Yellow Tofu Curry Bowl

Yellow Tofu Curry Bowl, a Thai-inspired yellow curry using crispy tofu, potatoes, and fresh vegetables in a super flavorful coconut milk broth. An easy curry rice bowl that packs a flavor punch!

a black bowl with yellow curry and tofu with white rice on a white table

Love yellow curry but not sure how to make it at home? This simple yellow curry with crispy tofu and rice bowl is inspired by traditional Thai yellow curries and is a great meal to prep once and eat all week long.

👉 Ready to learn how to make yellow curry with crispy tofu? Let’s do it!


🌶 Ingredients

  • Tofu: extra-firm tofu is best for getting a crispy tofu that holds its texture inside curry
  • Rice: white long grain rice is most traditional, but any type of rice will work (brown, black, etc.)
  • Yellow curry paste: found in most grocery stores, yellow curry paste is the flavor based of curries
  • Coconut milk: the foundation of curry, full fat coconut milk is best
  • Vegetables: we’re using onion, bell pepper, broccoli, and potatoes in this dish
  • Seasonings: salt, brown sugar, chilis (flakes or whole Thai chilis), lime juice, and cilantro
  • Garnishes: limes, cilantro, and chilis
  • Recommended tools: small pot for rice, pan for cooking tofu, large pot or Dutch oven for curry

🇹🇭 Cultural authenticity note: This recipe is inspired by traditional Thai yellow curry dishes with potatoes. It is heavily adapted from a recipe I learned when I took a cooking class in Chang Mai, Thailand many years ago and uses ingredients most commonly found in American kitchens. For a more traditional take, try this Thai Yellow Curry from Hot Thai Kitchen.

tofu, cilantro, vegetables, yellow curry paste, coconut milk, and seasonings for yellow curry on a white table before cooking
Ingredients: tofu, yellow curry, coconut milk, rice, vegetables, seasonings

🥣 How to make (step-by-step photos)

1️⃣ Step One: Make rice

The first step to make this yellow curry bowl is to get the rice cooking!

Use these steps to cook on the stovetop:

  1. Add the rice and double the amount of water to a pot.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover with a lid until rice is soft and has absorbed the water, about 20 minutes.

While rice is cooking, start making the crispy tofu and the yellow curry.

a pot with cooked white rice on a white table
Make rice

2️⃣ Step Two: Make the crispy tofu

Next, it’s time to make the crispy tofu!

To do this, heat a pan over medium-high heat and add half of oil to coat the pan.

Once hot, add tofu cubes and allow to cook undisturbed about 5-7 minutes, or until the tofu is browned.

Then use a spatula to flip the tofu and continue cooking until all sides of the tofus cubes are browned and crispy, about 20 minutes.

👉 Pro tip: While this step is technically optional and you can skip it and add the tofu directly to the curry, I’m not a huge fan of soft and mushy tofu after it’s cooked in curry so I like to cook the tofu until it’s crispy before adding it to the curry.

crispy browned and cooked tofu in a pan on a white table
Cook tofu until crispy

3️⃣ Step Three: Make yellow curry

While the rice and tofu are cooking, get the yellow curry started.

To do this, heat a large pot or dutch oven of medium-high heat and add the remaining vegetable oil. Add the bell pepper, onion, broccoli, and potato to the bowl and cook until the bell peppers and onion begin to brown, about 5 minutes.

Then add the yellow curry paste and mix well to coat the vegetables, cooking another 2-3 minutes until the paste releases its flavors.

cooked onion, bell peppers, and potatoes with yellow curry paste in a pot
Cook vegetables in yellow curry paste

Then pour in the coconut milk and season with brown sugar, salt, and red chili pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then cover and cook about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and cooked through.

Then add tofu, cilantro, and lime juice and cook 5 minutes more. Taste to ensure desired seasonings, then remove from heat.

yellow curry coconut milk and vegetables
Add coconut milk and seasonings

4️⃣ Step Four: Build the curry bowl

Now that the rice is done and the yellow tofu curry is complete, it’s time to build the bowls!

