This Thai Eggplant Red Curry is simple yet flavor packed meal perfect for meal prep or busy weeknights. Zucchini and tofu add richness and nutrients to this already healthy freezer-friendly dish. Made in one pot and ready in just 30 minutes. Vegan, GF too.
Also try my delicious Butternut Squash Curry.
The more I cook with Thai Curry Paste, the more I realize how easily it compliments any dish. This best Thai Eggplant Red Curry is not exception.
Small pieces of eggplants, zucchini, and tofu are pan sauté till tender and crispy and then simmered in the aromatic Red Curry paste-infused coconut sauce.
A simple, yet hearty and comforting dish that I really enjoy making with the aubergines.
My favorite thing about this Thai red curry recipe is that it's ready in just 30 minutes and made with vegan pantry ingredients.
It's definitely one of the best vegan eggplant recipes.
You can enjoy this curry as it is or serve it over steamed rice, pasta, or noodles. Delicious!
Here's Why This Recipe Works
- Thai red curry paste. It's a unique mixture of aromatic herbs and spices like lemongrass, red chili pepper, coriander root, and kaffir lime peel. This paste is already complex enough and has all the flavor we need. Other recipes might also use bamboo shoots, ginger, or lime leaves but I think this is redundant. The only ingredient that truly makes red curry paste shine is coconut milk. It dilutes the paste making it a perfect base for our Eggplant Red Curry
- One pot. No need to use multiple pots and pans. You only need one good sauté pan or wok. This makes for an easy cleanup
- Simplicity. This Thai Eggplant Curry is ready in just 30 minutes. It's perfect for busy days but also for meal prep. Just pair it with some healthy grains like rice or quinoa and fresh veggies for a complete meal
Here's an overview of the specific ingredients for this recipe. For the exact ingredients and measurements, please scroll to the recipe card below.
- eggplant - if you can, use Japanese eggplant since it has a softer skin. Otherwise, regular eggplant work here too. Just make sure to chop it into small pieces for the eggplant to cook evenly;
- zucchini - pairs really well with eggplant. If you don't have the zucchini, you can substitute with bell peppers, carrots, and/or green beans;
- tofu - choose extra-firm tofu, because there's less chance it will turn into mush during cooking:). If you have a tofu press, you can use it to get rid of the unnecessary liquid and make your tofu crisp up faster. However, I personally don't have a tofu press and only use a few paper towels to pat dry the tofu;
- red curry paste. I usually buy a brand called Thai Kitchen. You can either find it on Amazon, Target, or Walmart; A little goes a long way. For any given recipe you will usually use just a couple of tablespoons at most;
- coconut milk - I generally prefer using light coconut milk for less fat, but if you want a richer taste of your Aubergine curry, go with full fat coconut milk.
- Cook the tofu. Heat vegetable oil in a large non-stick pan. Add tofu and cook on medium heat until nice and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.
- Chop the vegetables. Meanwhile, cut the eggplant for curry by holding it with one hand against the cutting board. Using a chef's knife or another long-blade knife, trim ¼ inch off the ends and then chop the eggplant into bite-size pieces. If your eggplant has seeds, that's ok too. Do the same thing with the zucchini.
- Cook the vegetables. Add the remaining oil to a pan along with onion, zucchini, and eggplant and cook on medium-high heat for 7-10 minutes stirring occasionally until eggplant is brown and soft. Eggplant loves oil and tends to absorb it fast, so you might add more oil if the vegetables start to stick. Adding 1-2 tablespoons of oil at a time is fine. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan with the vegetables, choose the pan of an appropriate size.
- Add the curry and coconut milk. Add Thai curry paste and stir for 1 minute. Return tofu back into the pan, add the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens. Season with some salt, drizzle with lime juice and remove from the heat.
- Serve. Sprinkle the curry with fresh cilantro and serve the vegan Eggplant Curry over rice, quinoa or pasta.
Please note, that If you use light coconut milk, your red curry sauce will be on a thinner side. Full fat coconut milk produces a richer sauce.
