Vegetarian Thai Recipes

Vegetarian Thai Recipes, Food & Photos

Vegetarian Thai recipes & food are a big part of cuisine in Thailand. If you are a vegetarian living here, you are truly in the Land of Smiles. Most Thai restaurants are easily able to provide many dishes from the menu devoid of meat.

Thai Green Papaya Salad (Som Tam)

One of the country’s most popular and easy Vegetarian Thai Recipes!


  • shredded green papaya about 2 cups
  • fish sauce……………2 tablespoons
  • palm sugar……………1 1/2 tablespoons (if not available can substitute it with regular sugar)
  • lime juice……………3 tablespoons
  • tomato (wedged)……….1/2 cups
  • dried shrimps…………1/3 cups
  • peanuts………………1/4 cup
  • green chili………….10 of them
  • fresh garlic………….5 pieces


Use mortar and crush the chili and garlic, add shrimps, continue crushing, add sugar, continue beating with the pestle:

  • Add the papaya, beat, beat, beat.
  • Add fish sauce, beat, beat.
  • Add lime juice, still beat, beat, beat, add tomato, beat, beat, beat.
  • Add peanuts, beat, beat.

You may need to add either sugar, fish sauce, or lime. The final taste on the balance between sweet, (pepper) hot, salty, and sour. Goes well with Thai style BBQ chicken and steamed sticky rice.

Makes about 4-1/2 cups of salad, about 4 servings.

Spicy Thai Pizza

vegetarian Thai pizza

Okay, I know this isn’t really Thai food, but pizza has been adopted by Thais and adapted to their tastes. This recipe incorporates that taste using mostly easy-to-get western ingredients.

Serving Size : 6


3 cups Cooked brown rice
2 cups Shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup Crunchy peanut butter
1 Egg — beaten
Vegetable cooking spray
1/2 cup Hot water
1/4 cup Cilantro — minced
2 tablespoons Soy sauce
3 tablespoons Dark sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon Ground red pepper
2 cups Broccoli flowerets
1 medium Red onion — chopped
2 large Carrots — julienned


Combine rice, 1 cup cheese, 1/4 cup peanut butter and egg in large bowl. Press firmly into 12-inch pizza pan or 10-inch pie pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 8 minutes. Mix remaining 3/4 cup peanut butter, water, cilantro, soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sesame oil and red pepper in small bowl; set aside.

Stir-fry broccoli, onion and carrots in remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until tender-crisp. Spread sauce over crust; top with vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees F. for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Each serving provides: * 543 calories * 24.2 g. protein * 35.8 g. fat * 36.2 g. carbohydrate * 5.3 g. dietary fiber * 59 mg. cholesterol * 694 mg. sodium.

See the easy Asian vegetarian recipes also!

Thai/Hawaii Noodles

Ingredients and Directions

Cook UDON noodles …

  • rinse cooked noodles in water to remove excess starchPour the following seasoning over noodles …
  • vinegar – japanese or apple cider/brown – NOT white vinegar
  • sugar
  • soy sauce or salt
  • red pepper – dried flakes
  • bean sprouts – use a lot or just a little
  • — mix the above to combineMake garlic oil …
  • put 3 large garlic cloves -diced- in very hot oil then cook
  • until it begins to brown nicely
  • — pour garlic oil over noodles and mix to combineGarnish with …
  • plain roasted peanuts – crushed
  • a thin layer of bean sprouts
  • chinese parsley (cilantro)

Thai Vegetarian Noodles

Yield: 8 servings


10 oz Pad Thai noodles
1/4 c Olive oil
2 ts Minced garlic
1 c Broccoli florets
3/4 c Sliced onions
2/3 c Sliced snow peas
1/2 c Diced celery
1/4 c Julienned carrots
1/4 c Diced red bell pepper
1/4 c Diced mushrooms
3 tb Crushed unsalted peanuts
2 tb Thai sweet black bean sauce (sii- iw^ dam)
1 tb Rice vinegar
2 ts Soy sauce
1 ts White pepper
2 tb Chopped mint leaves, plus 1 sprig mint
1 c Fresh bean sprouts
2 tb Thinly sliced leeks


Soak noodles in 8 cups cold water for 45 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add garlic and saute, stirring, until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
Add broccoli, onions, snow peas, celery, carrots, bell pepper & mushrooms, and stirfry for 1 minute. Add peanuts, fish sauce, black bean sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, white pepper & noodles, and cook, stirring continuously, until heated through and well mixed, about 2 minutes
. Stir in chopped mint. Transfer to a platter, sprinkle with bean sprout & leeks and garnish with mint sprig.