To do this, add cooked rice to a bowl and then cover with yellow tofu curry. Garnish with fresh cilantro, lime slices, and additional red pepper flakes. Then enjoy!

a yellow curry tofu bowl with white rice on a white table

🧊 How to store and reheat

  1. Refrigerator storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
  2. Freezer storage: Freeze in freezer-friendly containers separately and remove to the refrigerator 24 hours before serving to thaw.
  3. Reheat instructions: Reheat in a pot on the stovetop until heated, or in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes.
a close up photo of yellow curry with tofu and potatoes with white rice in a black bowl

👉 More easy bowl recipes

Want more simple plant-based bowl recipes? Try Sheet Pan Tofu Fajita Bowls, Crispy Tofu and Broccoli Rice Bowl, or Harissa Lentil and Farro Bowl.

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a yellow curry tofu bowl with white rice on a white table

Yellow Tofu Curry Bowl

Kristina Todini, RDN
Yellow Tofu Curry Bowl, a Thai-inspired yellow curry using crispy tofu, potatoes, and fresh vegetables in a super flavorful coconut milk broth. An easy curry rice bowl that packs a flavor punch!
5 star (1 rating)
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course, Soups + Stews
Cuisine Gluten Free, Thai-Inspired, Vegan
Servings 4 servings
Calories 441 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 small pot to cook rice
  • 1 medium pan to cook tofu
  • 1 pot or Dutch oven to cook curry

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ cups dry rice white or brown
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil or other vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 16-ounce black extra firm tofu drained and cut into cubes
  • 1 large bell pepper sliced
  • 1 small yellow onion sliced
  • 1 large russet potato cut into cubes
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • ½ cup yellow curry paste see notes
  • 2 13.5-ounce cans full fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon red chili pepper flakes or whole Thai chilis
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice from about 2 limes

Instructions
 

  • Make rice: Make rice according to package instructions. To make it on the stovetop, add the rice and double the amount of water (1 1/2 cups rice and 3 cups water, as written is written) to a pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover with a lid until rice is soft and has absorbed the water, about 20 minutes.
    1 ½ cups dry rice
  • Make crispy tofu: Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add half of oil to coat the pan. Once hot, add tofu cubes and allow to cook undisturbed about 5-7 minutes, or until the tofu is browned. Then use a spatula to flip the tofu and continue cooking until all sides of the tofus cubes are browned and crispy, about 20 minutes.
    1 tablespoon peanut oil, 1 16-ounce black extra firm tofu
  • Make curry: Heat a large pot or dutch oven of medium-high heat and add the remaining vegetable oil. Add the bell pepper, onion, broccoli, and potato to the bowl and cook until the bell peppers and onion begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Then add the yellow curry paste and mix well to coat the vegetables, cooking another 2-3 minutes until the paste releases its flavors. Then pour in the coconut milk and season with brown sugar, salt, and red chili pepper flakes (or full chilis, if using). Bring to a boil, then cover and cook about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and cooked through. Then add tofu, cilantro, and lime juice and cook 5 minutes more. Taste to ensure desired seasonings, then remove from heat.
    1 tablespoon peanut oil, 1 large bell pepper, 1 small yellow onion, 1 large russet potato, 2 cups broccoli florets, ½ cup yellow curry paste, 2 13.5-ounce cans full fat coconut milk, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon red chili pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, ½ cup fresh cilantro, 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • Build curry bowl: To build the curry bowl, add cooked rice to a bowl and then cover with yellow tofu curry. Garnish with fresh cilantro, lime slices, and additional red pepper flakes, if desired.

Notes

  • Ingredient notes: Yellow curry paste can be found in most grocery stores, but I’ve tried and liked this brand you can find on Amazon.
  • Prep ahead instructions: This recipe is great to prep ahead. Simply make rice and yellow curry and store separately for 4-5 days until ready to serve. To reheat, simply add a small amount of water to the rice to rehydrate and reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
  • Leftovers and storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. Freeze in freezer-friendly containers separately and remove to the refrigerator 24 hours before serving to thaw.
  • Nutrition notes: Nutrition information is an estimate and includes all listed ingredients. This recipe uses only plant-based ingredients, which makes it suitable for vegan diets. This recipe is gluten free.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 441kcalCarbohydrates: 86gProtein: 9gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 614mgPotassium: 754mgFiber: 6gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 6441IUVitamin C: 106mgCalcium: 108mgIron: 3mg
Keyword yellow tofu curry
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