Thai Inspired Coconut Red Curry Noodle Soup
This soup is based on one of my favorite Thai curries. A traditional curry would be made with fish sauce instead of soy sauce or coconut aminos, but sometimes I like to make a vegetarian curry and I use the sauce to mimic the savory notes of fish sauce. Make sure to include the limes, they add a lot of flavor. The reason that I wait until the end to add the lime juice is because the acid turns the broccolini brown, and sometimes I make the soup in advance.
While I love this curry on it’s own, it’s also fantastic with chicken, shrimp or pork and they couldn’t be easier to add to the recipe. If you’re adding shrimp, peel and devein it. It you’re adding chicken or pork, cut it into thin strips and simmer it in the coconut curry sauce for a few minutes, until just cooked through.
What ingredients do you need to make this Coconut Red Curry?
- Noodles: I love Lotus Foods noodles and often use different noodles when I’m making this soup, depending on what I have in my pantry. Anything from their brown rice ramen noodles to any store bought pad thai rice noodles will work.
- Broth: I love using vegetarian bouillon to make a good, quick vegetable broth. The bouillon that I buy is from Germany, and it’s gluten-free and made with good ingredients. I don’t recommend using store bought vegetable stock in a box if you can avoid it. But chicken broth is a great option if you aren’t vegetarian.
- Coconut Milk: I recommend using full fat coconut milk for the soup because it has more flavor, but low fat will work too. The soup will be a little bit less velvety.
- Red Curry Paste: red curry paste is made with red chilis, garlic, lemongrass, shallot, coriander & kaffir lime. It is spicy, but not overly so, unless you’re very sensitive to spice. There are several brands that make good curry paste. Two of my favorites are: Thai Kitchen and Mike’s Organic Curry Love
- Soy Sauce, Tamari or Coconut Aminos: all three of these options work well in the soup. They have different levels of sodium in them though, so I recommend tasting the broth and seasoning it more if needed. If you are gluten free or cooking for someone who is, I recommend using either tamari or coconut aminos if you want to avoid soy altogether.
- Ginger, Garlic and Shallots: adding these three ingredients to the soup base, along with the curry paste, builds the broth needed to give this soup its characteristic Thai flavors.
- Broccolini: I love broccolini because it’s sweeter with longer, more delicate stems, but it is more expensive than broccoli and can sometimes be hard to find. You can easily substitute broccoli or cauliflower, or even sugar snap peas or snow peas.
- Pea Shoots: these make a great, slightly sweet addition to the soup, plus they look so pretty and frilly on top. But don’t worry if you can’t find them. The soup will be great anyway.
- Herbs: adding basil and cilantro to garnish the soup adds a punch of bright, classic Thai flavors. If you can find Thai basil, definitely buy it. It has a very distinct flavor and purple stems. But any other basil variety is great here too. And if you’re not a cilantro lover, just omit it.
- Nuts: I go back and forth between using peanuts and cashews, and honestly both are great. You do you.
- Chili Crisp: I absolutely love chili crisp, and there are so many brands making it now. A few of the most popular are: Momofuko Chili Crunch, Fly By Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp, S&B Chili Oil with Crunchy Garlic and Chile Crunch.
This soup is one of my weeknight warriors because it comes together so quickly, and it can be topped with tofu, chicken, shrimp, salmon or steak for extra protein. It’s comforting in the winter and refreshing in the summer. I like serving it with all the toppings on the side and having people top theirs however they like to.
- 1 14oz can coconut milk (I like using full fat for more flavor)
- 2¼ cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 limes, zested and then cut in half
- 1 8oz package pad Thai rice noodles
- 1 bunch broccolini, ends trimmed
- 2 cups pea shoots
- ¼ cup basil leaves
- ¼ cup cilantro
- ½ cup cashews or peanuts
- Chili crisp for drizzling (optional)
Bring a pot of water to a boil for the broccolini and noodles. While the water is coming to a boil, put the coconut milk, broth, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos, shallots and lime zest in a sauce pot and bring to a boil, then simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Set the lime halves aside, you’ll serve them with the soup at the end.
While the broth is cooking, blanch the broccolini first by simmering it in the boiling water for 30 seconds, then transfer it to a bowl of ice water to cool. After it’s cool, drain the broccolini on paper towels.
Next, boil the noodles in the same pot, following the package instructions. When ready, drain the pasta and divide it between large soup bowls. Top the soup with the broccolini and then pour the broth over the noodles. Garnish with the pea shoots, basil, cilantro, nuts and chili crisp, if using. Serve the soup with the lime halves on the side.
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