A couple of years ago, while we were on a holiday in Thailand, I took up a short home cooking class in Pattaya. It was conducted by this experienced home cook and we made several Thai curries and dishes. Needless to say that they were delicious! I love Thai food and with the availability of Thai ingredients in my market, I try to make the different curries and soups from scratch as often as possible. I had made my own red curry paste last week and so decided to try this curry noodle soup from the recipe booklet given during the course.
This recipe is quick, easy, tasty and very easily modified to your likes. You could use mushrooms, tofu, any greens, tempeh, chicken, pork or fish. The combinations are endless. All you need are red curry paste, coconut milk, any stock, curry powder, vegetables and any type of noodles. I’ve tried this recipe with poached salmon and rice noodles and it made for a satisfying, light lunch.The recipe is so simple that I’ve made it thrice in the past 2 weeks – a poached salmon, mushroom and chicken/pork meatball versions. The original recipe calls for 4 cups of coconut milk which makes for a creamy thick soup but I prefer mine a little less creamy so I used 2 or 3 cups of coconut milk and 1 or 2 cups of fish or chicken stock. If you want a vegetarian version you could use a good vegetable stock as well. I’ll be including the basic red curry noodle soup and chicken/pork meatball recipe.
- fresh or dry noodles, enough for 4 persons
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp red curry paste (any good one will do. I prefer ones without MSG or preservatives)
- 100 g chicken breast, sliced
- 4 cups coconut milk ( or 2 cups coconut and 2 cups stock)
- 4 tbsp fish sauce/ light soya sauce
- 2 tsp Indian curry powder
- 2 tsp brown sugar (optional)
- Vegetables of your choice- bean sprouts, snow peas, sugar peas, pea shoots, sliced carrots, sliced young corn
- chopped coriander leaves
- chopped spring onions
- thai basil leaves
- fried shallots
- lime wedges
Rehydrate dry noodles (if using) in hot water as per instructions on the packet and drain. Place drained noodles in individual serving bowls.
In a saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over low heat. Add the red curry paste and stir continuously for about 30 seconds so that the paste cooks without burning. If paste starts to burn, add a little water or coconut milk.
Add chicken and 1/2 cup of coconut milk. Stir until meat is cooked.
Add remaining coconut milk and stock. Increase to medium heat while stirring continuously.
Add fish sauce/ soya sauce, sugar, Indian curry powder.
Add in vegetables and cook for about 30 seconds or until your preferred doneness for vegetables.
Ladle soup over noodles in bowls. Top with garnish. Serve immediately.
* replace 100g chicken with fried meatballs.
Makes 25 meatballs, each about 1 tbsp
- 600 g minced chicken/pork
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 9-12 dashes ground white pepper
- 1 tsp Chinese Shaoxing Rice Wine
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 1 whole egg
- 2-3 long red chilles, deseeded and finely chopped
- 2-3 stalks spring onions, chopped
- Vegetable oil
Mix all ingredients together. Cover and let mixture rest for about 30 minutes.
Use a tablespoon scoop and scoop out one spoonful and roll into small rounds in your palm. Set aside. The meatballs should be about the same size so that they all cook evenly.
Heat a casserole pan or any pan with raised sides and flat, broad bottom. Pour enough vegetable oil to come half way up the side of the meatball. Heat oil. To test how hot oil is, fry 1 meatball. Oil should start bubbling and there should be a sizzling noise. If oil isn’t hot enough, the meatballs would become soggy as they would soak up the oil instead of cooking in them.
Fry meatballs. Turn them after 2 minutes to the other side. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, until firm, springy and golden brown. Do not overcrowd the pan.
Drain and topped noodles and soup with meatballs. Serve.
You could also bake them for about 10 minutes in a 200°C oven.
* I had some leftover meatballs and used them in a Vietnamese-style Banh Mi sandwich the next day.
With Poached Salmon
- fillet of salmon, cut into 1/2, pin boned, scaled, with skin on
After adding fish sauce, curry powder and sugar, reduce heat to low.
Carefully immerse salmon into saucepan, skin side down. Baste the salmon with the liquid until cooked.
Gently remove salmon pieces with a fish slice and place flesh side down on a flat plate. You should be able to peel the skin off easily once it’s cooked. Discard the skin.
Carefully flake the fish into large chunks. Place on top of noodles and pour hot soup over. Garnish and serve immediately.
Alternatively, you could always get skinless salmon fillets, cut them into cubes and gently simmer them in the soup till cooked.
- Any vegetables of your choice
- Firm Tofu
- good vegetable stock
After adding the soya sauce and curry powder, add vegetables. The hardier vegetables first and the soft vegetables like bean sprouts should be added just before switching heat off.
If you find your soup too spicy, add a little more coconut milk. I didn’t add the sugar as the stock balanced out the soup. The result should be a mildly spiced, sweet and salty soup. It’s really up to you to change the spice level, creaminess/thickness and add what ingredients you want. I think I’ll making this quite often as it’s a great way to clear out the fridge. Why not try this out and let me know how it turns out. Perhaps you might have another yummy variation you could share with me.