Thai Tofu and Vegetable Stir-Fry with Coconut Milk


The Tofu Vegetable Hot Pot recipe in an old Cooking Light issue was one of the first meals I made after our household went completely dairy-free so many years ago. It was the beginning of my love for cooking, and a great introduction to plant-based cuisine. But I’ve always felt the “hot pot” name was rather misleading, since you don’t cook it at the table. So I’ve renamed my adapted version of their recipe – I call it Thai Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry.

Thai Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry Recipe with Coconut Milk. A delicious, creamy, fragrant, plant-based sauce. Gluten-free optional

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Unlike Chinese-style stir-fries, this version has a fragrant, creamy sauce with rich flavors of turmeric, ginger, garlic, onions, soy sauce, and coconut milk. It isn’t really a curry, but the flavor does have a strong Thai food influence. Tony loves it, and he isn’t a curry fan, or a anywhere near a vegetarian for that matter.

Like most stir-fries, this Thai tofu recipe is a great way to use up any vegetables you have in the fridge. You don’t have to stick to the ones in the recipe. And if you prep the chopped ingredients, this meal can come together in 15 minutes! You can use leftover rice, or even cook the rice while you are cooking the stir-fry.

Special Diet Notes: Thai Tofu and Vegetable Stir-Fry

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.

Thai Tofu and Vegetable Stir-Fry with Coconut Milk
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is a beloved recipe that I've adapted from Cooking Light. It's filling, nutritious, and full of warm flavor. The original recipe uses a full serrano chile (unseeded) for high heat. We prefer a slightly milder meal so I use half a chile and seed it. But you can use a whole chile pepper if you like it spicy.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ serrano chile, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½ cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms, baby bellas, or button mushrooms
  • ½ cup sliced carrot
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • ¼ to ½ cup water, as needed
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce or wheat-free tamari (for gluten-free)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 pound water packed firm tofu, drained and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into 1-inch thick wedges
  • ½ cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions
  • 3 cups cooked jasmine rice or brown rice
  • 4 lime wedges, for serving
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute for 3 minutes. Add the ginger, turmeric, chile, and garlic, and saute for 1 minute. Add the cabbage, mushrooms, and carrot, and saute for 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in the coconut milk, ¼ cup water, soy sauce, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, add the tofu, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato and continue to cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. If it's too thick, add the remaining water as needed.
  4. Stir in the basil and green onions, turn off the heat, and let it sit for 2 minutes.
  5. Serve over rice with lime wedges on the side for squeezing.

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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