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Hot & Spicy Thai Curry with Tofu and Rice

No recipe image available."Here's a recipe to try that has made many a convert out of non-tofu eaters. It's seductively spicy and creamy with an addictive blend of flavors." - Elizabeth Yarnell.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 cup white rice
6 to 8 ounces tofu, extra firm
1/2 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch sticks 1/2-inch wide
1 (8-ounce) can bamboo shoots, drained and rinsed
1/2 red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch sticks
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut in 1-inch sticks
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk, regular or light
1 tablespoon Thai curry paste
1 1/2 tablespoon Thai fish sauce (can substitute soy sauce)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon lime juice

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Spray inside of 2-quart cast iron Dutch oven and lid with canola oil.
  2. Rinse rice in strainer under cold water until water runs clear. Place into pot and smooth into an even layer. Do not add water to the pot.
  3. Drain tofu and place on bed of paper towels. Cover with folded paper towels and press firmly to squeeze as much liquid out as possible. Cut into 1-inch cubes and place on top of rice. Top with layers of zucchini, bamboo shoots and bell peppers.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk coconut milk, curry paste, fish sauce, sugar, paprika and lime juice. Be aware that coconut milk separates into liquid and solids when stored; be sure to use all the contents of the can. Whisk until all ingredients are dissolved. Pour mixture over top.
  5. Cover and bake for 45 minutes or until rice is tender. You'll smell the full-bodied aroma wafting from the oven when it is ready—3 minutes after first whiff.

Makes 2 servings.


  • My cousin Julie learned this recipe when her sister, Abi, worked in Thailand. Julie throws in whatever vegetables she happens to have on hand and the results are always yummy.
  • Notice that this recipe does not call for water to hydrate the rice. The coconut milk provides enough liquid to cook the rice and make a wonderful curry sauce that oozes with flavor.


  • Thai curry paste comes in yellow, red, and green—any of which work beautifully in this dish. Try the Mae Ploy brand found at Asian markets. Use more or less as your taste buds demand; what is presented here is mild to medium heat.
  • Dead set against tofu? Consider substituting1/2 to 3/4 pounds raw, cleaned shrimp or scallops, chicken breasts or fish fillets in place of the tofu.
  • It doesn't seem to make any difference if you use regular coconut milk or reduced fat.
  • To make this for 4 people, simply double the recipe, use a 3 1/2- or 4-quart Dutch oven, and bake for 53 minutes.

Recipe provided courtesy of Elizabeth Yarnell (, Elizabeth is a Certified Nutritional Consultant, inventor and author of the award-winning Glorious One-Pot Meals: A new quick & healthy approach to Dutch oven cooking. The Glorious One-Pot Meals cooking process holds US patent number 6,846,504. Hundreds of students in her cooking classes have tasted and loved this recipe! Find more healthy eating tips from Elizabeth at