Eggplant with Tofu

Another vegetarian Thai recipe from Keo’s Thai Cuisine by Keo Sananikone


3/4 lb Japanese eggplant (about 3 cups sliced)
1/4 lb tofu
6 T oil
2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 to 5 red chili peppers, seeded and chopped
10 to 15 sweet basil leaves
1 to 3 T yellow bean sauce (yellow bean sauce from Thailand is saltier than sauce from Hong Kong or China, so season to taste)


Slice unpeeled eggplant crosswise into slices 1/8-inch thick. Cut tofu into 1/2-inch cubes. Heat oil in skillet; add garlic and stir-fry until light brown (don’t burn!). Add eggplant and tofu and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; mix gently. Serve immediately, since eggplant and basil turn dark if dish sits after cooking.
Makes 3 to 4 servings.

Hot & Sour Mushroom Soup (Tom Yam Het)

Yield: 3 servings


3 c Vegetable stock
1 ts Nam Prik Pow sauce
1 Inch Lemon grass — finely chopped into rings
3 Kaffir lime leaves — roughly torn into three
1 ts Sugar
2 tb Lemon juice
2 oz Oyster mushrooms — coarsely separated -OR- button mushrooms
2 sm Fresh red or green chilis
– (more if desired)
— crushed to split open


In a large pan, bring the vegetable stock to the boil and stir in the Nam Prik Pow sauce. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring well until the mushrooms are just cooked but still al dente. Pour into a serving bowl and garnish with coriander leaves.

Source: Thai Vegetarian Cooking by Vatcharin Bhumichitr

Fried Rice with Basil (Khao Pad Krapow)

Yield: 2 servings


1 Garlic clove; finely chopped
1 sm bundle long beans OR French/Snap beans cut into 1/2″ pieces
3 sm Fresh red or green chilis– finely chopped
1 c Fresh button mushrooms — halved
1 sm Red or green pepper; diced
1/2 ts Sugar
1 sm Onion; chopped
3 tb Light soy sauce
2 c Cooked rice
15 Sweet basil leaves


In a wok or frying pan/skillet, heat the oil until a light haze appears. Add the garlic and chilis and fry until the garlic is golden brown. Add the mushrooms and onions and stir quickly. Add the cooked rice and stir thoroughly. Add the long beans, peppers, sugar and light soy sauce and stir thoroughly. At the last moment quickly stir in the basil leaves and turn on to a serving dish.

Miang Kam


-shredded coconut (a cup)
-diced red union (half a cup)
-diced lime (half a cup)
-peanuts (half a cup)
-dried shrimps (half a cup)
-“shaploo” leaves (50-70 leaves)
-sliced hot greet pepper (option) (a table spoon)
-sliced lemon grass (option) (half a cup)


Shrimp Paste (one third of a cup)
coconut sugar (two thirds of a cup)


Heat the sugar until it melts then add the shrimp paste, stir it while it is boiling or it will burn; taste (after it cools!) if it tastes right or add some of the sugar or shrimp if needed. (The right taste should be between sweet and salty.)

Instructions for the preparing the shredded coconut:
Buy a whole coconut from any food market . It should not cost more than $1 (or 5 baht in Thailand). Then break open the shell and take out the meat. Wash it thoroughly.. Then shred it (without peeling the brown skin that is attached to the white part to the shell) into a 1×1 milimeter shreds. Put the shredded coconut in a hot pan and stir it until it is all brown (should take about 20 minutes with medium heat)

How to serve

Arrange all the ingredients in a compartmentalized dish (if you have one, otherwise put each ingredient in cup). Each guest will sit around preparing his/her own portion. If “Shaploo” leaves are not available, lettuce or spinach could be substituted. Each person takes some of each ingredient and puts it on the leaf, drop about half a tea spoon of the sauce on them; wrap the leave and eat it. The combination of the taste and smell is the rule of the game! One can leave anything out if does like it but make sure the lemon slice is used.

