and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add remaining coconut milk, broth, soy sauce, and sugar. Once sauce comes to a simmer, add red pepper; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in asparagus and cook 3 minutes more. Return tofu to skillet and stir until coated with curry sauce. Remove from heat and serve over noodles or rice; garnish with lime wedges and cilantro.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *