Green Curry Broth Recipe

A beautiful, thin green curry broth, fragrant with garlic, lemongrass, and ginger. It gets heat from serrano chiles, and zings of tanginess from fresh lime juice. Cumin and coriander seeds keep things grounded, and a flurry of freshly chopped herbs make the sky open up.

Green Curry Broth

I have to tell you, I've been hesitant to post this. It's the sort of thing that is tricky to get just right. At a glance we are talking about an infusion of of herbs, spices and aromatics coming together into a broth. Easy enough. But what we're really after is a beautiful, thin green curry broth, fragrant with garlic, lemongrass, and ginger. We want heat from serrano chiles, and zings of tanginess on account of the fresh lime juice. Cumin and coriander seeds should keep things grounded, and a flurry of freshly chopped herbs are there to make the sky open up. It's like a chorus of singers, with each ingredient singing a single note. In short, there's a lot going on here, and striking the right balance of flavors is key.

Green Curry Broth

So, while I'm going to outline the exact quantities of ingredients I used to make this brothy concoction, making it really great is up to you. My limes might be more acidic, my ginger more potent. You are going to want to close your eyes at various points along the way, taste, and really think about what your broth needs. Taste and tweak. Taste and adjust. Make changes little by little until you have a something you love.

Green Curry Broth

The cornerstone of this recipe is the broth. I make the broth first, then typically add things to it to make a meal. This time you see tiny cubes of tofu, tangles of yuba skin, and a few things I picked up at the farmers' market. Other times I might add egg or rice noodles, or other chopped vegetables - asparagus, broccoli, shredded cabbage, summer squash are all good choices. I didn't do it this time around but a splash of coconut milk to finish gives the soup an entirely different personality.

I should also note, although many of us are in the midst of summer heat waves, this soup is light and invigorating. I wouldn't discount it as a summertime meal alongside a crisp white wine.

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Green Curry Broth

How spicy you make this broth is up to you. I like it with a bit of a kick, but nothing that overwhelms. I've found that using two de-seeded peppers, and two peppers with the seeds and veins intact give me the level of heat and flavor I like. As far as prepping the lemongrass is concerned, chop off all but 4-5 inches closest to each stem. Then peel off the outer leaves - you're trying to get at the tender center of each stalk. Mince and use that. If made with coconut oil or olive oil, this easily becomes vegan.

1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
2 tablespoons coconut oil, clarified butter, or olive oil
4 shallots, thinly sliced
4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped

4 small serrano chile peppers, thinly sliced (see head notes)

3 lemongrass stalks, minced (see head notes!)
a 1 1/2-inch piece of ginger, peeled then grated
8 green onions, trimmed, thinly sliced
1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/4 cup / 60 ml freshly squeezed lime juice & a bit of zest

6 - 7 cups / 1.5 liters / 1.5 quarts good-tasting vegetable broth

12 ounces / 340 g tofu, cut into tiny cubes
6 oz tofu cubes + 6 oz yuba skins, cut into thin strips

kernels from 2 ears of corn

4 handfuls of torn spinach, stems trimmed

a small handful of each of the following: fresh mint, fresh cilantro, fresh basil, all chopped just before serving and combined in a small bowl

Use a mortar and pestle, or alternately, a spice grinder to crush the coriander and cumin seeds a bit. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat, stir in the crushed spices, and toast until fragrant, barely 30 seconds. Stir in the shallots, garlic, serrano chiles, lemongrass, ginger, green onions, and turmeric. Stir well, then add the lime juice and zest. Cook until the shallots are soft and translucent - under 5 minutes. Stir in 6 cups / 1.5l of the broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer for a few minutes, then taste for seasoning. Depending on how salty your broth is, you might need to add a little salt or substantially more. At this point, If the broth is too strong for your liking, you might add a bit of water, or maybe it needs a bit more lime juice. Just keep tweaking until it tastes good to you. It's the base of your soup, so you want it to taste great on its own.

Pour the liquids through a strainer into a bowl, pressing on the solids to get all the broth out. Discard the solids, and return the strained broth to the pot. Bring it back to a simmer then stir in the tofu and the corn. Let them heat through. Just before serving, stir in the spinach, then sprinkle each serving with a big pinch of the herb mixture.

Serves 4.

Prep time: 20 minutes - Cook time: 15 minutes

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I work with several Indian ladies who have taught me a lot about using the aromatics and frsh spices. The best tip I have picked up is to lightly toast the seeds before grinding – the difference in the flavors is phenomenal. It opens them up like you wouldn’t imagine.


Made this for dinner. The perfect meal to feed to the woman I love on the first miserable rainy evening since summer began.

Anna Fritch

The green curry broth looks very interesting. I’ve never had curry in the form of a broth before but judging by the looks of this picture it looks like the flavour and texture of curry goes well with broth mmmmm

Sophie @ Caribbean Recipe Kits

This recipe looks amazing. I’m hoping I can get ti right!


I made this on Sunday evening, changing up the veggies to reflect this week’s bounty from my CSA – we used a bit of kohlrabi, green beans and edamame! I used split yellow peas and brown basmati rice, instead of the tofu and noodles. It was stupendous, just the flavor combinations I was craving. Next time, I’ll up the pepper count a bit (I have an Irish tongue and am always a bit afraid to go hotter).
I’ve been reading (and cooking with you) for almost a year now, and I can’t thank you enough for your amazing recipes. I’ve lost close to 80lbs, and I couldn’t have done it with out you. Cook on!


This is such an interesting recipe. I’ve never had this before. Looks like I’m gonna try this one. For sure! Love the ingredients even though I’ve never heard of yuba skins before.

my little expat kitchen

Yuba skin?? Always something new to learn here.

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

The lemongrass and ginger sound great. Interesting recipe!

Caitlin @ Amuse-bouche

This looks divine. I love the challenge of balancing asian flavours. It would be perfect right about now for dinner in Australia (esp with a glass of white), as it is just starting to get warm. This goes on my ‘to cook asap’ list!
Heidi xo

Heidi - apples under my bed

Just made this tonight… SO yummy! I forgot the spinach though, so will have to throw some in when I eat it again for tomorrow night’s dinner. I used vermicelli noodles instead of yuba skins.I also threw in some green onions at the end.
I was wondering if I could save the spice mixture to re-use as a base for another (perhaps smaller) batch?


I love this, I think sometimes tasty broth makes the whole recipe better, and this recipe has a broth as center piece, yummy!

Pam @ Cookingworld

This looks delicious – i’ve never seen yuba skins here in New Zealand. They look wonderful and now I’m determined to track some down!

Joe @ Eden Kitchen

This is really good, but the limes posed a bit of a problem for me: they were thin-tasting, as they sometimes are, and I had a hard time balancing the flavors as a result. Coconut milk and lots and lots of basil on top helped. (I found that the mix of basil, cilantro and mint wasn’t right, given the intensely sour lime-iness of my broth, so went with 3 parts basil to 2 parts cilantro and 1 part mint.) The finishing touch was strips of pan-sauteed Quorn, a myco-protein that resembles chicken breast, so for those who eat bird I suspect that would be a great alternative to tofu. Thanks, Heidi.


Looks great. Ever since we heard that curry could help prevent cancer, we’ve been on the lookout for recipes to use it in.
It also helps that we like curry. One of our favorites is a mix of curry, coconut milk onions, and chicken. Yum.

John @ Dooba Reviews

Ah, I had not heard them called yuba skim, but I do know dried tofu skins. Very cool for wrapping things when you’re celiac or want something healthier than wheat wrappers.


I love simple, tasty soups that use fresh ingredients. This curry looks lovely!


I LOVE yuba! but I didn’t know that you could find them locally! I’m definitely checking it out. Thank you. 🙂

Kitchen M

Heavenly, my mouth is watering! I am not a strict vegetarian, but since becoming very fond of my neighbor-friend’s young chicken, Cecily, who has giant yellow feet, a full white-feathered petticoat, sits on your lap and likes to be gently scratched on her head for 20 minutes at a time, I find myself leaning more toward non-meat recipes than ever before.

Olive Oyl

Once again you’ve written about a dish in such a way that I absolutely want to try it…Thanks for inspiring efforts to cook and eat healthy and delicious food.


I always want to try your recipes (and often do)…Thanks for a beautifully written blog that really inspires.


I love the idea of posting something that’s such a versatile base for all the fresh summer produce around right now.


Just made it last night! It was delicious!!!
I added a bit more lime juice and went easy on the heat, but it was absolutely delicious.
Added: bok choy, udon noodles, grated carrots and tofu to the broth. So glad I have leftovers. Thanks for the recipe!


Thank you! I used your recipe as a base (only had dried ground spices so adjusted for that) and then added different food – corn, barley, peas, chick peas and red lentils. Everyone took seconds 🙂


My husband and I are going to try to make this tonight! Thanks!


Wow. Sounds nice to me. I can easily get all
the ingredients her in Malaysia. Wanna try soon. Thanks.


Yuba what? I love how I can learn new things on your blog. It might be a tad bit difficult finding yuba near the mountain I live on in middle Tennessee, but the rest of the ingredients can be done. I will be adding the coconut milk, as you suggested. Although it is only 7a.m., I am already thinking “lunch” because of your post. Yum Yum – Yuba or no Yuba. Carolina

The Muse of The Day

It’s so true, a bit of spice and heat IS invigorating during steamy weather. Small, genius touch, those tiny tofu cubes — I’m going to guess they soak up the flavor like a dream.


