Looking for a quick and healthy meal for lunch boxes and other times when you’re on the go? This easy Instant Pot Thai peanut curry is the perfect make-ahead meal for times when you need a nutritious lunch to take with you. Plus this easy Thai curry recipe is the perfect meal when you are craving Thai takeout for dinner since you can whip it up in less time than it would take to go pick up your takeaway order.
LET’S BE FRIENDS ON PINTEREST! WE’RE ALWAYS PINNING TASTY RECIPES!
INSTANT POT THAI PEANUT CURRY WITH TOFU – VEGETARIAN LUNCH YOU CAN TAKE WITH YOU
One of my biggest challenges as a mom is making sure my husband and my kids have healthy meals that they can take with them for lunch at school and work. Their lunches need to be nutritious because I want them to have the fuel they need to make it through their days feeling good. I don’t love sending them with the same old sandwiches and salads all the time. As the weather cools down, I like to send them with something warm and hearty that reminds me of them how much I love them like this Instant Pot Thai peanut curry.
WHY MAKE THAI PEANUT CURRY IN THE INSTANT POT
With the Instant Pot Ultra and pot in pot Instant Pot cooking, you can save so much time when you’re prepping this Thai peanut curry. It cuts the cooking time down to under 10 minutes. Talk about fast!
Plus once you get the hang of your Instant Pot, it’s so easy to use to throw together this healthy Thai curry! Don’t be afraid of all the buttons and functions on your Instant Pot. This Instant Pot curry is beginner-friendly. And if you find yourself staring at your Instant Pot wondering what all the buttons do, you can check out our complete beginner’s guide to the Instant Pot, called Is the Instant Pot Worth it?
WHAT IS POT IN POT COOKING?
If you’re new to Instant Pot cooking, you might not know what pot in pot cooking is. Pot in pot cooking can save you so much time when you’re making a meal that has two parts like this Thai peanut curry.
Pot in pot (also called PIP) cooking is a method of Instant Pot cooking that involves putting the liquid in the stainless steel liner and place the food in another, a separate vessel to cook. Then you set that vessel on the trivet, which allows it to steam. You want to make sure you are using an ovenproof, heatproof vessel for PIP cooking. I like to use a stainless steel container.In this case, we are using the steam from the curry sauce that will be cooking underneath the trivet to cook the rice.
SAVE TIME BY MAKING RICE AND THAI PEANUT CURRY TOGETHER / POT IN POT TOFU IN THAI PEANUT CURRY WITH RICE
Now that you know what pot in pot cooking is, you can see how efficient it is to cook your rice and curry together. Using the pot in pot method of cooking keeps the preparation of this dish fast by letting you cook the rice at the same time as the curry and vegetables. Plus, you don’t have to bother with either cleaning your Instant Pot to use it again to make your rice. And you don’t have to wait for your pot to come to temperature twice.
To use pot in pot Instant Pot cooking to make this Thai peanut curry, you are going to put together the ingredients for the curry in the main liner of the pot. Then once they are combined, you are going to place the trivet so it is sitting on the liner full of curry ingredients. Next, you are going to set the stainless container that you’ve filled with rice and water on top of the trivet. At this point, you’re basically done and can put the lid on your Instant Pot.
Simple and easy.
HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT THAI PEANUT CURRY
Now that you’ve got the pot in pot technique down, let’s talk about how to make this Instant Pot Thai peanut tofu curry with rice. It’s easy enough to do even if you’ve never made anything in the Instant Pot before. Let’s break it down into parts.
We’ll start by making the curry sauce. To do that, you’re going to combine coconut milk, peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce, sriracha, sugar and water and whisk all together until smooth. A note on the coconut milk. Make sure you use the canned kind and not the kind you find sold with the plant-based milk in the dairy section of the store. I like this organic coconut milk by Thai kitchen . When you have all the ingredients whisked together and they are smooth, you can set the bowl aside for a minute.
Now that you’ve made the curry sauce, it’s time to saute your veggies. Just add the inner liner to your Instant Pot and press the saute button on your Instant Pot. When the display reads HOT, add the oil, chopped onions, bell pepper, and ginger and garlic and give it a good stir. After you’ve stirred your vegetables and let them cook for a minute, add the red curry paste to the pot. I really like this red curry paste also by Thai Kitchen Then you can grab the bowl with the coconut peanut sauce mix and pour that into the Instant Pot with the vegetables and curry paste. Give everything another stir to mix it together. Then you can add in your cubed extra firm tofu.
And now it’s time for the PIP cooking we’ve talked about. Fill a stainless steel container with basmati rice and 1 cup of water. Make sure you’ve washed your rice well before you add it to the container. Then set the trivet inside of the Instant Pot so the trivet legs are sitting in the mixture of curry tofu and vegetables. Place the stainless steel container on top of the trivet. At this point, you can seal the lid onto the pot and pressure cook high for 5 minutes.
