Spicy Coconut Vegetable Stir Fry

$5.93 recipe / $1.48 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.80 from 62 votes
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I found myself with a handful of leftover vegetables in my fridge this week, so you know what that means—STIR FRY TIME! I went extra tropical this time, to escape these winter blues, with a spicy coconut and peanut sauce, complete with fresh lime and cilantro. This Spicy Coconut Vegetable Stir Fry is fully adjustable for heat and whatever vegetables you have on hand, so read below for modifications!

Big bowl of Spicy Coconut Vegetable Stir Fry with lime wedge

Adjust the Heat

I used a full 2 Tbsp of sriracha in my coconut sauce, which gave it a good medium-level heat. If you want a slightly spicy sauce, use only 1 Tbsp sriracha, and if you want a sauce with zero heat, simply leave the sriracha out.

Vegetable Options

As I mentioned above, I jut used a mix of vegetables that were lingering in my fridge, freezer, and pantry. If you don’t have any vegetables on hand, this would be a great opportunity to take advantage of a grocery store salad bar. Grab a handful of 4-5 different vegetables, about 4-6 cups of vegetables total, and you’re good to go. And, if in a pinch, you can always use a bag of frozen stir fry vegetables.

Add a Protein

If you want to add a dedicated protein to this meal, this Spicy Coconut Vegetable Stir Fry is very versatile. You can add chicken, shrimp, tofu, or tempeh. Just sauté your protein in the skillet first, then remove it before adding the vegetables (to avoid over cooking the protein), then add the protein back in when you add the spicy coconut sauce.

Spooning Spicy Coconut Sauce over a bowl of Spicy Coconut Vegetable Stir Fry and rice

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Spicy Coconut Vegetable Stir Fry

4.80 from 62 votes
This rich and spicy coconut vegetable stir fry is adaptable to whatever vegetables are lingering in your fridge, making it a great sweep the kitchen recipe!
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes
A bowl of Spicy Coconut Vegetable Stir Fry ready to be eaten.
Servings 4
Prep 15 mins
Cook 10 mins
Total 25 mins

Ingredients

Spicy Coconut Sauce

  • 1 13.5oz. can full-fat coconut milk ($1.79)
  • 1/4 cup natural style peanut butter ($0.28)
  • 2 Tbsp sriracha ($0.18)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar ($0.01)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce ($0.06)
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice (about one lime) ($0.22)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger ($0.10)

Stir Fry

  • 4-6 cups mixed vegetables ($1.93)
  • 1 Tbsp high heat cooking oil of choice ($0.04)

Optional for Serving

  • 4 cups cooked rice (or 8oz. noodles) ($0.70)
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts ($0.12)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro ($0.22)
  • 1 lime (cut into wedges) ($0.22)

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, peanut butter, sriracha, brown sugar, soy sauce, lime juice, minced garlic, and grated ginger. If needed, gently heat the sauce in the microwave or in a sauce pot to help the peanut butter melt into the coconut milk. Taste the sauce and adjust the heat (sriracha), salt (soy sauce), sweetness (brown sugar), or tartness (lime juice) to your liking.
  • Chop your vegetables, if not pre-chopped. Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add the vegetables to the skillet in order of hardest to softest to allow harder vegetables, like carrots, more time to cook and to avoid over cooking softer vegetables. Stir fry the vegetables only for about 1-2 minutes, or just until they begin to soften on the edges because they will cook further once the sauce is added. If using a tender green, like spinach, wait to add it to the skillet until after the sauce has been added.
  • Pour the prepared spicy coconut sauce over the vegetables, stir to combine, and allow the sauce to heat through (about 2 minutes). If you are using a tender green, like spinach, stir it into the hot sauce and stir just until it has wilted.
  • To serve, spoon the vegetables and sauce over a bowl of hot rice, or add pre-cooked noodles to the skillet and toss with the vegetables and sauce until combined. Top with chopped peanuts, cilantro, and serve with a wedge of lime to squeeze over top.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 629.8kcalCarbohydrates: 93.89gProtein: 20.43gFat: 18.98gSodium: 1112.28mgFiber: 14.98g
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How to Make Spicy Coconut Vegetable Stir Fry – Step by Step Photos

Mixed spicy Coconut sauce in a white bowl

First, make your spicy coconut sauce. In a medium bowl, whisk together one 13.5oz. can of full-fat coconut milk, 1/4 cup natural style peanut butter, 2 Tbsp sriracha, 1 tsp brown sugar, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp lime juice (about one lime-worth), 1 clove of minced garlic, and 1 tsp of grated fresh ginger. If you have a difficult time getting your peanut butter to incorporate into the coconut milk, you can gently heat the sauce in the microwave or a sauce pan to help it melt in (I did not need to do so).

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board

You can use anywhere from 4-6 cups-worth of mixed vegetables. I just grabbed some things that I had in my fridge, but you can also get a mix of pre-chopped vegetables from the salad bar at the grocery store, or use a bag of frozen stir fry vegetables. 

