Soak Chiles 25 mins Prep 10 mins Cook 20 mins Eat 55 mins
Craving something exotic? You can have this Thai Curry Chicken Noodle Soup on your table in 30 minutes or less after soaking the dried chiles. How about that? Our January Soups and Stews Class is always a treasure trove of delicious healthy recipes that will get you going in the cold weather and make you feel like you are doing something good for yourself. We made four delicious soup recipes at our class, but the Thai Curry Chicken Noodle Soup was a standout for me. It is elegant, decadent and exotic all at the same time. The creaminess of the coconut milk feels like a real splurge without consuming dairy and the complex flavors of the freshly-made curry paste make you feel that you have been transported into another world. All the components together in your bowl are like a still life painting, beautiful enough to be sitting on your wall, making this dish elegant enough as a quick main course for company.
That’s how I discovered this recipe. My friend, Lynne Hemer, who blogs at www.CookandBeMerry.com invited me to her home two years ago and served me this Thai Curry Chicken Noodle Soup that she found in Bon Appetit magazine for supper while we worked together and talked about our favorite subject, food blogging! She hit it right on the money for me. I had never forgotten this dish in the two years since I tasted it. That’s why I knew it had to go on our menu for our Soups and Stews Class this year.
The most difficult task of making this dish is assembling the many ingredients, but once you do that, it is super easy to make, as the students in our Soups Class discovered.
We used fresh egg noodles that I found in the refrigerator case of an Asian supermarket. Add them to boiling water and they are cooked in a matter of 2-3 minutes. If you cannot find them, use a thin pasta like vermicelli or a thin spaghetti noodle or swap it out with a thin soba noodle. Although I must admit, the egginess in the Chinese noodles added a lot of flavor.
The fresh-made curry paste is what makes this dish special. If you cannot find guajillo chiles, choose another New Mexican red dried chile. You will be surprised that there is not a lot of heat in the guajillo chiles, which is nice. If you want more heat, add Sambal Oelek (in picture above) or another hot sauce. Sambal Oelek is a jarred product found in Asian markets. The coconut milk makes the Thai Curry Chicken Noodle Soup very creamy. You could cut back the coconut milk and increase the amount of broth to make it lighter.
Thai Curry Chicken Noodle Soup
4 large dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 medium shallots, quartered
2 garlic cloves
3 Tablespoons ginger, peeled and cut in small pieces
1/4 cup cilantro stems
1 Tablespoon ground coriander
1 Tablespoon turmeric
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 14 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or fresh-made chicken stock
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut in bite-size pieces
4 Tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc nam)
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 pound Chinese egg noodles, preferably fresh refrigerated or use thin pasta
8 ounces bean sprouts
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1 lime, cut in wedges
Sambal Oelek or another hot sauce
1. Seed and stem chiles, break into large pieces and cover with boiling water in a small bowl. Soak 25-30 minutes until softened. Begin to bring a pot of water to boil for cooking the noodles later.
2. Make chile paste. Pour chiles into strainer over small bowl, reserving soaking liquid. In a small food processor, puree chiles, shallots, garlic, ginger, cilantro stems, coriander, turmeric, curry powder and 4 Tablespoons soaking liquid. Process into a smooth paste, adding more soaking liquid if necessary to achieve the consistency of a medium thick paste.
3. Heat oil in large heavy pot or wok over medium heat. Add curry paste and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 4-6 minutes until slightly darkened.
4. Add coconut milk and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add chicken pieces, reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 10-15 minutes. Add 3-4 Tablespoons fish sauce and sugar to soup.
5. While soup is cooking, cook noodles according to package directions. Divide noodles among bowls, ladle soup over the noodles and serve with bean sprouts, cilantro leaves and lime wedges.
Servings: 6 688 calories per serving