Hello Heidi, this sounds really good as I love curries and I’d love to try it even though I’m not vegetarian and although I’d try the vegetarian version I dont like tofu can you suggest some other vergetables or variations please? Also, I’d like to know if you can add meat (I assume you can ad chicken?) please make a suggestion.


oh and I forgot to ask, those yuba skins..are they similar to dried tofu shards? Thats you reconstitute in water? Looks amazing!


We must have been craving the same flavours this week! I just posted a thai yellow curry with pumpkin, tofu and spinach this very second 🙂 And then got your email! Your broth looks lovely, as always.


This sounds and looks wonderful….I can actually smell the fragrance of herbs and spices !
Cant wait to make it…!

Vijayalakshmi Sisodia

Sounds quite interesting. BTW, one can concoct their own vegetable broth that is better than any bought one. I use up any and all vegetables in my fridge (be sure to add onions) and just cook for 30 or so minutes, strain, and voila – delish.


So light, so delicious and healthy. I am a big fan o broths.. oh I’m going to be making your grilled salt and vinegar potatoes today.

Shaheen {The Purple Foodie}

It reminds me of the herb noodles that you posted. I just made those recently and they were (aptly-dubbed) slurpy and delicious!
What would you say qualifies as ‘good tasting vegetable broth’?


It has been quite chilly over here on the East Coast, and I think this is just the right thing to warm things up a bit!
BTW, I am a bit late (I wasn’t in town and I had to send my MacBook in to be repaired during that time), but congratulations on SNE being available for pre-order!! 😀 I can’t wait to get a copy of it in my hands, so I can run into the kitchen to cook/bake the amazing recipes you shared in the book!

kamran siddiqi

Wow, that looks amazing!

Simply Life

My mouth is watering and my lips are tingling. I love curry!


Love yuba skin but where do you recommend your readers find it if they don’t have access to fresh, locally made yuba, such as from Hodo Soy Beanery? Would dry yuba that is rehydrated work just as well? More info, please. Thanks!


never had Yuba, sound delicious


Wow. This is amazing. I love how you talked about the soup in an almost spiritual way.

Alex (Spoonful of Sugar Free)

I just moved to San Francisco and saw yuba at Rainbow… now I have a recipe to try it out, thanks!


I have been dying for green curry here in Lyon, France but have been unable to find prepared green curry it in the market! Now I know how to make it at home…just have to find me some lemongrass. 🙂 Merci beaucoup!


wow this looks just beautiful yet healthy and delicious!


This sounds great.. I can’t wait till the temperature here in TX gets just right for warmer foods like this! I’m bookmarking this immediately 🙂

Evan @swEEts

This looks great! When I make green curry I always use kafir lime leaves – it adds the perfect lime flavor and sends the dish over the top- have you ever used them in this broth? I use them in addition to lime juice.


This is an amazing dish. I grew lemon grass several years in a row and it adds wonderful flavor, and the spiciness of the other ingredients is superb!
Bon appetit!

Cajun Chef Ryan

Wow. Just reading the description made my mouth water and tummy rumble. I cannot wait to tackle this one!


This looks amazing! Apart from curry being one of my favorite dishes I am in love with all these ingredients. What a fabulous recipe! 😉

Alexa @ Sohdalex

This looks like a wonderful summer meal. I haven’t made any Thai-inspired dishes in quite some time, and I love that this is the kind of recipe that you have to taste to really know when it’s right. Thank you for the great recipe!

jodye @ 'scend food

Amazing. I have been wanting to make some Thai-styled curry from scratch for some time. And this broth just reminds me so much of the fabulous pho I could get in Vancouver!
Thanks for the recipe! Happy brothing!

Amanda at Enchanted Fig

SO excited to try this one… have had curry on my mind and this one looks challenging!


Re: Lemongrass — You can use the green tops to make an excellent hot or iced tea, a common custom here in Mexico.


This sounds outstanding. I have a ton of coriander seed right now.


Heidi, this sounds like a really flavorful soup. I like that it has heat in it too. I will try it next week for sure. Thanks for sharing!

Anna @ ATD Fitness

I too am so delighted to see this recipe and am looking forward to preparing it.
By the way-that amount of serranoes must give a pretty good ‘kick’.
I love the idea of corn with this-the tofu and all. And a scoop of brown rice could turn this ‘broth’ into lunch.

Singing Sparrow

How lucky for you to have a source for yuba! I am at a loss as to how to locate a good source, either local or via shipping!
Bless and thank you for sharing this recipe!


