Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Perfect Pairing:  Kitchen shears

I am a huge fan of Thai food.  I love the flavors… peanut, coconut, lime, spicy, cilantro, etc.  The first time I had Tom Yum soup, I was hooked.  I loved the tart lime juice and savory broth.  I also thought the straw mushrooms that are typically served in Tom Yum soup were adorable.  They looked so whimsical, like they should be in a video game or something.  When I saw a can of them at my store I was inspired to make a Thai-style soup.
I am pretty sure this is not “authentic” Thai-style soup, but the flavors are all there.  I was really pleased with the result.  It was spicy but had sweetness from the coconut milk.  If you have not used fish sauce before and are a little freaked out, don’t be, it is harmless.  I don’t think it would taste great if you took a gulp of it but it is great in Thai recipes.  In fact, I know it does not go down well by itself because a friend of mine did that with poor results.  Yucky.  When it is combined in this soup it adds a savory background, not fishy at all.
The Perfect Pairing for this recipe is kitchen shears.  The rice stick noodles, or rice vermicelli, are really long and hard to eat if you do not break them up.  Breaking them up when they are dry creates quite the mess so it is better to snip them after they are cooked.  Just pull them out of the soup with tongs and snip away! 

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup
Lindsay at Perfecting the Pairing

·         1 Tb olive oil
·         3 stalks of lemongrass, bottom sections only, halved and cut into 3-inch sections
·         3 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
·         1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
·         5 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
·         2 dried kaffir lime leaves (optional)
·         Handful of cilantro
·         3 Tb fish sauce, divided
·         4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
·         2 cans of light coconut milk, shaken well, divided
·         2 limes, zest and juice
·         3 tsp red curry paste, more to taste
·         8 oz sliced, fresh, mushrooms
·         1, 15 oz, can straw mushrooms, drained and rinsed
·         3 Tb soy sauce, more to taste
·         1 Tb sugar
·         4 oz rice noodle sticks (or rice vermicelli)
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add the lemongrass, shallots, ginger, garlic, kaffir leaves, and cilantro.  Sauté for five minutes, stirring often.  Add 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce, 4 cups of chicken broth, and one can of the light coconut milk.  Bring up to a light boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the zest and juice of two limes, red curry paste, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of fish sauce.  Stir to combine and set aside.
Once the broth has simmered for 20 minutes, pour it through a strainer into a large bowl to remove all of the flavor agents.  Return the broth to the pan over low heat.
Add the remaining can of coconut milk and the fresh mushrooms.  Bring to a low boil, and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the mushrooms are cooked.  Add the straw mushrooms, soy sauce, sugar, and curry paste mixture.  Stir until combined.  Taste for seasoning and adjust to taste with curry paste, sugar, and soy sauce.
Add the rice noodles and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until al dente.  Pull up the noodles in batches using tongs and snip with clean kitchen shears.
Serve with additional cilantro, if desired.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there, this is a really nice post about Asian food. It would be great if you linked to it in my Food on Friday series. Food on Friday


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