Chefs' Recipes

Tony Tan's Vietnamese yellow curry

This vegetable curry involves marinating mushrooms in a mix of tamarind, ginger and lemongrass before grilling them and the results are powerful.

By Tony Tan
  • Serves 4
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"If there is one restaurant in Hong Kong that believes in sustainability and wellness and still cooks delicious food, Grassroots Pantry is it," says Tony Tan. "Owner-chef Peggy Chan is setting an excellent standard with her plant-based menu. While she is an eco-warrior with years of fine cooking under her belt, she doesn't brandish her beliefs like a zealot. Instead, she lets her outstanding food do the talking. This delicious curry calls for hedgehog mushrooms, but as these are hard to find in Australia I use portobello mushrooms instead."
This recipe from Hong Kong Food City by Tony Tan (Murdoch Books, $49.99) has been reproduced with minor GT style changes.


  • 250 gm portobello mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 1 Asian eggplant, diced
  • 1½ tbsp coconut sugar
  • 500 gm leafy greens, such as Chinese broccoli, spinach or bok choyEdit
  • 10 cm piece ginger, finely grated
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1½ tbsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp tamarind concentrate
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar


  • 1
    Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl, add the mushrooms, cover and leave for 1 hour.
  • 2
    Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a char-grill pan. Add the mushrooms, reserving the marinade, and grill until golden brown (4-5 minutes). When cool enough to handle, cut mushrooms into quarters.
  • 3
    Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan. Add the marinade and stir over medium-low heat until browned and fragrant (4-5 minutes). Increase the heat to medium, add the onion and stir-fry for 4 minutes. Add the potatoes, carrot and mushrooms and stir gently to combine.
  • 4
    Pour in the coconut milk, bring to the boil and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add 100ml water and return to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, then add the eggplant and simmer until the carrot and potatoes are cooked (15 minutes; add more water if the sauce is reducing too quickly). Stir in the coconut sugar and season to taste. Add the greens, stir until wilted and serve at once.