Green Vegetable Curry (Gaeng paak Keow Waan)


You need some Jasmine Rice (Khaw hawm), and some nam phrik kaeng khiaowan (green curry paste) which you convert to curry sauce as follows:

Ingredients – nam jim kaeng khiaowan (green curry sauce)

nam phrik kaeng khiaowan (green curry paste)
1 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons Maggi sauce
1 tablespoon nam tanpaep (palm sugar)
1 tablespoon kratiem (garlic), minced
1 tablespoon phrik ki nu (green Thai mouse-shit chilies), finely sliced
1 tablespoon kha (galangal), grated (Lemon-grass is okay, too)
1 tablespoon bai chi (coriander/cilantro), finelychopped
1 tablespoon nam manao (lime juice)
1 tablespoon bai manglaek(sweet basil), finely chopped
1 tablespoon prikthai ong (green peppercorns)
1tablespoon nam phrik pow (roasted chilies in soybean oil)
2 bai makrut (kaffir lime leaves), shredded, or half a teaspoon lime zest
freshly ground prikthai (black pepper) to taste.


In a saucepan over medium heat combine the ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for flavour balance and adjust as necessary. Transfer to a sauce boat or small bowl.

To complete the dish you need half a cup each of various vegetables to makea total of 3 cups. I suggest cauliflower (separate the florets, and slice thestalk thinly), asparagus, baby corn (cut lengthwise in half), bamboo shoots,Thai eggplants (or standard aubergine, cut into balls with a melon baller), and snow peas.

Place these in a bamboo steamer and steam until barely cooked (they should still be firm and snap when bent).

Serving & Storage

Place the vegetables in separate serving bowls. Each diner then helps themselves to rice, a selection of vegetables, and the curry sauce. For flavour contrast the vegetables can also be eaten with any of the standard Thai dipping sauces (adjusted if necessary to vegetarian/vegan requirements).

Serves 4

Paak Tom Kati


The name literally means ‘vegetables boiled in coconut milk’.

makheua phuang are very small Thai eggplants, that resemble crunchy garden peas. If (as I expect) they are not available near you, then I suggest you use tender garden peas, raw. If you can only get frozen peas, then drop them in hot, not boiling water, until defrosted, then transfer to ice water to stop the cooking and then strain thoroughly.

If paak bung (swamp cabbage) is not available, substitute spinach.

Thai long beans, tua paak yao (sometimes called yard beans or yak’s tails), can be replaced with ordinary western long beans.

prikthai ong, or green peppercorns are sold in Thailand on the stem, making them easy to discard before serving, but I suggest that if you canonly get loose peppercorns, that you put them in a small muslin bag or ‘spiceball’


1 cup coconut milk half a cup makheua phuang (Thai eggplant)
cup tua phak yao (long beans), broken into 2″ pieces
cup of mushrooms, sliced
cup phak bung (swamp cabbage), shredded
cup phakat khao (Chinese cabbage)
2 tablespoons hom daeng (shallots/purple onions), sliced finely
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon [palm] sugar
1 tablespoon prik ki nu daeng (red mouse shit chilis), finely sliced
1 tablespoon prikthai ong (green peppercorns)
1 teaspoon bai makrut (kaffir lime leaves) shredded, or teaspoon of lime zest


In a saucepan bring the coconut milk to a gentle simmer and mix in the sugarand soy sauce, and stir in the lime leaves. Add the shallots and pepper, and gently simmer for 1-2 minutes until aromatic. Taste for the balance of sugar and salt, and adjust if necessary.

Add the vegetables, and return to a boil. Simmer gently until just cooked (If using garden peas, do not add them until the other ingredients are almost cooked, and then serve as soon as they are warmed through).

