Simple Red Curry with Zucchini + Potato + Tamarind

By George Sabatino

This is a favorite go-to recipe- the base of store bought curry paste, coconut milk, stock is an easy and fast method that goes well with any veggie, seafood or chicken parts you might have on hand or be in the mood for. Omit the fish sauce to keep this base vegan. Salting the seasonal vegetable additions helps prevent them from being bland. I recommend trying it with any green or delicate vegetables that benefit from being added to the curry right before it’s finished. This keeps them nicely al dente and not mushy.

Serves 2 w/ leftovers or 4 as an entrée



1 large zucchini or yellow squash, large diced

2 cups flowering broccoli, chopped (can sub regular broccoli)

1 tablespoon EVOO

1 medium white onion, peeled, sliced

1 large red bell pepper, seeded, sliced

12 ea shiitakes, stemmed, sliced

2 cups cabbage, sliced

3 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced

3 tablespoons red curry paste (thai or vietnamese)

1 pinch red chili flake 

3 tablespoons tamarind paste (can sub lime juice if easier)

3 cups mushroom stock (can sub veg or chicken if you like!)

1 can coconut milk (13.5 fluid oz sized)

1 large russet potato, scrubbed, medium diced, held in water until ready to cook

3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari or coconut aminos 

1 splash fish sauce

3 pinches kosher salt + more as needed

For Serving:

3-4 cups cooked rice of you choice (warm)

2 ea limes, halved (charred in a pan if you are into it but not necessary)

1 ea scallion, sliced

4 sprigs cilantro leaves and stems, hand torn

1 pinch red thai or finger chili, sliced, no seeds

To taste sesame oil, for finishing


Method + Assembly

Curry Method:

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the zucchini and broccoli- season the veggies with a large pinch of kosher salt and mix well. Allow to sit at room temp while you make the curry. 
  2. In a large pot heat the oil over medium high flame- add the onion, bell peppers, mushroom and saute under slightly caramelized, stirring regularly, about 5-6 minutes. Add a pinch of salt.
  3. Add the cabbage and garlic then continue to saute for another few minutes When the cabbage is slightly wilted add the curry paste, red chili, tamarind paste and mix well to coat all the vegetables evenly. Cook for 1 minutes, stirring constantly to scrape up any browning bits from the bottom of the pan. 
  4. Add the mushroom stock, coconut milk and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are almost fully tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes or so. 
  5. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce and salted zucchini + broccoli. Mix well then cook until the broccoli is tender, about 5-6 minutes. Taste seasoning and adjust if needed.
  6. This can be made a day ahead/reheated if you prefer. Cool completely before storing under refrigeration if so.

Putting The Dish Together:  

  1. Divide the warm rice between 2-4 large soup bowls.
  2. Top each portion with a good amount of curry, making things as saucy as your heart desires.
  3. Top each portion with scallions, torn cilantro, a couple drop of sesame oil and 1 half of a lemon each- have your guests squeeze over entire bowl to their tastes.
  4. Serve immediately.

George Sabatino is a Philadelphia chef who is dedicating his career to developing vegetable focused dishes, with special attention to sourcing locally and treating all ingredients (and their journeys from farm to table) with respect and purpose.