In a Hurry Green Curry Recipe

A quick and delicious green curry recipe - peas, asparagus, and tofu swimming in a fragrant, not-overly-rich Thai green chile broth.

In a Hurry Green Curry

Note to self: a bowl of curry is perfect this time of year. A fact that annually slips my mind. If I'm not careful March, April and May can slip right by without a single pot making an appearance at my table. Not this year. Today we enjoyed a bowl bright with peas, asparagus, and tofu swimming in a fragrant, not-overly-rich green chile broth. I humbly suggest that the key to a good springtime curry is to keep things on the light side. And by light I suppose I mean leaning (just a shade) toward the brothy end of the spectrum. I love this kind of food - a seasonal, on-the-fly, one-pot meal that leaves you invigorated and not bogged down.

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In a Hurry Green Curry Recipe

I call for a very small amount of green curry paste at the beginning of this recipe - keep in mind that some brands are stronger than others. Some days I make my paste from scratch, other times I grab for the jar. The worst thing you can do is make the curry too spicy too early in the process. If you start out light on the curry paste, you'll be able to adjust the amount of curry flavor toward the end. To add more flavor make a thin paste with some of the hot broth (this will help avoid curry paste clumps), now stir the paste in to the larger curry pot a bit at a time until the flavor is to your liking. On a separate note, I dont like the way most vegetables taste when they've been overcooked. In a recipe like this one, if you make the curry ahead of time, just be sure to hold off on adding the peas and asparagus until just a few minutes before you are ready to eat. Lastly, I forgot to but the basil in the bowl in the above shot before I took the photo - it went in after - sorry in advance!

2 teaspoons green curry paste*
scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 14-ounce can coconut milk (light ok)
1 large onion, sliced
14 ounces water or light vegetable broth
6 ounces of firm tofu cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
2 cups asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch segments
squeeze of fresh lime juice
1/4 cup small basil leaves

In a large thick bottom pot over medium heat whisk the curry paste with the salt and a small splash of the coconut milk. Simmer for just a minute. Add the onion and saute until it softens up, just a minute or so. Add the rest of the coconut milk and broth and simmer for another five minutes. Taste and adjust for flavor - this would be the time to add more curry paste if needed (see headnotes).

Stir in the tofu and (JUST BEFORE SERVING) the peas and asparagus, simmer for just a minute or two, just long enough for the vegetables to cook a bit. Finish the pot with a squeeze of lime and basil leaves. Taste, and adjust seasoning again if needed.

Serves 4.

* The green curry paste recipe I learned while visiting Chiang Mai, Thailand:

2 green hot chilies (Thai chilies)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
1 teaspoon chopped galangal
1/2 teaspoon chopped kaffir lime rind
1 tablespoon chopped lemongrass
1 tablespoon chopped krachai
1/4 teaspoon roasted cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon roasted coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt

If you have a good-sized mortar and pestle, put the green chilies in the mortar and pound, add the garlic and pound. Now add the shallots and pound - continue down the ingredient list pounding away. Alternately, give it all a whirl in a food processor.

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Chile is a country
Chilli is the food…
Chile broth = broth from Chile
Chilli broth was what she should have said


I have to second the asparagus/peas rut.. I understand they are in season, but it seems like it has been the same thing over and over lately. (I even recognized that white bowl from the tabbouleh, which is a little creepy.)
This dish may be tasty but it isn’t novel. If you like peas, asparagus, and curry, of course you’d put them together. Same with the spring salad. Now pine nut and rosemary cookies, lemon zest in garlic bread, saffron yogurt in lentil soup, curry in chocolate pudding — those are combinations I would never consider. That’s what I liked about the previous recipes: I learned something.
Just one individual’s thoughts.


I had green curry last night at Thai Chef in Montclair NJ. I’m a huge fan of red curry as well. Your recipe looks super delish!

Chef Erik

Wow that looks so tasty! I love curry … I definitely need to make a big pot of it myself! Thanks for the great recipe!

Wheeler's Frozen Desserts

Best of luck and congratulations on your nomination for the James Beard award. I have two of your cookbooks and love them both! Hate to admit my ignorance here, but in the list of ingredients for the Green Curry paste, WHAT is krachai? Animal ?(well, guess not as you are a vegetarian), vegetable? spice? herb? What?


It sounds great. I am not grenerally a fan of tofu, and being a not so vegetarian kind of guy, please forgive me if I substitute for a few tiger prawns instead! Otherwise, congratulations on the JB nomination!


Heidi, I bought an italian eggplant yesterday, and was looking at your site for a recipe. Magically, I could suddenly search by ingredient, but it looks like you don’t use eggplant. Or have I missed it?


I just heard about the cookbook “660 Curries” on KGO today. Imagine my surprise to see you post a curry recipe. I’m in the mood for anything curry now. Have you reviewed this book? I can’t wait to get it.


I made an amazing dish stemming from this recipe: I used a can of green curry sauce (so, a mixture of coconut milk with the green curry paste) and threw in frozen peas, snowpeas, and spinach. I turned and tossed the vegetables into the sauce (to which I added a bit of cream) until the spinach wilted. Phew! It was delish.

Josephene Kealey



This looks amazing; I have been in a curry mood of late, though making them very mild so my children will partake. Thanks for all of your inspiration Heidi!


This looks and sounds so wonderful and looks lighter than I usually think of curry!

