Thai-style massaman tofu curry is the ultimate comfort (and healthy) meal! The curry paste is a perfect blend of umami and savory spices including lemongrass, ginger, and star anise that will dance in the simmering coconut broth. Make sure to take breaks while cooking to simply enjoy the wafts of aromatic spices filling your kitchen!
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In this recipe, I make my own curry paste, which is actually much simpler than it seems. But, in a pinch a good store bought massaman curry paste will save you some time. Traditionally, curry paste is pounded in a mortar, but tossing everything into a blender and pulsing a few times also works.
A traditional Thai massaman curry is made with beef, which is also delicious. However for a lighter meal though, I prefer tofu. If you can find pre-fried tofu that works the best and is really easy to just toss into the curry, but extra firm tofu will work just as well. This recipe can also be made vegan very easily, simply just omit the fish sauce and shrimp paste. You can add some more soy sauce (though you will miss some of those essential Thai flavors).
I prefer using full fat coconut milk as opposed to light coconut milk because it doesn’t break as easily and absorbs the curry paste better. Make sure to serve this delicious massaman tofu curry with some steamed jasmine rice to soak up all broth!
Thai Massaman Tofu Curry
Massaman Curry Paste
- 1 stalk lemongrass, (trimmed to the bottom 4", smashed with back of a knife)
- 5-6 (or more) dried thai chilis
- 1 tsp roasted shrimp paste, (optional, omit if vegan)
- 1 tsp coriander seed
- 1 tsp cumin seed
- 1 tsp cinnamom
- 4-5 pods cardamom
- 2-3 star anise
- 1" ginger or galangal, (peeled and chopped)
- 1 large shallot, (chopped)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, (chopped)
- 2 tbsp grapeseed oil, (or other neutral oil)
- 12 oz coconut milk, (full fat)
- 1 large head broccoli, (florets trimmed and stalk chopped)
- 12 oz fried tofu, (or regular firm tofu)
- 1 handful thai basil, (optional)
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp fish sauce, (omit if vegan)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp chili crisp or chili paste, (optional)
- cilantro and chopped peanuts, (for serving)
- steamed jasmine rice, (for serving)
Massaman Curry Paste
- Combine all of the curry paste ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse until ground up. It's ok if there is still some texture to the paste, you don't want it to be too pureed. Set aside.
- Heat a large sauce pan or dutch oven to medium-high. Add grapeseed oil and the prepared curry paste and saute for about 1 minute until very fragrant.
- Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer under medium heat, let the aromatics and coconut milk cook for 3-4 minutes. Then, add the broccoli and tofu and cook until the broccoli is tender, about 7-8 minutes. If the curry starts to dry out, you can add a splash of water or broth.
- Once the broccoli is cooked through, turn off the heat and add the thai basil, brown sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, and chili crisp to the curry. stir well until the basil is just wilted.
- Serve with steamed jasmine rice and some cilantro and chopped peanuts on top.
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