So I recently started subscribing to Food & Wine magazine, and last week read this article that made me really, really want a coconut curry noodle soup. I kept thinking about it, since I (thought) I had all the ingredients I needed, and finally I decided to take a break from homework and create this dish I’d been drooling over. I found a recipe for the dish on Recipezaar and set about making it, only to realize I didn’t have the requisite red curry paste. Hmm, what’s an amateur foodie to do? Naturally, I substituted extra curry powder for the curry paste, in the same quantity called for. As it turned out, this was a huge mistake. The soup was overpoweringly curry-y (yes, I just invented that word.) The delicate coconut, chicken and scallion flavors were completely overwhelmed by the massive shock of curry. So folks, do as I say and not as I do. Follow the recipe. It looks like a lot of ingredients but it’s really quite simple and fast once you gather them all from the depths of your cabinets and refrigerator drawers.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp red curry paste or panang curry paste
- 3/4 lb boneless chicken (I used tenders because it’s what I keep in the freezer, but thighs would also be delicious if you prefer dark meat), cut into bite sized chunks
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk. I used the Organic Light coconut milk – eliminates the guilt factor of this soup.
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 tsp ground turmeric or curry powder
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- Salt to taste
- Assorted vegetables as desired. I used some sliced zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper from the freezer, left over from the ratatouille the week before.
- 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 lb noodles – I used round udon because they sold it at my local store. You could improvise as you’d like.
- 1/3 c. coarsely chopped shallot – I omitted this, didn’t have any.
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro (leave this out if you are like me and loathe cilantro)
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions
- Put water on to boil for your noodles.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and then add the garlic. Toss well and add the red curry paste, mashing and stirring to soften it in the oil, about 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook 1 to 2 minutes, tossing now and then to brown it evenly and mix it with the curry paste.
- Add the coconut milk, chicken broth, turmeric, soy sauce, sugar, salt and any additional vegetables you desire, and stir well. Bring to a gentle boil and adjust heat to maintain a lively simmer. Cook about 10 minutes until meat is cooked through. At this point, add the noodles to the boiling water. Make sure you set a timer to drain and rinse the noodles when their time in the bathtub is up.
- Stir in lime juice, remove from heat, and stir in noodles.
- Sprinkle each serving with shallots, scallions and cilantro if you’re into that sort of thing.
***Update: I re-made the soup using green curry paste instead of red, and the correct amount of curry powder, with tofu instead of chicken. For vegetables, I used sliced baby bella mushrooms and a few handfuls of spinach. It was MUCH improved. Make sure you taste it for seasoning before you serve it – it may need salt.