Food Prep and Recipes

Thai Food Vegan Style – Adapting Thai Recipes for Vegans

thai red curry


Thai cuisine highlights the use of fresh vegetables, protein, spices, and flavors. The ingredients and styles have evolved over time taking influence from Chinese dishes as well as western countries.  Vegan Thai food is possible, however there is a challenge of ensuring that your dishes do not include any meat, eggs, or fish. While many dishes seem vegetable based at first glance, traditional Thai cooking uses broths, fish sauce, and oyster sauce quite liberally. Be aware, but do not be deterred from enjoying Thai food in your vegan diet.

thailand water taxi

It is possible to maintain a plant-based diet while preparing Thai food.  With just a few tweaks, you’ll find it is easy to find substitutions.  Asian markets and health food stores carry many different types of noodles that are vegan.  You can exchange wonton noodles for an egg-free substitute like rice noodles.  You could even use noodles made from quinoa, chickpea, brown rice or beans in your Thai recipes.  Mushrooms make great substitutions for meat in Thai dishes.  A great example of this is the meat salad dish called larb which is typically made with beef of chicken.  A wonderful version of larb can be made with mushrooms.  You can avoid fish and meat based sauces and broths, using Braggs, soy sauce/wheat-free tamari or coconut aminos instead.  And Thai dishes do not suffer at all when eggs are omitted.

coconut-milk-oil-oVegan Thai food is very healthy and absolute delight to cook at home. It relies on many fresh ingredients and many ingredients that vegans will have in their pantries already!  Items like coconut oil, coconut milk, nut butter, tamarind, and red curry paste develop the synergy of flavors that makes Thai cooking so unique.  We also love to discover new spices as well as different uses for the ones we’ve already tried.

Some of the ingredients indigenous to Thailand offer a different flavor than the ones we are familiar with in western culture. For example, Thai basil has properties like cloves and colored purple on the leaves.  The Thai lime is sweeter than the citrus we use in Mexican and Latin recipes.  Ingredients such as cilantro, lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal, chilies, and curry pastes are integrated often as well.


The beauty of eating Thai is that it is easy to create a one bowl meal with lots of flavors, nutrition, and ingredients without many steps or courses. Even soup bowls are filled with vegetables, protein, and starch all in one great big colorful bowl.  Your kitchen will smell, look, and taste fantastic with a Thai menu.

Here are some of the most popular Thai recipes – now adapted for the vegan diet.  We’ve kept the spices on the mild side but feel free to up the heat in these recipes if you like a bigger kick in your vegan Thai food!


(Click links below to access full recipe with instructions.)


thai fresh rolls




mushroom larb




thai red curry

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Thriving on Plants is a resource for a whole food, plant-based way of eating and living. Here we celebrate all things plant and honor the power of informed awareness and a diet focused primarily of unprocessed vegetables, fruit, legumes, and whole grains to support good health and happiness. Discover what a little more plant can do for your life!


This website is for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing presented here should be construed as a substitute for medical advice. Before beginning any type of new diet (natural or conventional), it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed physician, nutritionist and/or healthcare professional.
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