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Vietnamese Coconut Turmeric Curry with Lemongrass Fried Tofu

This delicious and easy Vietnamese curry gets its beautiful rich yellow colour from the fresh turmeric. 

Coconut Turmeric Curry with Lemongrass Fried Tofu

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten-free | Serves: 4

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes

Coconut Tumeric Curry 


  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 fresh lemongrass
  • 5 small red chillies
  • 2 banana shallots
  • 5cm fresh turmeric root
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 x 400ml cans coconut milk
  • 400ml water
  • 2 tsp tamari
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 large sweet potato
  • 150g oyster mushrooms
  • 200g baby corn
  • 6 spring onions
  • 100g baby spinach
  • A large handful of herbs: Vietnamese mint/Thai basil/perilla/coriander


  1. Peel and slice the garlic, use the flat of the knife to crush slightly and release the juices.
  2. Cut the top half off the lemongrass and peel off any dry outer leaves. Gently bruise the bulbous end of the lemongrass with the handle of a knife or a rolling pin. You just need to open it up a little bit to help release the flavour, but don’t bash too hard as it should stay in one piece.
  3. Pierce a small hole in the chillies with the tip of the knife.
  4. Peel the shallots, cut in half and finely slice.
  5. Peel and finely chop the turmeric.
  6. Peel the carrots and sweet potato and cut into 2cm thick slices.
  7. Tear the oyster mushrooms into large pieces.
  8. Leave the baby sweetcorn whole.
  9. Slice the spring onions in half.
  10. Leave the spinach whole.
  11. In a large pan, heat the oil and fry the shallots, lemongrass and chillies for 5 minutes until the shallots are soft and translucent.
  12. Add the sliced garlic and crushed turmeric and fry for 2 minutes, then add the ground cumin and coriander and fry for another minute until fragrant.
  13. Add the coconut milk, water and tamari and bring to the boil.
  14. Add the carrot and sweet potato and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until they are tender.
  15. Add the oyster mushrooms and baby corn and simmer gently for a couple of minutes, then add the spinach, spring onions and herbs, stir them in and turn off the heat.
  16. Serve with lemongrass fried tofu and jasmine rice.
  17. Serve this lemongrass fried tofu with the coconut curry or serve as a snack with the shoyu dipping sauce.

Lemongrass Fried Tofu

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten-free | Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes


  • 350g plain firm tofu
  • 400ml sunflower oil for deep-frying
  • 2 fresh lemongrass
  • 2 small red chillies
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2cm fresh turmeric root
  • 2 tsp tamari
  • 2 tsp water
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil for frying


  1. Cut the tofu into 12 cubes, gently dry them off on kitchen towel. Heat the oil in a wok or deep saucepan to 170C and carefully drop the tofu cubes in. Fry for about 5 minutes until they are crisp and golden.
  2. Remove the tofu from the oil and drain well on kitchen roll to remove the excess oil.
  3. Cut the top half off the lemongrass and peel off any dry outer leaves. Gently bruise the bulbous end of the lemongrass with the handle of a knife or a rolling pin. Then finely slice the lemongrass.
  4. Deseed the chillies.
  5. Peel the garlic and turmeric.
  6. Either with a knife or in a small food processor finely chop the lemongrass, chillies, garlic and turmeric together.
  7. Heat a wok or frying pan with 1 tablespoon oil and fry the lemongrass, garlic, chilli and turmeric mix for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the tofu and mix well for 20 seconds to evenly coat.
  8. Mix the tamari, water, vinegar and palm sugar together, and drizzle over the tofu, quickly mix through the tofu and stir-fry for another 20 seconds.
  9. Serve with Coconut Turmeric Curry and jasmine rice.

Also featured in the June 2018 issue of Vegetarian Living Magazine.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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