Thai Red Curry & Brown Rice Stew (vegan | gf)

Thai curry takeout is one of our favorites. We love them all – green curry, massaman curry, and the star of today’s show, red curry. This stew combines the flavor-packed curry broth with the texture of a hearty rice stew. In other words, it’s my idea of curry-perfection.
Making Thai curry dishes at home means I get to control the ingredients, the sugar content and heat level. I don’t like the spicy-ness of any dish to overpower the flavors, so often times the curry from restaurants is a bit to heavy on the spice/heat. Curries are also made with fish sauce, which I don’t really like and can usually taste in the background, so by making it myself, I’m able to eliminate that as well. And finally, sugar. Traditional curries are balanced by a touch of sweetness. My curry stew doesn’t require any sugar at all if you’re trying to reduce sugar intake. But if you feel like it’s missing something, it’s the sugar. I add just 1 tablespoon of maple syrup to this recipe, but add sweetener to accommodate your diet and tastes.

I am so excited to have nailed this red curry recipe because now I can have curry, just the way I like it, whenever I want. Next up I’ll be making the same style dish but with green curry instead. Stay tuned for that one, but in the meantime, make this plant-based, gluten-free Red Curry & Brown Rice Stew on the double.

Thai Red Curry & Brown Rice Stew
Serves: 4 Start to Finish: 1 hour 15 minutes


1 large white onion, sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled & sliced into rounds or half rounds
3″ piece ginger, peeled & minced, approx. 1 heaping tablespoon
1 jalapeno, ribs/seeds removed, minced, approx. 2 tablespoons
Sea salt, fine grain
4 cloves garlic, minced, approx. 1 tablespoon
5 oz sliced shiitake mushrooms
3 tbs red curry paste (see notes)
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or stock
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup brown rice
2 sweet bell peppers, sliced
juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon sweetener of choice (optional), I use pure maple syrup
Cilantro for serving

To Make

Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, ginger, jalapeño and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.

Add minced garlic and sliced mushrooms. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add red curry paste and stir until fully combined.

Add vegetable stock, coconut milk, brown rice and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cover. Simmer for 40 minutes, then remove lid, add bell peppers, sweetener (if using) and lime juice. Continue simmering uncovered until rice is fully cooked and liquid has cooked down to stew-like consistency, about 20 minutes. If this is a make-ahead meal, the consistency should be a bit thinner than desired as it will thicken when refrigerated.

Season with additional salt and sweetener to taste. Serve with a cilantro garnish.


*Thai curry paste is available in the Asian or International aisle at the market. I like Thai Kitchen brand red curry paste, which I can readily find at Whole Foods and many other grocery stores.

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