Thai Red Curry with Vegetables

When you want to eat your meal for breakfast, you know it was a nice dinner. Speaking of which, I’m writing at 10 a.m. with a contented stomach.

Both last night’s dinner and this morning’s brunch may have been even better thanks to the Thai red curry. It’s cozy, soothing, and ideal for chilly days. Although it is a touch rich and packed with vegetables, it doesn’t feel overly decadent.

I’m really happy I finally did because I’ve been dying to try a red Thai curry based on my green curry for a while. I’ve tried curry from restaurants and at home, but this is the greatest! Yes, I did say that.

Tips for Thai Red Curry

  • Use lots of aromatics, such as onion, ginger, and garlic, to create delicious Thai curries.
  • You won’t regret it if you choose full-fat coconut milk for its richness.
  • A tiny bit of sugar and rice vinegar stirred in gives a ton of depth.
  • Store-bought Thai red curry paste is widely accessible and gives a distinctively Thai flavor. As an added bonus, the Thai Kitchen brand is vegetarian. But if you want to, you may make your own.
  • Vegetables can be substituted as long as they are all thinly sliced and roughly the same size. Try vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, chopped sweet potato or butternut squash (which probably needs more time to cook), sliced zucchini, and/or yellow squash.


  • 1 ¼ cups brown jasmine rice or long-grain brown rice, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • Pinch of salt, more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger (about a 1-inch nub of ginger)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin 2-inch long strips
  • 1 yellow, orange or green bell pepper, sliced into thin 2-inch long strips
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal into ¼-inch thick rounds (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste*
  • 1 can (14 ounces) regular coconut milk**
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 ½ cups packed thinly sliced kale (tough ribs removed first), preferably the Tuscan/lacinato/dinosaur variety
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coconut sugar or turbinado (raw) sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce***
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar or fresh lime juice
  • Garnishes/sides: handful of chopped fresh basil or cilantro, optional red pepper flakes, optional sriracha or chili garlic sauce


  1. To cook the rice, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the rinsed rice and continue boiling for 30 minutes, reducing heat as necessary to prevent overflow. Remove from heat, drain the rice and return the rice to pot. Cover and let the rice rest for 10 minutes or longer, until you’re ready to serve. Just before serving, season the rice to taste with salt and fluff it with a fork.
  2. To make the curry, warm a large skillet with deep sides over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the oil. Add the onion and a sprinkle of salt and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, while stirring continuously.
  3. Add the bell peppers and carrots. Cook until the bell peppers are fork-tender, 3 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the curry paste and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk, water, kale and sugar, and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the peppers, carrots and kale have softened to your liking, about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat and season with tamari and rice vinegar. Add salt (I added ¼ teaspoon for optimal flavor), to taste. If the curry needs a little more punch, add ½ teaspoon more tamari, or for more acidity, add ½ teaspoon more rice vinegar. Divide rice and curry into bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, if you’d like. If you love spicy curries, serve with sriracha or chili garlic sauce on the side.