Recipe, words, and photos by Melissa (@seasonserveblog)
While we may have lots of time at home these days to cook and experiment with new recipes while staying at home, sometimes you just want a quick and easy meal made with just a few ingredients. Or even better, a quick and easy meal made with ingredients that you already have in your fridge and pantry!
These Thai Red Curry Noodles are super simple and come together in under 20 minutes. Plus this recipe can be easily adapted to use whatever vegetables you have in your fridge as well as to any vegan, vegetarian, or pescatarian diet.
Exploring the Fridge and Pantry
If you take a look in your fridge and pantry, I guarantee that you will find a few ingredients that you’ve had in there for a long time. In the fridge, my condiment drawers on the door of my fridge is the main culprit, as it often has a mix of frequently used condiments and sauces, or really old ones that have only been used one or twice. Similarly, when I dive into the depths of my cupboards I discover a whole bunch of ingredients that I bought with a good intention of using, but have since forgotten about them.
When exploring these areas of my kitchen to get inspiration for a new (quarantine-friendly) recipe, I came across two items that many of you probably have in your kitchen right now: a half-opened jar of Thai red curry paste and some sort of rice noodles.
Perhaps they are leftovers from a warm red curry recipe or a pho recipe you made during the wintertime. Or perhaps they’re from ages before that. Regardless, get them out of your fridge and pantry (along with just a few other ingredients) and use them up in this spicy and comforting recipe!
Building Flavours and Texture
The most flavourful part of this recipe (apart from the Thai red curry paste) is the rich and creamy coconut milk that makes a rich and velvety sauce. Rather than adding the can of coconut milk to the pan, reducing the coconut milk helps to concentrate it’s flavours and starts you off with a great sauce automatically!
Additionally, while the vegetables offer a nice crunch and the noodles add softness, the chicken adds an interesting lightness and fluffiness due to a quick and easy marinade. Baking soda and soy sauce are the trick to getting that “fluffy” chicken texture that you often find in Asian restaurants, and goes great in this recipe. You can also use this marinade on beef or pork as well, but I’d steer clear of adding this to any fish.
Some Easy Substitutions
To put it simply, if you have Thai red curry paste, coconut milk, and rice noodles, you can make this recipe. While I added chicken as the main protein in this recipe, you can also add firm tofu that has been cubed and fried, or some peeled and deveined shrimp. Or if you want to amp up the protein, add in a few eggs to the stir fry to make it extra filling!
Alternatively, you could also make it exclusively with vegetables and use whatever you like or have on hand! Broccoli, carrots, gai lan, choy sum, and cabbage would make great substitutions in this recipe as well.
I hope that you enjoy this recipe and have fun making this at home!
Recipe: Thai Red Curry Noodles
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 can coconut milk (full fat)
- 2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced (or substitute with beef, cubed tofu, or peeled and deveined shrimp)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 4 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- Water, for boiling
- ½ package (200 g) rice noodles (wide noodles are best)
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
- 3 cups baby bok choy, leaves removed
- 2 scallions, chopped into 2-inch pieces
- Lime, for garnish
Begin by reducing your coconut milk. Add the whole can of coconut milk to a small pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and let the coconut milk simmer and reduce while you prepare the rest of the dish. Stir the coconut occasionally to avoid it burning on the bottom.
Next, prepare the chicken. Add the thinly sliced chicken breasts to a medium-sized bowl followed by the baking soda and soy sauce. Mix to combine and set aside to marinate for 5 minutes.
While the chicken is marinating, bring a large pot of water to a boil and chop your vegetables to get them ready for frying.
Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil followed by the chicken. Fry the chicken for 2 minutes per side or until golden brown and just cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside on a plate.
Next, add your rice noodles to the pot. Reduce the cooking time indicated on the package by 2 minutes to make the noodles al dente.
Place the pan back on the stove and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Once the oil has melted, add the Thai red curry paste and fry for one minute or until fragrant. Then add the red bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes, or until the pepper has begun to soften slightly.
Add chicken back to the pan followed by the sugar and reduced coconut milk to the pan and mix everything to combine. Then add the bok choy, followed by the al dente rice noodles. Use tongs to transfer the noodles directly from the pot to the pan rather than draining them. Plus, the extra bit of cooking water will help thin out the sauce slightly.
Once all your noodles are added, toss everything to combine. Serve immediately with a garnish of chopped scallions and a wedge of lime.