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Curry Mee (Coconut Curry Noodle Soup)

sundayslowsoupersThis recipe came from Marta of Postcards From the Trail who found it in a New York Times article called "From Asia, Rapture in a Bowl."

I agree with the rapture part - I loved this soup. Thanks to Marta for choosing this one because I probably wouldn't have put the effort into tracking down all the ingredients otherwise. Now that I've got a little stash of supplies, I can't wait to make it again. I made mine with shrimp instead of chicken. Really delicious.

Nice preparation photos are on Marta's blog. Recipe and my notes are below.

And in other big news....my Tar Heels are in the Final Four! Woo hoo! It's been an exciting weekend of basketball. What a great tournament this is....two weeks ago, there were 65 teams and now there are four. To win a National Championship, you have to win six games in a row and every game, you face a tougher opponent. We've won four, now two more to go. Best of all, the guys are playing SO well...they truly look like a championship team. Next game is Saturday. Go Heels!

curry mee

Marta writes:

My selection is from a recent NY Times recipe. It is pretty spicy (hot) so you might want to adjust the chili paste depending upon your taste. I also typically make it using 1/2 pound of medium prawns instead of the chicken. You could also use both which is more typical of soup in Malaysia. It usually had a little bit of shredded chicken and a couple of prawns.

Coconut Curry Chicken Noodle Soup (Curry Mee)
Time: 45 minutes

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced lemon grass or pale green cilantro roots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dark red chili paste, such as sambal, more for serving
3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken thigh or breast meat, thinly sliced and cut into bite-size pieces
3 tablespoons curry powder, preferably Malaysian, Thai or Vietnamese
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 can (14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup half-and-half
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar, more to taste
About 12 kaffir lime leaves or curry leaves, fresh or frozen (optional)
8 ounces dried thin rice noodles (bun or vermicelli), or other Asian noodles such as udon or lai fun
Salt to taste
1 cup bean sprouts
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 scallions, cut into thin rings
2 shallots, thinly sliced and deep fried in vegetable oil until brown (optional)
Quartered limes for serving.

1. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onion, ginger and lemon grass and cook, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Do not brown; reduce heat if necessary. Add garlic and chili paste and stir until fragrant. Raise heat, add chicken and stir-fry one minute. Add curry powder and paprika and stir to coat. Then add coconut milk, half-and-half, chicken stock, turmeric, fish sauce, sugar and lime or curry leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 7 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cook rice noodles in boiling water according to package directions (about 4 minutes). Rinse and drain.

3. Taste broth and adjust seasonings with salt and sugar. Divide noodles into large soup bowls. Bring broth to a boil, then ladle over noodles. Top with bean sprouts, cilantro, scallions and fried shallots, if using. Pass limes and sambal at the table.

Yield: 4 main-course servings.

Note: To make this rich soup more substantial, boiled potatoes are sometimes added to the simmering broth and cooked until very soft.

My notes:

I used udon noodles and low-fat coconut milk. Couldn't find fresh lemongrass so used zest instead.

I left out the half and half, and the optional lime leaves.

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Comments (11)

Annie, your soup looks great. I made it with shrimp too.It was a delicious soup.
And yay for the Tar Heels! I watched beat Gonzaga the other night, very good game they played.My Spokane friends were cheering for Gonzaga of course, but I was "secretly' routing for the Heels.

Candi, that's awesome that you were secretly pulling for the Heels! There are lots of happy people in my office today (and the Carolina haters are being very very quiet). :)

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Annie, your soup looks so delicious. And kudos on making it. It does seem to have a lot of ingredients to it but by looking at your photo, the results seem so well worth it to make.

And I big congrats to your Tar Heels on making it to the final four! Whoo hoo! Sounds like you had an awesome basketball weekend! Go Heels!

Have a great day Annie!

Kathy, thanks! It does have a lot of ingredients but it comes together pretty quickly once you get going.

And thanks for the "Go Heels!"

Barb Cabot:

Annie, I made this soup too though I'm not a Sunday slow souper. It's the first of all the recipes I've made. I had fun prepping it and shopping for the ingredients at our local asian market. That in itself was an experience. I never knew there could be so many brands of soy sauce and Fish sauce.
Congrats on your basketball team's victory's. I'm glad it made for a great weekend.

Hi Barb, I had fun shopping for the ingredients too. I wasn't sure about a few things I bought but it came out great. Glad you enjoyed it too!

Yes, it was a great weekend. And now we've got a whole week of anticipation for the next game...

I want to make this soup with shrimp but I’m not too crazy about coconut milk. Do you think I can just skip it?

I don’t usually watch sports (except the Olympic Games) but I have been reading the headlines. So, a big YAY to your Tar Heels on making it to the final four. I can imagine how excited everyone must be.

Hmm, I'm not sure Maria. The coconut milk wasn't really a strong part of the flavor but it did give the soup some body...I say it's worth a try esp. if you've got some good stock. And thanks for the YAY...I was just working on a post about how exciting it is to be in NC right now!

I’m going to try it cutting in half the amount of coconut milk. I like coconut but not the “milk” unless it is sweetened (for Piña Colada!).

Let me know how it turns out. As soon as it's ice cream weather, I'm going to make your Pina Colada sorbet!

my very favaourite dish, made this on friday night check out my version

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