If you prefer light coconut milk, you can regulate the thickness of a sauce by diluting 1 or 2 teaspoons of cornstarch in 3 tablespoon of water and then whisking this mixture into the curry sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although green curry is considered the spiciest of all curries, you can use it in place of a red curry paste. Green curry gets its color not only from chili peppers but also from coriander and basil. So aside from the fact that your Eggplant curry will be green versus red and more spicy, it will still pack a flavor punch.
The best way to get the bitterness out of eggplant is to pre-salt and drain it. I recommend sprinkling the chopped eggplant with 1 teaspoon of salt and allowing it to drain in a colander for at least 30 minutes. After that, you can rinse the eggplant with some water and pat dry. Doing so will help to draw out the excess moisture and the bitterness from the eggplant.
If you have a large or old eggplant, you may want to peel the skin. However, generally, it's not necessary.
The beauty of this Eggplant Zucchini Red Curry is that it can be made with any vegetables you have in your refrigerator.
Have cauliflower or broccoli? Feel free to add them too.
No tofu? That's fine. Veggies that are simmered in coconut milk are still delicious, hearty and flavorful.
⏲️ Storage And Reheating
This creamy Thai Eggplant Curry stores really well. If you want to freeze it, make sure to use freezer-friendly bags and lay the curry flat in a freezer. That way, you'll be able to keep it fresh for 3 months. Don't forget to label the curry with the date of freezing.
To thaw, leave your curry to defrost in the refrigerator overnight and then simmer in a pot for a few minutes. If you're short on time, you can throw a bag with a curry in a pot of hot water, defrost it there and then reheat on the stovetop.
You can also keep the eggplant zucchini curry in a refrigerator for up to 3 days.
If you make this recipe, please leave me a comment below and rate it. I always appreciate the feedback. Also, you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
If you're looking for a quick overview of the recipe, please check out my Thai Eggplant Curry web-story.
Best Thai Red Curry With Eggplant And Tofu
- 5 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
- 14 oz extra-firm tofu patted dry and cut into ¾ inch cubes
- 1 medium onion quartered and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoon red curry paste
- 1 large eggplant
- 2 zucchini
- 1 can (13.5 oz) full fat or light coconut milk
- ¼ c cilantro chopped
- ½ lime juiced
- ½ teaspoon salt
Cook the tofu
- Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in a large non-stick pan. Add tofu and cook on a medium heat until nice and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.
Chop the vegetables
- Meanwhile, cut the eggplant for curry by holding it with one hand against the cutting board. Using a chef's knife or other long blade knife, trim ¼ inch off the ends and then chop the eggplant into a bite-size pieces. Do the same thing with the zucchini.
Cook the vegetables
- Add the remaining 3 tablespoon of oil to a pan along with onion, zucchini, eggplant and cook on a medium-high heat for 7-10 stirring occasionally until eggplant is brown and soft. Eggplant loves oil and tends to absorb it fast, so you might add more oil if the vegetables start to stick. Adding 1-2 tablespoon of oil at a time is fine. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan with the vegetables, choose the pan of an appropriate size.
Add curry paste and the coconut milk
- Add curry paste and stir for 1 minute. Return tofu back into the pan, add coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens. Season with salt, drizzle with lime juice and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Remove curry from the heat.
- Sprinkle the curry with fresh cilantro and serve the vegan Eggplant Curry over rice, quinoa or pasta.
I love to have a simple recipe I can make during the week when I am busy doing the after-school mom thing!
This looks like a fantastic recipe - perfect with some rice or roti!
Love curries that have lots of veggies in them. I try to use the fresh vegetables when I can and I know left over curries tend to be better the next day!
Looks delicious! I like that you use tons of veggies in this dish.
Friendly feedback on your eggplant curry. Made this recipe and it has no flavour. Eggplant can taste bitter especially with the skin on and tofu is tasteless so it needs to be seasoned. Perhaps look to other recipes that use curry paste. It is more than just paste and coconut milk. Enhance it with soy sauce or coconut aminos, lemon juice, fish sauce or other ideas. This isn’t a good recipe the way it’s created.
Thank you for your feedback Marilyn! This is the recipe that I personally enjoy and I'm sorry that it wasn't to your liking. I might give it another go to see if anything needs tweaking. Sorry again it wasn’t what you expected and I appreciate you sharing anyway!