It's 6pm, you've just come home after a long day of work and want a flavorful, comforting, and quick meal.
Been there, done that.
This Chinese vegan curry recipe with tofu takes less than 30 minutes to make and is the perfect healthy weeknight dinner that is made effortlessly in the Instant Pot.
With just a few simple steps, the Instant Pot infuses so much flavor in a short amount of time.
Why make this recipe?
While traditional curry is made with a long list of spices and ingredients, my recipe simplifies the process down to use just 5 spice powder and curry powder, eliminating the confusion of having multiple spice bottles.
I love using extra firm tofu in this recipe because it is higher in protein compared to your conventional tofu.
This meal is not only packed with plant-based protein and a medley of spices, but is easy to make in the Instant Pot.
Feel free to customize the vegetables to your liking and what is available.
Some suggestions are: brocolli, bell pepper, baby corn, snow peas, spinach, cauliflower, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, and potatoes.
Use chickpeas, mock meats, or soy curls as a substitute for tofu.
Garnish with sliced green onions or cilantro.
Use vegetable broth instead of water.
Add additional chili flakes for more spice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which curry powder should I use?
I used mild curry powder for this recipe but you can use including madras curry powder.
What if I don’t have Chinese 5-spice powder?
If you can’t find Chinese 5-spice powder, you can make your own using star anise, cinnamon, fennel, cloves, and Szechuan peppercorns. You can substitute black peppercorns for the Szechuan peppercorns.
Can I freeze it?
Yes, first allow the curry to cool completely before freezing.
Transfer the curry to airtight freezer-safe containers or freezer bags, leaving some headspace for expansion When stored properly in the freezer, curry can typically last for about 2 to 3 months.
However, for the best quality and taste, it is recommended to consume it within the first 1 to 2 months.
Is this meal prep friendly?
Yes! This would make a great dish for meal prep. Be sure to store your rice, noodles, or other carb separately so that they store better.
How to serve:
Rice: Jasmine rice is my preferred accompaniment for curry as it has the perfect ability to absorb the rich and flavorful curry sauce. However, for a lower carb alternative, you can substitute cauliflower or broccoli rice instead.
Noodles: If you're looking for an alternative to rice, you can serve vegan Chinese curry over cooked noodles such as soba, ramen, or rice noodles. You can also incorporate the noodles directly into the curry to create a delightful curry noodle soup. I recommend doubling the amount of aromatics, spices, and liquids to ensure an ample amount of broth.
Breads: Asian flatbreads like roti, paratha, or dosa make a fantastic pairing with curry dishes. The warm bread serves as a versatile and satisfying accompaniment to complement the flavors of the curry.
Instant Pot Chinese Vegan Curry
- 1 block extra firm tofu chopped into cubes
- 1 medium carrot diced
- ½ large white onion diced
- 2 cups button or baby bella mushrooms sliced
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 2 cups water
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in ½ cup water
- 2 teaspoon of Chinese five spice powder
- Add soy sauce to chopped tofu and let marinade for at least 10 minutes.
- Add carrots and onions to the instant pot and sautée on high for 2-3 minutes until the onions turn translucent.
- Turn down the heat to medium on the instant pot. Add mushrooms and saute for an additional 2 minutes until the mushrooms release liquid and start to brown.
- Add the marinated tofu including the soy sauce to the instant pot. Add water, black vinegar, curry powder, black pepper, and Chinese five spice.
- Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Quick release once 5 minutes is up.
- Add broccoli florets, dissolved cornstarch, balsamic vinegar and stir to combine. Close instant pot lid and let sit for 5 minutes with the power off to cook the broccoli florets.
- Serve with white or brown rice, quinoa, or rice noodles.
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If you love instant pot dinners, then you’ll have to check out my instant pot miso pasta that is perfect for a weeknight one-pot dinner.
If you're looking for more easy one pot dinner recipes, check out these recipes on my blog.