This Vegan Coconut Curry Chicken on Rice is just the thing when you want a cozy, stick-to-your-ribs meal on a chilly night. And it’s ready in about 30 minutes from start to finish! Use my high-protein, most versatile Chickeny Chickless Seitan as your plant-based chicken alternative or your choice. Read on for my recommendations and gluten-free options. Remember, this is YOUR Vegan Curry Chicken and there are no rules!
Why you’ll LOVE this Vegan Coconut Curry Chicken on Rice
You’re going to love the authentic flavour of this fully plant-based Chinese-style Coconut Curry “Chicken” recipe for so many reasons; including:
- the creamy and mild Cantonese-style coconut curry sauce (with Cha Chaan Teng-inspired flavour),
- meaty, high-protein plant-based chicken inbued with curry flavour,
- perfectly cooked carrots and potatoes stick to your ribs,
- dinner in about 30 minutes,
- low-effort braising recipe, and
- steamed rice included for a complete dinner
Cha Chaan Teng Curry
Personally, I love this dish because me of running into a local Hong Kong-style cafe to seek refuge from the rain and warm our bellies with signature Cha Chaan Teng meals. Being from Vancouver, BC, we had a number of these cafes run by immigrants from Hong Kong. And throughout my childhood through to my early adult years, they were my favourite place to get hearty delicious meals and snacks at reasonable prices.
For my whole life, Vancouver has been famous for authentic Chinese good (especially Cantonese cuisine) so when I travelled to Hong Kong and Guangzhou, I was not surprised to see the same menu items and that they tasted the nearly the same!
This style of curry is mild with yellow curry spices and lightly sweet. It’s also very creamy with a light coconut flavour. In contrast, some westernized Chinese restaurants serve a curry chicken that is more oily and thin; that’s not what we’re going for here. It’s more like British-style curry; thick and rich…but not too thick. It’s perfect for serving over rice, which is why this recipe includes your steamed rice too!
How to make Vegan Coconut Curry Chicken VEGAN
Luckily, the non-vegan ingredients in regular coconut curry chicken are easy to replace. You can do this by using:
- Chickeny Chickless Seitan in place of regular chicken,
- store-bought vegan chicken alternatives (use unbreaded styles made to replace chicken breast), or
- extra firm or pressed tofu, tempeh (steam or boil first to remove bitterness), or cooked legumes (like in my Coconut Curry Chickpeas), and
- replace chicken broth with vegan chicken broth (see this post for my favourites).
More Vegan “Chicken” Recipes
If you’re in the mood for more vegan chicken dishes, try:
For Steamed Rice
- 2 cups uncooked Jasmine rice
- 2 1/2 cups water, plus more for rinsing
For Vegan Coconut Curry Chicken
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 medium white onion (1 cup chopped)
- 9oz Chickeny Chickless Seitan (255g), about 2 cups cubed
- 8oz yellow potatoes (225g), about 1 1/2 cups peeled and cubed
- 8oz carrot (225g), about 1 1/2 cups peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 slice ginger (~1" wide, 1/4" thick)
- 1 clove garlic (1 tsp chopped)
- 1 tbsp madras curry powder
- 1 1/4 cup vegan chicken-style broth (300ml), plus more if desired
- 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp coconut milk (5.6oz or 165ml)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar or 1 to 1 sweetener
- 2 tsp Shaoxing wine
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1/8 tsp white pepper
- 1/8 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp water
Cook the rice
- In a pot, rinse the uncooked Jasmine Rice a few times; until the water runs clear. Drain very well, then add 2.5 cups cold water. Make sure the rice is laying in an even layer, then measure with your finger to see that the depth of the water is just twice the depth of the rice. If there is excess water, skim it out.
- Heat the pot on high heat until the water just starts to bubble. Before it begins to boil, turn the heat to low, cover it and let cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
Make the Curry
- Seperately in a large pan or wok, melt coconut oil over high heat. When very hot, add onions, turn the heat to medium high and saute 5 minutes. Push the onions to the side and add Chickeny Chickless Seitan pieces. Saute 2 - 3 minutes until sides are browned.
- Add the potatoes, carrots, garlic, ginger, curry powder and stir to coat everything evenly with curry powder.
- Stir in the broth. Turn up the heat and let broth come to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer, cover and let cook until the potatoes and carrots are soft; about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
- When the potatoes are easy to cut with the edge of a spoon, stir in the rest of the ingredients: coconut milk, sugar or sweetener, shaoxing wine, soy sauce and white pepper. Cover and let simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.
- Taste and add the white pepper and salt if desired. To thicken the curry, mix 1 tbsp of cornstarch with water, then stir it in slowly. You may use only part of it or all of it; depending on how thick you'd like your sauce. You can also add more vegan chicken-style broth to thin it out.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve with your freshly steamed rice. Enjoy!
Replace seitan with gluten-free store-bought chicken alternatives OR extra firm or pressed tofu or tempeh (steam or boil first to remove bitterness, OR replace with cooked beans or chickpeas.
Replace Shaoxing wine with gluten-free sherry. Replace soy sauce with gluten-free tamari or similar.