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Five Ingredient Red Curry Coconut Sauce or Dressing

Posted Apr 22 2014 6:25pm


I didn’t intend for this recipe to be blog-post-worthy. I was throwing together a simple lunch bowl–leftover brown rice, fresh spinach, steamed broccoli, leftover white beans–and realized that I was running low on dressing. This is a rarity in my home; I’m a little dressing-obsessed, and I tend to make a few at the start of every work week (usually something resembling a vinaigrette, something with tahini, and something brand new/creative). I was craving something creamy more than I was an oil/acid combo, but I was out of tahini and almond butter (my standard base for creamy dressings).

Enter coconut milk, which I had standing in my fridge. I’m used to using the stuff for yogurt, for curries, for smoothies, and for soups, but I’d never tried it as a dressing before. I wasn’t sure if it would be any good, but I figured it was worth a shot. I’m so glad I took a gamble, because I really love the easy sauce/dressing that resulted.

I lucked when I put this dressing together, because I also happened to have red curry paste in my fridge (the stuff lasts forever, almost). If you don’t happen to have it on hand, I offer a modification using curry powder, but I do recommend keeping some handy. It’s really great stuff–incredible for soups, stir fries, and all sorts of other applications.

red curry coconut sauce

Five Ingredient Red Curry Coconut Sauce or Dressing

Serving Size: Makes 1 generous cup


  • 2-3 tbsp red curry paste (adjust based on your tolerance for spice)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp tamari (or to taste)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup


  1. Blend all ingredients or whisk them together till smooth.
  2. Optional modifications:
  3. Add 1 tbsp minced ginger (or ginger powder to taste)
  4. Add 1 clove minced garlic (or garlic powder to taste)
  5. Add 1/4 cup minced basil
  6. Add 1/2 cup minced red bell pepper (you'll need to use a blender), and reduce coconut milk to 3/4 cup

This sauce is delightful over steamed greens or broccoli. But I think it’s particularly well suited to a simple grain/bean bowl:

red curry coconut sauce

Delicious. That rice, by the way, is cooked in vegetable broth, lime juice, and a touch of olive oil — a trick I picked up from Terry Hope Romero. It’s a great way to add a ton of flavor to the simple grain.

red curry coconut sauce

Enjoy this, folks. I’ll return soon with a tasty recipe for whole grain, vegan muffins–my first baking experiment in a while!


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