This versatile, flavorful coconut curry sauce is delicious in pretty much any dish. It only takes about five minutes to make in your blender!
How to make coconut curry sauce
You don't need a fancy blender for this recipe at all. I've made this sauce in my Vitamix before, but I've also made it plenty of times in my 10-year-old Magic Bullet to make sure it works on even a low-end blender.
Like with anything you're blending, it will just come together more quickly in a high speed blender. With a regular blender, just keep blending, stopping occasionally to give the motor a rest, until you have a nice, smooth mix.
I like using Massaman or red curry paste best to make my Coconut Curry Sauce, but you can use any curry paste that you like. That's the beauty of this recipe - it's super versatile!
Choosing vegan curry paste
Finding vegan curry paste isn't too difficult, but you do need to read the ingredients. These are some of the animal products to look out for in curry pastes:
- fish sauce
- shrimp paste
- dairy ingredients
A lot of the more common brands, like Thai Kitchen, are free of animal products. Just give the ingredients a once-over to be sure.
Adjusting the heat
Curry pastes can vary quite a bit in spiciness, so start with 1 tablespoon, then give the sauce a taste. Then, add more, to taste -- 1 teaspoon at a time -- from there.
You can also totally fix it if you end up with a sauce that's too hot. Just add more coconut milk until you reach your desired heat level. Making your perfect Coconut Curry Sauce is all about that balance, and once you find it, you are golden.
What's super great about this recipe is that you don't have to cook it. Just blend and pour.
I wasn't kidding about it only taking five minutes!
Of course, you can warm this sauce up in the microwave or on the stovetop, if you want a warm sauce, but it's not necessary. Just make sure you warm over low heat (see below about curdling).
How to use it
My family has what you might call "divergent tastes" when it comes to food. My kid likes mild dishes, my husband doesn't like things too saucy, and I prefer bold, spicy flavors and plenty of sauce.
This coconut curry sauce is a solution to that problem. I can make a simple bowl for supper. Dave can put a little soy sauce on his, and I can douse mine in curry.
Steamed rice or quinoa, your favorite veggies, and tofu or tempeh are a nice basic vehicle for this sauce. You can also use it on stir fries, veggies roasts, or even put some of this sauce into pureed dips to add a little bit of punch.
Try adding it to hummus in place of the oil to give your next batch of hummus a curried edge.
It's also fabulous drizzled over any of these bowl recipes:
A note about heating
Like any creamy sauce, coconut curry sauce will curdle if you overheat it.
As I mentioned in the "How to Use" section, I like to pour this straight from the blender over cooked dishes, like grain bowls or even salads.
If you do want to heat this up, add it to the pan at the very end of cooking, and stir constantly until it's just heated through. If you bring coconut milk to a boil, it could curdle.
All-purpose coconut curry sauce recipe
- 1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk - (see note)
- 1-2 tablespoons curry paste - of your choice (see note)
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar - optional
- salt - to taste
- Toss all of the ingredients into your blender or food processor.
- Puree until smooth, then pour over whatever your dish is, and sprinkle with fun toppings, like cashews, green onions, or chopped avocado!
- Before you open your can of coconut milk, shake it well, especially if your kitchen is cold. Coconut milk separates in the can, and shaking will make it easier to get more of the goods out of the can.
- The recipe calls for 1-2 tablespoons of curry paste, because the pastes can vary in how hot they are. Start with 1 tablespoon, then add more if you want a spicier result.