Deborah Dowd

i know it’s a sin but i must admit to you now that i have not bought nor eaten any asparagus yet. i don’t know why, or how this has happened – and i feel a bit ashamed… but it’s the truth.
i needed to tell you.
i love this combo and i think i might need to make this soon. it’s rainy and cool – unusual for the south – and well, this would truly hit the spot.
i might omit the tofu though… please don’t think less of me.

Claudia (cook eat FRET)

Made this last night, since we received fresh peas in our mystery box and wanted to be sure to use them asap.
It was absolutely delicious and though I always tinker with recipes, I didn’t change a thing.
Thank you, Heidi!


looks delicious! i’ll be stocking up on all the ingredients at the farmer’s market tomorrow. i, too, prefer hefty doses of and experimentation with vegetables while they’re in season. it’s such a short time. before you know it, summer veggies will be here. for now, eat in season and enjoy your peas and asparagus!!


Congratulations on the Beard nomination. Richly deserved I say; keep up the good work.


Congratulations on the Beard nomination. Richly deserved I say; keep up the good work.


This looks great, but what I really wanted to say is that I just noticed that you were nominated for a James Beard Award. I am so excited for you and am keeping my fingers crossed that your beautiful cookbook wins. Well deserved!!


I live in Chiang Mai, and I love green curry! My household help loves to make it with 7 different kinds of tofu (all different flavors of tofu are available in the markets here) and uses small, green, Thai eggplants and lots of Thai chilis! We eat it over fresh, jasmine rice–YUM!


Fantastic it is realy delcious, i made it and i would like to appreciate to say that IT IS REALY MIND BLOWING IDEA FOR THOSE WHO ARE NOT VEGETARIAN


I have never had the idea to add asparagus to a curry. Think I will taste it!


I haven’t thought to include asparagus in curry. A wonderful Spring dish!

Lisa (Show Me Vegan)

Beautiful curry recipe Heidi. In Sydney we’re heading into winter, but this is still exactly the kind of food I’m craving at the moment. Good tip about adding the curry paste slowly – I’ve never thought to top up the flavour at the end.


If asparagus and peas are in season, it makes perfect sense that they are the focal points of current recipes. Veggies have such a short “day in the sun,” so to speak — I’d rather eat them to my heart’s content now and miss them during the rest of the year.


i love spicy food especially curry w/c is one of my favorite….and i always cook curry dish everytime but i haven`t try green curry yet so be sure that i will cook exactly similar as that………awesome


This looks awesome heidi! In fact, I amde something exactly similar last week, but yet to post it on my blog:) loved the green curry recipe:)


i love jerusalem artichokes!
how do i prepare them to prevent excess wind from the inulin they contain?


i glanced at the picture and thought, why are all those hunks of butter floating with those veggies? which should give you some insight into how i cook.

michelle @ TNS

That’s so funny, I learned how to make this from scratch last night in my Thai cooking class. My teacher, who’s Thai, recommends the Mae Ploy green curry paste for beginners or those who don’t have access to the ingredients or for times when you’re “in a hurry”. It’s in a paper container, usually in the “ethnic foods” aisle, since it doesn’t need to be refrigerated.


I love making green curries with all sorts of beautiful green vegetables–asparagus, broccoli, snow or snap peas (or both!), green beans, zucchini, etc. I’ve also found that adding soymilk for part of the coconut milk keeps the texture really creamy but makes it a bit on the healthier side. Give it a try!


beautiful, i love it. I love peas and asparagus – and they are in season, perfect.
Thank you heidi.


I’ve never heard of krachai before – always good to learn about a new ingredient!
Love the whole light and spicy vibe of this – ideal for the spring weather. Yesterday it was brilliant sunshine, today it has rained all day


ugh! if i only had this last night! i made a more hardcore curry late last night because the weather was ridiculously hot (sacramento). i was looking in all my cookbooks for something lighter but got nothing! this recipe is going into my summer must list for sure! thanks! and as always your photos are exquisite.


I have never really cooked with curry except once in another “curry in a hurry” recipe. It turned out pretty awful actually, although it hasn’t deterred me from curry. I didn’t know you could buy curry as paste, is that a common thing in grocery stores? What’s a good brand? Also, is a dish like this something you would traditionally serve with a rice or other grain or do you simply eat it like soup?


We LOVE curry. Thank you for the simple and easy recipe to make. I will definitely be trying this recipe!

Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet

I think this site has been in a little bit of a “bowl-of-asparagus-and-peas” rut lately… surely there are some other worthy ingredients out there?


I tend to forget that curries can be so light. I think of them as winter dishes… as heavy, spicy things, but you have brought me to the summer curry. It looks beautiful.


oh danawalsh – not that I’ve tried every green curry paste out there, but personally I find Mae Ploy brand quite good… I’m not sure if their curry pastes are available in where you are though.


hello – ditto to those above, I too love green curry! I tend to be more on the spicier, thicker side when it comes to thai curries, yet a light, springy version such as this one looks ever so appealing, especially with asparagus and peas, which I never tried in my curries. I can tell this will change soon!
also, just so you know I’ve tried your raspberry mega scone recipe using marmalade and apples, and mine turned out fairly good even though I underbaked it a bit. will give it another try with other fillings, definitely! thanks so much.


I love curry! I like how this is more of a Thai-inspired spring soup than a heavy, rich curry. Pretty!


I absolutely love green curry and I also learned to make it when I was in Bangkok last summer but I don’t have all those wonderful spices stocked in my pantry. Can you recommend a good green curry paste? I’ve had trouble finding one that I really love.
Also, I made the spring tabbouleh for the second time! it’s one of my new fav dishes!

The Spotted Apron

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