Spicy Thai Curry Noodle Soup

The first recipe! I saw this soup on Pinterest a few weeks ago and have been patiently waiting to try it out. Since it’s colder than Frosty the Snowman’s toenails here today, I figured a nice soup with a little spice would be perfect. As I was looking at the recipe and making the conversions, I called my mom to check my math. We got talking, and I’ve identified what will be my biggest hurdle with this blog: I don’t measure things when I’m doing savory cooking. We talked about it a big, and as much as I’d like to write “a bit of this” or “a spoonful of that,” I recognize that that can be stress-inducing for those who aren’t comfortable in the kitchen (or “FREAKING TERRIFYING” in the words of my coworker). With all this being said, here’s the first installment of Cooking for One!

Original recipe: http://heatherchristo.com/cooks/2014/01/27/spicy-thai-curry-noodle-soup/

Here are my ingredients and tools. Getting everything measured before you start cooking is called a mise en place or putting in place. This helps in a few ways: First, you know for sure that you have all the right ingredients from the beginning. There are few things worse that getting halfway through a recipe and realizing you don’t have an ingredient. Second, you can quickly access all your ingredients. You wouldn’t want to be stirring away and trying to search for something in the pantry at the same time. Third, having the correct tools accessible from the beginning—like having all the ingredients—will give you more time to focus on the cooking since you’ll spend less time looking for things as you go.

Left to right: Rice noodles, coconut oil, chicken broth, ginger, garlic, curry paste, soup pan.
Left to right: Rice noodles, coconut oil, chicken broth, ginger, garlic, curry paste, coconut milk, soup pan, and measuring spoons.

Spicy Thai Curry Noodle Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger
  • 1.5 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1.5 t coconut oil
  • 1 C vegetable or chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup light coconut milk
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1.75 ounces rice noodles
  • Fresh cilantro, Thai basil, 1 red chili, and green onions (optional)

Instructions

1. Combine the garlic, ginger, and curry paste in a small food processor or mince and mash together in a bowl.

Your ginger, garlic, and curry paste mix will look something like this.
Your ginger, garlic, and curry paste mix will look something like this.

2. In a medium size pot, heat the coconut oil until just melted over medium heat. Add the garlic/ginger/curry paste mixture, gently frying it for 2-3 minutes.

3. Add the chicken broth and allow to come to a boil.

4. Add the coconut milk and allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

5. While soup simmers, take rice noodles and soften in warm water for 5 minutes.

Rice noodles softening in warm water
Rice noodles softening in warm water.

6. Drain water from rice noodles. Return rice noodles to bowl and pour hot soup over them. Let stand for an additional 4-5 minutes.

Finished Product

7. If desired, chop fresh cilantro, Thai basil, red chili, and green onion, then place as a garnish on top of soup.

Weight Watchers Points: 8

Afterthoughts

Preparation

I almost didn’t do this soup first because it’s not something you will necessarily make often, but I’m SO glad I did. As I was putting it together, I realized that you cannot just take a recipe made for 4, divide all the numbers by 4, and assume it will taste the same. If you look at the original recipe, you’ll see that my quantities certainly aren’t a quarter of hers, and that’s totally okay. I initially did my recipe as exactly one quarter of the original, and as I went, I added more ingredients. It’s imperative to taste as you go. I had a bit of trouble finding the curry paste in the grocery store, so here’s an up-close look at the brand I got (See more about chili paste below).

I opted for the mild because I don't like super spicy things.
I opted for the mild because I don’t like super spicy things.

Cooking

This came together very quickly. It’d be great for a weeknight meal. I used chicken broth because I had it, but this could easily be made vegetarian with vegetable broth instead. Below is the base I like to use to make broth. It’s less salty than bouillon cubes, and it lasts a long time. If using this, follow the instructions on the jar to make the amount of broth you need. Conversely, you could easily add chicken or shrimp to bulk up this dish a bit. I followed the package directions for softening the rice noodles before pouring the soup over them. The water from my tap was hot enough to do the job.

Better Than Bouillon

Presentation and Flavor

Two things this first recipe taught me: I need better serving/eating bowls, and I want better lighting in my kitchen. As you can see in the photo, I didn’t use the garnishes for a few reason. I don’t like cilantro at all. I’ll cook with it if I have to, but putting a wad of fresh cilantro on top of my soup is unappetizing to me. I also don’t like fresh peppers, so I wouldn’t have used a red chili because I think that’s too spicy. I couldn’t find Thai basil, and by that point, I just decided to bag the green onions as well. If you like cilantro and peppers, definitely buy and add them at the end. I think they’d do a lot to add some texture to the dish. Flavor-wise, you wouldn’t know this dish only takes about 20 minutes. The spicy sweet balance between the coconut milk and curry paste is perfect, especially on a chilly night!

Additional Notes

I had to buy a whole package of rice noodles, so I will just used what I needed from the package. The jar pictured is also an exorbitant amount of red curry paste. If you can find a smaller package, by all means, buy it. This particular jar doesn’t expire until June 2017, so I think I have some time to use it in multiple ways, but it can always be kept in the refrigerator if you end up not finding a small jar. Lastly, you can get all different size ginger roots; I grabbed a big one, but that’s because it also freezes very well, so i’ll save it for later endeavors.

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One thought on “Spicy Thai Curry Noodle Soup

  1. Well done young yedi! A note to your choice of curry – it is an Indian brand. One could substitute ANY of the jarred curries available. Thai and SEA curries are predominantly red, green and yellows..also Massaman. They are all unique and all delicious…some taste saltier than others and some hotter than others. Be brave young cooks, be brave!

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