Briefly Stir Fry Vegetables

Heat 1 Tbsp high heat cooking oil of your choice in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, begin adding the vegetables, starting with the hardest vegetables first and adding the softest vegetables last. Stir fry only for 1-2 minutes, or just until they begin to soften on the edges. The vegetables will cook even more once the sauce is added and you don’t want them to be completely limp at the end, so err on the side of under cooked during this step. If you’re using a tender green, like spinach, wait to add that until after the sauce has been added.

Add Spicy Coconut Sauce to Stir Fried Vegetables

Next add the prepared spicy coconut sauce…

Heat Spicy Coconut Sauce

Stir to combine the sauce with the vegetables, then allow it to heat through. It should heat through very quickly in the hot skillet. Once the sauce is hot, add any greens if you’re using them and stir just until they wilt in the hot sauce.

A skillet full of Spicy Coconut Vegetable Stir Fry

Top with chopped peanuts, cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh lime, if desired. To serve the Spicy Coconut Vegetable Stir Fry you can spoon the vegetables and sauce over rice, or add cooked noodles to the skillet and toss to combine with the sauce.

A bowl of Spicy Coconut Vegetable Stir Fry ready to be eaten.

I went the rice route today (jasmine rice, specifically), and it was super delish!

TRY THESE OTHER STIR FRY RECIPES:

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  1. This was absolutely delicious – restaurant quality for sure! I used purple cabbage, broccoli, yellow pepper, carrots, and added tofu. So good, thank you!

  2. Big fan here but this one didn’t do it for me.  I’m allergic to Sirachi so maybe that would have made it but this was pretty bland and meh and I love peanut sauce..  I wouldn’t make this again or recommend it.  Other great Stir fries on here..

    1. Yes, unfortunately, the sriracha brings a lot of flavor to the sauce so without it the dish will be lacking. :(

  3. This is my favorite Budget Bytes recipe, which is really saying something because so many of my go-to dinners are from here. This scratches the takeout itch but is so much more cost-effective and I love that it is customizable. It makes a generous quantity, reheats nicely, and is incredibly flexible.

    Tonight, I doubled the sauce so that the rice would be extra saucy. I added about 1/4 cup of additional peanut butter to make it nice and peanutty. I had the natural kind of peanut butter on hand tonight instead of the usual Jif or whatever, and I think the slightly coarser texture was really good in the sauce. I forgot to get a lime, but subbed the juice of one Meyer lemon and it added nice acidity. I was feeling fancy tonight, so I also stir fried some pork loin and added that, although I usually make this vegan and love it that way too. This is fantastic with all kinds of veggies; it’s one of those recipes that you can buy specific things for, or just clean out the fridge! Tonight, I used carrots, half a head of purple cabbage, frozen broccoli crowns, and a couple big handfuls of fresh spinach leaves. I served over jasmine rice and topped each portion with crushed peanuts. It was colorful, super filling, and made a ton! I’m looking forward to eating the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

    I recommend this recipe to everyone I know. Thanks for all your hard work, Beth! This is the only recipe site I have bookmarked.

  4.  I added a couple teaspoons of madras curry powder to the vegetables a minute or two before adding the sauce. I liked the extra flavor. It’s a good recipe, especially considering how flexible it is. 

  5. Best recipe I’ve made in a long time. Used red onion, mushrooms, carrots, and frozen peas. I also freeze single servings of rice. Topped with a hard boil egg and everything bagel seasoning. Absolutely perfect.

  6. Do you think it would be possible to sub the peanut butter with sunflower seed butter? I can’t eat peanuts. :(

  7. Love it! I made it with fried tofu puff and served over coconut brown jasmine rice. The whole family liked it. 

  8. this is my favorite budget bytes recipe. i make it at least once a month. it always impresses – even my friend who knows how to cook authentic thai was wowed by the flavor and how easy it is!

  9. I was nervous to try this because I am not a fan of peanut sauce, but I am so glad I did because it is absolutely delicious! This sauce is addicting and has such a good mouth feel. Thank you for a fabulous recipe, I will be making again for sure.

  10. Delicious and super easy to make. I added chicken to mine and it was very tasty, will definitely make this again!

  11. For anyone with a peanut allergy in the house, Wowbutter worked excellently! I did coconut sugar and chili garlic sauce instead of brown sugar and Sriracha. Plus some baked tofu. Very easy to make and another winner from this site.

    1. Thank you so much, I was trying to see what alternatives there was to the peanut butter based recipes on this site.

  12. Any suggestions on how to make this peanut/peanut butter free? Looks so delicious but we gave a peanut allergy in our family.

    1. I would try sunbutter (sunflower seed butter), the unsweetened vareity. :)

  13. I usually love the recipes on this site but this one was a huge miss. The flavors were all wrong, bitter and hot without any redeeming umaminess that dishes like this usually have. I am not sure what went wrong but I spent 1.5 hours and 20 dollars on a dish that my husband was (begrudgingly) willing to eat but I could not.

  14. This one is a winner for me! The sauce tasted great. I used “lite” coconut milk (because it happened to be cheaper) and it worked, but full fat would have been better. I know you don’t have to but I stuck to the same mix of veggies that Beth used and I really liked it. Meat eater husband said he loved it, but would have liked it better with chicken. lol! Can’t win em all.