Looks beautiful, Heidi! My mouth is watering! Beautifully described. Can’t wait to try! Xoxo


I know exactly what you mean — it’s hard not to just keep … tinkering… with something like this, and before you know it you’ve got too much chile or too much salt or too much liquid….. it’s hard for me to trust a recipe and leave things well enough alone, but sometimes I’d be better off. I have a feeling where this is just such a case. I love the idea of green curry broth — and I also love the idea of wanting broth again, as the weather cools down. Light and invigorating or not, I’ve been staying away from soup-y things this summer and I’ll be glad to reintroduce those foods to my diet.

becky and the beanstock

I love broths that are filled with noodles and veggies like this! It’s been raining and super chilly here in Boston, so this soup is actually perfect for this summer week!


Oh Heidi, this looks wonderful. And you’re right, this is one of those things that must be just right, I think you nailed it! Can’t wait to try it:)


Amazing, Heidi…this is the perfect recipe for a chilly, rainy August day here in Manhattan. Thank you; have a great day!

The Healthy Apple

I love how you encourage your readers to adjust the flavors according to their ingredients. It’s so true that ginger and peppers and spices can vary in potency. Plus, we all like our soup a little different anyways.
I really love lemongrass. I just stick it in, slit lengthwise, a pot of soup, and then take it out right before serving. It gives off it’s flavor without having the texture of the more fibrous lemongrass.

Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet

Couldn’t agree more about your advice to taste, taste, taste everything you make as you go. As for this recipe, it sounds like a perfect light dinner for this San Francisco heat wave we’ve been having. I’ll definitely try it with coconut oil and milk, too, since I’m always looking for new ways to use them. Thanks!

Erin (Blue Egg Kitchen)

These are new flavors to me, and I’m so interested to try this combo out. My husband doesn’t like the smell or taste of curry, so I may be making this when he’s out of town. Great post!

Home with Mandy

I would love to try this with some coriander root and maybe some pounded dried shrimp for more of a Thai flavor. I would also add some coconut milk to counter the heat-of-the-sun spiciness that I always add to my curry.
There is nothing like eating hot hot hot soup and sweating from heat and spice on a hot summer day – which is finally what we have here in LA!


Can I come over and you can make it for me?


this looks wonderfully tasty and nourishing. i love the herb-curry slurpy noodles that you posted a while back–it’s become a staple for those nights when i’m staring down an almost-empty cupboard. i have an abiding love for slurpy bowls and this seems perfect as the nights are getting a bit cooler. thanks as always heidi!


Amazing, this looks like what I need on a rainy day in Bristol!
Warming and health filled!


This sounds fabulous. I reminds me of a spicy galanga lemongrass soup at a Thai place near us that I love. Thanks for the recipe. Could you tell us more about Yuba skins?

City Share

I love green curry and love the idea of a broth. So excited to try this. Guess I’m behind the curve…what’s yuba skin?

The French

I’m not usually into curries, but this one sound like one I can handle. Although I think I will be pretty cautious on the peppers… I’m not sure I can do the seeds.


I’ve never heard of Yuba skin. I wonder if I’d be able to find it at the asian grocer

Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday

Have you found a vegetable broth you like. You specified a good tasting vegetable broth, but I must admit I have not found one yet that I really like. Any suggestions??


Really superb stuff. Homemade Thai curry is the stuff dreams are made of. My dreams anyway 😉

The Ordinary Vegetarian

Just wonderful! I can almost taste it through your words & photos! I am not familiar with yuba skin, but am intrigued and will make with tofu regardless.


Wow! I can’t wait to try this meal. Thanks for the inspiration! I think this would embrace a few pinches of arame or strips of wakame as well…

Lisa Barnes

I love your way with words!!! This recipe sounds so good! And I agree about the measurements being technically a guideline. I always taste and adjust to my preference.
I love that all of the ingredients are ones I’ve heard of before!! Usually there’s some hard to find ones in these types of recipes!


I like the fusion of aromatic Asian ingredients in the curry broth, made even better with the addition of coconut milk. I’ve never used yuba skins, I’ll have to find out more about that ingredient.

Christine @ Fresh Local and Best

This looks really good – now if I could just convince my husband to try curry! 🙂

Tabitha (from single to married)

This look so flavourful and delicate.I wonder if I can find yuba skins around here. If not, I’m sure some rice noodles would be great instead.


This looks delicious! I’m interested in how the sweetness of the corn plays with these strong but balanced flavors. What a great base recipe!


This looks lovely, thank you!


I love it when I see something completely NEW and the yuba skins sound brilliant and delicious. Will definitely give this a try tout de suite!


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