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Perfectly spiced with a homemade mild curry powder, this Malaysian tofu coconut curry with crisp tofu is a quick, easy, and deliciously flavorful vegan comfort food meal made in one pan. Serve with rice.

malaysian coconut curry with crispy tofu served with a side of rice
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You will love this Easy Malaysian-inspired Tofu and Veggie Curry. This quick vegan curry is a comforting southeast Asian curry that is also super easily adaptable to your own taste and the ingredients you have on hand.

Add any seasoning you like, veggies, or change up the protein. Many countries and regions in Southeast Asia have their own versions of curry.

Malaysian cuisine has been influenced by the cuisines of Indonesia, India, Thailand, and other countries making it especially flavorful. The curries, roti canai, rendang, Masi lemak(coconut rice), murtabak, Laksa soup! As always with Asian cooking, recipes vary a bit based on the family influence, the restaurants, and so on. So tweak this and make it truly yours.

creamy Malaysian tofu coconut milk curry in a black skillet sprinkled with cilantro

To make this Soyfree, use chickpea tofu or seitan or a vegan chicken substitute. substitute  the soy sauce with coconut aminos.

To make it coconut free, use other thick non dairy milk or choice.

Malaysian Coconut curry with crispy tofu served with a side of rice

What makes this curry so special are the crispy tofu cubes. We season and fry the tofu before we add them to the curry. This gives them a wonderfully crisp outside.

menu you’ll love this Tofu coconut curry

  • it used just 1 pan
  • Use up all leftover veggies in the curry
  • it uses everyday ingredients
  • it is super quick and satisfying
  • It is nutfree and has gluten-free option
  • it also can be made without tofu
two bowls with rice and malaysian coconut tofu curry served with two golden spoons

More tofu curries:

Malai Tofu Curry; Vegan Malai Paneer

Baked Tofu Curry (Easy Tofu Makhani)

Madras Curry Tofu Casserole

Vegan Tofu Katsu Curry

Malaysian Tofu Curry

5 from 20 votes
By: Vegan Richa
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Perfectly spiced with a homemade mild curry blend this Malaysian tofu coconut curry with crisp tofu is a quick, easy, and deliciously flavorful vegan comfort food meal made in one pan. Serve with rice. 
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Ingredients  

For the tofu:

  • 14 ounce firm or extra firm tofu pressed for at least 15 minutes and cubed or sliced as you like
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder

For the curry:

  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder, , see notes for making your own quick curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour, , use 2 tsp gluten-free flour blend or rice flour or cornstarch to make it Glutenfree
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to preference
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce or use tamari for Glutenfree
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste or use ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar or maple syrup
  • 15 ounce can of coconut milk
  • 2 cups of veggies such as zucchini,, carrots, pepper, peas.
  • cilantro and lime juice for garnish

Instructions 

  • Crisp up your tofu: To a large bowl, add your pressed and cubed tofu then add in the soy sauce, garlic powder, black pepper, and curry powder and toss well to coat.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil then add in your tofu cubes and cook until golden on some of the edges. Transfer the tofu to a bowl.
  • Make the curry: add in another teaspoon of oil, the onion and garlic, and a pinch of salt and cook until the onion is golden.
  • Then add in your curry powder and mix in and cook the spice for half a minute. Then add in the flour and mix in for a few seconds,
  • Add in salt, soy sauce, tomato paste, and mix in. If using longer cooking vegetables like carrots, add them now and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in the rest of the vegetables, salt, sugar, coconut milk then mix in. Cover and cook for 9-12 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked to preference.
  • Add the peas in the last 2 minutes of cooking. Taste and adjust salt and flavor then fold in half of your tofu.
  • Garnish with lime juice and pour over rice. Add in more crispy tofu while serving in each bowl.

Video

Notes

To make your own curry powder, mix 2 teaspoons of ground coriander, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric, 1/8 teaspoon of cardamom, 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon ground mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.
 Soyfree, use chickpea tofu or seitan or a vegan chicken substitute instead of tofu. substitute the soy sauce with coconut aminos.
Coconut free, use other thick non dairy milk or choice.
Oilfree: use water/broth to sauté the curry. Bake the marinated tofu for 20 mins. Then combine half with the curry 
No Onion Garlic: Use zucchini or fennel instead of onion. Omit the garlic. Add 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard or dried fenugreek leaves or a good pinch asafetida(hing)