When the Instant Pot beeps, let the pressure naturally release for 5 mins and then do a quick release. Then remove the lid and carefully take the rice container out of the Instant Pot. Set it aside. Also, remove the trivet from the liner and place it in the sink to wash. Finish your Thai tofu curry by adding some chopped Thai basil or green onions and gently mixing them in. Add the rice to a bowl and spoon the curry over top. Serve it garnished with chopped roasted peanuts.
CAN YOU ADD OTHER VEGGIES TO THIS INSTANT POT CURRY?
Yes! Add almost any vegetables you like. I love this curry as written. Particularly tasty vegetables to add include: But don’t be limited to my list! Add your favorite veggies to make this Instant Pot Thai curry your new favorite recipe.
- Snap peas
- Red bell pepper
I LOVE SPICY FOOD! HOW CAN I MAKE THIS TOFU CURRY SPICY?
This tofu curry will already have a little kick to it, but if you love your food hot and spicy you can easily make it more spicy. To really give your curry a kick, you could: Any of these ideas will give you more heat.
- Add more curry paste.
- Sprinkle in the optional red pepper flakes.
- Chop a Thai chili and add it to the vegetables.
- Add extra sriracha to the coconut peanut sauce to suit your taste.
CAN I SUBSTITUTE INDIAN PANEER FOR TOFU?
Yes. You can absolutely use paneer in place of tofu. Just keep in mind that if you are vegan, paneer is Indian cheese and not a vegan ingredient. However, this mild firm cheese has a similar texture to tofu and holds up very well in this dish. Because paneer doesn’t melt, you don’t have to worry about making a mess melting the cheesy paneer in your Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Thai Peanut Curry and Rice Recipe Video
WHAT IF YOU’RE ALLERGIC TO NUTS?
If you are allergic to nuts, you can still make this delicious curry. Omit the peanuts all together and use sun butter or tahini paste instead of peanut butter. It will still be absolutely delicious and allergy-friendly!
DO I HAVE TO USE BASMATI RICE IN INSTANT POT CURRY?
No, you can use other types of rice. I sometimes substitute jasmine rice . Jasmine rice is a long-grain, fragrant rice with a slightly floral taste and aroma. It is absolutely delicious with this curry.
WHAT PAIRS WELL WITH THIS TOFU CURRY?
If you want to serve this tofu curry for dinner or make a whole Thai spread for dinner instead of serving this a fast lunchbox lunch, you could pair it with:
- Instant Pot Spicy Thai Noodle Bowls – For this pairing, I would skip making the rice and serve the curry spooned over the spicy noodles for a flavor explosion.
- Rainbow Thai salad Spiralized Salad – This refreshing, crunchy salad perfectly complements the bold flavors of this tofu curry.
- Coconut Rice with Cilantro. Slightly sweet rice that I would use as a substitute for the basmati rice balances out the big spices of the curry with its subtle sweetness.
HOW LONG WILL THIS CURRY RECIPE KEEP IN THE FRIDGE OR FREEZER?
This Instant Pot peanut curry recipe is a fabulous make-ahead option. The prepared curry will keep in the fridge for 3-5 days after you make it. And, if you want to make a batch of this for the freezer, you can! I would skip making the rice and just make the tofu and vegetables in the coconut peanut curry sauce. As long as you are using the extra firm tofu, this should keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just be aware that your frozen tofu may get a little spongy in the freezer.
If you are a fan of healthy eating and have just purchased an instant pot, Try out our 80+Instant Pot Vegetarian Recipes. From Soups to Pasta and from Appetizers to Desserts and everything in between.
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- 14oz Organic Tofu/firm
- 1 medium onion / chopped finely
- 1/2 red bell pepper/ diced finely
- 1 tbsp ginger grated
- 1 tbsp garlic/ finely chopped
- 3 tbsp red curry paste
- few Thai basil or green onion/ chopped
- Ingredients for the sauce
- 1-1/2 cup Coconut milk
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp soy sauce/ or tamari
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp sriracha
- salt to taste
- 1Tsp oil
- Half lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes / optional
- 1 cup Basmati rice
- 1 cup of water
- In a medium bowl combine coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, sriracha, sugar and water and whisk all together until smooth.
- Press the saute button and when HOT add in the oil, chopped onions, bell pepper, and ginger and garlic and give it a stir.
- Add in the red curry paste and the coconut and peanut sauce mix and mix everything together.
- Add in the tofu cubes.
- In a Stainless container (PIP) add rice and wash it properly till the water runs clear.
- Add water and salt to taste.
- Carefully place the trivet and place the rice on it.
- Place the lid and pressure cook high for 5 minutes.
- When the pressure cook beeps. Let the pressure naturally release for 5 mins and then do a quick release.
- Carefully remove the rice container and the trivet from the pressure cooker and keep it aside.
- Add some chopped Thai basil or -green onions and gently mix it.
- Serve it in a bowl with rice and garnish it with chopped roasted peanuts.
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