Tofu Pad Pong Karee | Thai Curry Sauce

Yields: 2 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 10 Mins Cook Time: 20 Mins Total Time: 30 Mins

Pad pong karee or ‘fried in curry sauce’ is an interesting Thai dish. At first glance, you would think it was a Malay or Chinese dish. This cooking technique is most often used with crab (boo pad pong karee) and seems visually rather similar to Singapore Chilli Crab.

In fact, the entire preparation of this dish is quite unlike traditional Thai cuisine. Curry powder is used instead of whole spices that are ground into a paste. Instead of thickening up the curry with coconut cream, this dish uses (vegan) egg to achieve that effect. But, omg, it is so good.

Tofu works great in a vegan pad pong karee. I first tried tofu pad pong karee at a little restaurant called Viewpoint in Koh Tao about 10 years ago. My Thai friend ordered it for me and I fell in love with it immediately. Unfortunately, my Thai pronunciation was really bad back then and every time I tried to order this on my own I received some version of pad boong (fried kangkong)! Sad but true.

Anyway, I can spare myself the humiliation now that I can make this dish at home. The mashed tofu is a perfect egg substitute and the entire dish is so slurpy and saucy. This dish is great when you have it piping hot with plain rice.


  • I like it soft (I am lazy) but you can add some celery or bell pepper for texture crunch.
  • The curry powder you use is important! Try to find a proper Indian or Malay curry powder with some heat.
  • For nam prik pao, I use Maepranom Vegetarian Thai Chilli Paste. To make your own, check out this awesome recipe by MessyVeganCook.
  • For the non-dairy milk, choose something that is thicker like soy, coconut, or macadamia. A thin milk like almond won’t be as tasty.
  • If you prefer a wetter sauce, add more stock in Sauce Part 1 and more non-dairy milk in Sauce Part 2.

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0/17 Ingredients
Adjust Servings
  • For Vegan Egg
  • Sauce Part 1
  • Sauce Part 2


0/15 Instructions
  • Separate your 500g block of tofu into 5 parts. 4 parts are to be cubed and 1 part is to be mashed.
  • Mash 100g of tofu.
  • Add the kala namak and sugar to the mashed tofu and mix well. Set aside for later.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat and pan-fry the tofu until golden. I usually only do two sides but you can do all sides if you like.
  • While the tofu is frying, slice the red onion, minced the garlic. Also slice the spring onions and separate the greens and whites.
  • Add all the ingredients from Sauce Part 1 to a bowl, except the stock. After you mix all the ingredients together well, then add the stock in. This is to prevent the nam prik pao from staying lumpy.
  • In another little bowl, mix Sauce Part 2, the non-dairy milk and the corn starch, making sure the corn starch is well dissolved.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat and fry the onions until slightly translucent, then add the garlic and fry until fragrant.
  • Add the mashed tofu and Sauce Part 1.
  • Turn the heat down and allow this to cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the fried tofu to the pan and mix well.
  • Add Sauce Part 2 and the spring onion whites and mix well.
  • Allow this to cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Reduce to the desired dryness.
  • Garnish with sliced spring onions greens and red chilli. Serve piping hot with plain rice.

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