Nutrition

Calories: 235kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Sodium: 682mg, Potassium: 240mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 151IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 152mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this recipe? Rate and comment below!
marinated tofu and several sides of veggies on a marble countertop

Ingredients:

  • I recommend firm or extra firm tofu for this recipe. As we panfry the tofu, we need something sturdy
  • the tofu is seasoned with a blend of garlic powder, black pepper, curry powder and soy sauce
  • we get the flavors going by sauteeing onions and garlic
  • the curry sauce is seasoned with curry powder – you can use store-bought but homemade is best
  • coconut milk is the base of our sauce
  • some flour is used to thicken the gravy
  • we use soy sauce for seasoning the curry. You can also use tamari for Glutenfree
  • tomato paste or ketchup boost the umami
  • sugar or maple syrup is added for balancing the savory with a bit of sweetness
  • veggies: add your favorite veggies like zucchini, carrots, pepper, or peas to bulk this curry up
  • for garnishing, sprinkle with some cilantro or lime juice

Tips:

  • make sure to press the tofu before you marinate and panfry the tofu
  • depending on which veggies you want to add, you want to adjust the time when to add them. The same goes for fresh spinach and frozen peas.

How to make Malaysian Tofu Curry

marinated tofu frying in a black sauteeing pan

Crisp up your tofu: To a large bowl, add your pressed and cubed tofu then add in the soy sauce, garlic powder, black pepper, and curry powder and toss well to coat.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil then add in your tofu slices and cook until golden on some of the edges. Transfer the tofu to a bowl.

ginger and onion sauteeing in a black skillet

Make the curry: add in a teaspoon of oil, the onion and garlic, and a pinch of salt and cook until the onion is golden.

Then add in your curry powder and mix in and cook the spice for half a minute. Then add in the flour and mix in for a few seconds.

chopped sauteed veggies in a black skillet

Add in salt, soy sauce, and tomato paste, and mix in. If using longer-cooking vegetables like carrots, add them now and cook for 2-3 minutes.

chopped sauteed veggies and garlic in a skillet

Add in the rest of the vegetables, salt, sugar, coconut milk then mix in. Cover and cook for 9-12 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked to preference.

coconut milk being added to spiced veggie mix in a black skillet
coconut curry in a sauteeing pan

You can add the peas in the last 2 minutes of cooking.

Taste and adjust salt and flavor then fold in half of your tofu. Garnish with lime juice and pour over rice. Add in more crispy tofu while serving in each bowl.

crispy tofu and peas being added to a sauteeing pan with coconut curry
creamy Malaysian tofu coconut curry in a sauteeing pan

Storage:

Refrigerate in a closed container for upto 3 days.

two bowls with Malaysian tofu curry served with rice

About Richa

Hi, I'm Richa! I create flavorful plant based recipes that are inspired by my Indian upbringing, including many gluten-free, soy-free, and oil-free options.

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5 from 20 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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34 Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    Hi! Do you think green beans would work well with this?

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      yes!

  2. Claire panella says:

    5 stars
    Another quick delightful dinner. I can always count on veganricha recipes.

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      thank you!

  3. Sarah says:

    5 stars
    Amazing flavor! So quick and easy, and I already had all of the ingredients in my pantry. Will definitely add to the dinner rotation. Thank you for another great recipe!

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      🙂

  4. Beth says:

    5 stars
    Like so many other posters, this is so darn DELICIOUS — so much so that my carnivore-eating partner loved it so much he took all my leftovers to lunch. Another winning recipe for the books – thank you Richa! You make cooking a pleasure when every recipe of yours I make turns out amazing.

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      yay! thank you so much!

  5. Sonia says:

    5 stars
    Richa, I am a long time reader of your site and probably half the things I cook at home are your recipes. This might be my favorite recipe yet. I just made it for the first time and it was DELICIOUS! My husband said it was one of the best tofu dishes he’s ever had (let alone that I’ve cooked), and I think I agree with him! This one is definitely going into the regular rotation 🙂

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      How wonderful to hear! Thank you for the kind comment, Sonia.

  6. Franny says:

    5 stars
    Delicious, Richa! I made this tonight and it was fab. I love the mild and creamy flavor of this curry, with the gentle zing of lime juice and delicious veggies and crispy tofu. I will definitely make this again! Thanks for another keeper recipe! 💖 Hugs, Franny

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      Thank you for your kind comment, Franny!

  7. Esther says:

    5 stars
    Tasted like it came from a restaurant!

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      Fabulous!