Remove the peppercorns, and serve with either rice or noodles

Serves 4

Refer to Asian Food Recipes for more options:

Prawn Salad (Pla Gung)

This recipe can also be made with squid or scallops, or any combination of prawns, squid and scallops. If using squid, use only the body tube. Slit the body and press flat, score diagonally, and cut into 2 inch squares.


1 lb Prawn tails
3 cups Water 2 tbsp Lemon grass chop coarse
1 tbsp Lime leaves chop coarse
1 tbsp Coriander leaves chop coarse

2 tbsp Lime juice
2 tsp Palm sugar
1 tsp Garlic chop fine
1 tsp Ginger chop fine
1/2 tsp Black pepper ground

1/2 cup Green onions sliced
1/2 cup Mint leaves


Bring water to a boil and add lemon grass, lime leaves and coriander. Boil for five minutes.

Drop in prawns and cook 1 minute. Remove and rinse under cold water.

Combine lime juice, palm sugar, garlic, ginger and black pepper in a bowl. Mix to dissolve sugar.

Pour dressing over prawns and toss to coat. Add green onions and mint leaves, toss to mix.

Yield – 3 cups

Yam Yai

Salad Ingredients

Chinese lettuce (or other broad leafed veggie) to form a base for the saladbowl.
? cup of onion, sliced
? cup of tomato wedges
? cup of cucumber, sliced
? cup prik chi fa (Thai jalapenos), julienned
? cup of broccoli florets, blanched
? cup of bean sprouts


Line a serving bowl with the lettuce leaves, then toss the other ingredientsand place on the lettuce, garnish with cilantro/coriander leaves, lime leaves, thinly sliced shallots, and julienned spring onions.

Dressing Ingredients

? cup of lime juice
? cup of peanuts
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons [rice] vinegar or nam makham piag (tamarind juice)
2 tablespoons nam tan paep (palm sugar)
1 tablespoon prik ki nu daeng haeng (dried red chilis), ground
1 tablespoon khao koor (toasted rice)


In a dry skillet or wok, toast the peanuts until light golden brown, allow to cool and crumble (a few sharp blows with the flat of a cleaver should suffice, and avoid turning them into peanut butter, as the use of a foodprocessor is inclined to).

Toast 2 tablespoons of uncooked long grain rice (either white or brown, totaste), and then when cool, grind to a coarse powder (khao koor).

Combine the ingredients to form the dressing, and place in a small bowl.


Thai salads are not served ‘dressed’, this being left to the diners. If available you could also add a few of the different Thai dips (nam prik kiga,nam prik kapi are suitable for vegetables, and can be adapted to vegetarian/vegan life styles without serious loss of authenticity).

Pad Thai – Vegetarian

Authentic vegetarian Pad Thai


  • 2 qt ; water
  • 3/4 lb mung bean sprouts
  • 6 oz rice noodles (1/4-inch wide)


  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 3 tbsp catsup
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce* or soy sauce

Remaining Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tbsp fresh chile, minced or
  • 1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cup carrots, grated
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten with a pin
  • 2/3 cup peanuts, chopped
  • 6 to 8 scallions, chopped (about 1 cup)


*Fish sauce is made from fermented salted fish. It can be found in Asian food stores and requires no refrigeration after opening.

In a covered pot, bring the water to a rolling boil. Blanch the mung bean sprouts by placing them in a strainer or small colander and dipping it into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Set aside to drain well. When the water returns to a boil, stir in the rice noodles and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender but firm. Drain the cooked noodles, rinse them under cool water, and set them aside to drain.

Prepare the remaining ingredients and have them near at hand before you begin to stir-fry. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet. Add the garlic and chile, swirl them in the oil for a moment, and stir in the grated carrots. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Push the carrots to the sides to make a hollow in the center. Pour the beaten eggs into the center and quickly scramble them. When the eggs have just set, pour in the sauce mixture and stir everything together. Add the drained rice noodles and mung sprouts, and toss to distribute evenly. Stir in the peanuts and scallions, and serve at once.

Per 8 oz. serving: 296 calories, 11.3 g protein, 15 g fat, 31 g carbohydrate, 712 mg sodium, 142 mg cholesterol. Source: Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home.

Buddha’s Delight Vegetarian Thai Recipe

Buddha's Delight (Lohan chai) recipe

A special dish to help get your Yin/Yang in better balance. Especially popular during the Chinese New Year


  • 15g. (1/2 oz.) dried bean curd skin sticks
  • 1/3 cup (15g./1/2 oz.) dried tiger lily bulbs
  • 3-4 tbs. (15 g.) dried wood ears (black fingers)
  • 10 g. (1/4 oz.) dried black moss
  • 50 g. (2 oz.) bamboo shoots
  • 50 g. lotus root
  • 50 g. straw mushrooms
  • 4 tbs. oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tbs. light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch mixed with 1 tbs. cold water
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil for garnish


Soak dried veggies separately in cold water overnight, or in warm water for at least an hour.
Cut bean curd sticks into short lengths.
Cut bamboo and lotus root into small slices.
Heat wok.
When hot put in half the oil and wait until it smokes.
Stir fry all dry veggies with a little salt for one minute.
Remove vegetables from wok and set aside.
Add and heat remaining oil and stirfry rest of the veggies with salt.
Add partly cooked dry veggies, sugar, soy sauce, stirring constantly.
If it dries out add a little water.
When cooked add cornstarch mix.
Garnish with sesame oil and serve immediately.

Vegan Thai Curry


  • 3 small onions
  • 4 pieces of garlic
  • 1 dl herb broth
  • 4 dl coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 3 teaspoons coconut paste (santen)
  • 500 gr tofu
  • 500 gr mixed vegetables (mushrooms, mangetouts, zuchinni or whatever).


Heat up a little vegetable oil, and throw in the roughly chopped onion.

Stir ’till it gets a little brownish, then add the finely chopped or mashed garlic. stir a little, then add vegetables.
Stirfry untill the vegetables are slightly cooked.

Add tofu in small cubes and stirfry untill they’re a little brown.
Heat the coconutmilk and mix with the broth and the curry paste.
Stir and wait untill everything is thoroughly mixed.

Wait until the coconut milk mixture boils and add to the vegetables and onions.
Add coconut paste to thicken the curry.
Leave on fire for a while and mix regularly.
Add fresh coriander leaves and serve with rice.

Thai Pumpkin Soup

Thai pumpkin soup recipe

Recipe By : Roxanne Chan, Cooking Light, November 1998; Serving Size: 6


  • 2 cans fat-free, less-sodium vegetable broth — (16 ounces -or equivalent fresh)
  • 1 can pumpkin — (15-ounce)
  • 1 can mango nectar — (12-ounce)
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat chunky peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced green onions
  • 1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 garlic clove — crushed
  • chopped fresh cilantro — (optional)


Combine first 3 ingredients in a large Dutch oven, and bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.

Combine 1 cup pumpkin mixture and peanut butter in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.
Return mixture to pan.
Stir in vinegar and next 5 ingredients (vinegar through garlic); cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Ladle into soup bowls. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup).

CALORIES 142 (27% from fat); FAT 4.2g (sat O.9g, mono l.9g, poly l.3g); PROTEIN 5.6g; CARB 20.7g; FIBER 4g; CHOL Omg; IRON 1.4mg; SODIUM 401mg; CALC 29mg

Kaeng Liang Vegetarian Thai Recipe


Spice mixture

  • 10 black pepper corns
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 10 shallots – or small red or purple onions
  • 1/2 cup dried shrimp

Other ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili paste in oil
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 5 cups of vegetables
  • 5 stems of fresh Thai basil
  • 4 cups vegetable stock


In a mortar and pestle or food processor, grind the spice mixture ingredients to a smooth paste. Bring the stock to a boil and add the spice mixture, curry paste, and chili paste in oil, and stir until thoroughly mixed. When it is again boiling, and mixed, stir in the fish sauce. Add the vegetables and basil, stir until cooked. The vegetables should be minimally cooked.

Taste and adjust the saltiness by adding more fish sauce if required. Many people especially love this dish if it’s seasoned with fish powder with chili.

Vegetarian Thai Recipes

There are literally scores of vegetarian Thai recipes available, here are some more:

More Thai Vegetarian & Vegan Recipes: