Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Coconut Curry Chicken Noodle Bowl

Without a doubt in my mind I can say that noodles are the royalty of all comfort food. Oh so you think chili's and stews are the royalty of all comfort food? Well get the heck out because you're wrong! haha I kid...kind of. What makes noodles the top of the crop in terms of comfort food for myself at least is the fact that noodles can be served in so many different ways, all of which are guaranteed to be delicious and satisfying! Whether it's spaghetti and fresh from-the-garden tomato sauce or a big ol' bowl of piping hot ramen, noodles are are like that hug from your mom at the end of a really bad day...except hugs from mom don't exactly fill a hungry belly. 

When I'm in the midst of a rough week all I seem to crave are noodles, which means either whipping up a big pot of homemade pasta, or ordering Asian takeout. More often than not I find myself making pasta over ordering in as an attempt at saving money and perhaps eating ever so slightly healthier, being able to control exactly what's going into my food. Making my own Asian noodles had never been an option for me, as I was intimidated by both the ingredients and techniques from a cuisine that I had not grown up making. It's felt easy picking up recipes from cultures such as Greece, Italy, Poland, etc. having grown up around the same types of flavours and cooking techniques, but with so many unique ingredients, cooking tools, and methods in Asian cuisine I have always chosen to leave the cooking to the pros. 

With such a love for Asian cuisine, I was itching to find a great noodle dish that I could rely on to become a mid-week staple for my boyfriend and I to nip that comfort food noodle craving right in the bud! After scouring Pinterest for more than I care to admit to even myself, I found two delicious-sounding Thai noodle recipes that seemed simple to execute and featured flavours that I was familiar with, many of which I already had on hand. With a lot of skepticism, I combined the two recipes to create something that I thought may be a good start for my intro to Asian cuisine. Though I was so sure that my first attempt at Asian noodles would end up tasting very "white" and like it missing something, I was so pleasantly surprised at how my Coconut Curry Chicken Noodle Bowls turned out! Featuring that same punch of flavour found at my favourite Thai restaurants, these noodles were incredibly addictive and satisfied my craving for comforting Asian noodles. The rich coconut-infused sauce hugged every noodle and kept its intensity even upon reheating the following day! Despite my previous apprehensions over making Asian noodles, I have a newfound confidence thanks to such a successful first attempt! I am really proud of how this dish turned out and am so excited to hear what you think of it! Give it a try in your own kitchen and let me know how it went on Twitter: @thisgingerrose

  • To speed up the softening of the noodles, soak them in boiling water until softened.
Recipe adapted from Pinch of Yum and Bon Appetit
4 ounces rice noodles
1 Tbsp. peanut or vegetable oil
2 shallots, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. ginger, minced
1 Tbsp cilantro stems, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. red curry paste
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground turmeric 
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. hot chili paste (Sambal Oelek)
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, halved lengthwise
1 Tbsp. peanut or vegetable oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 cup broccoli florets
1 large carrot, long slices peeled with a vegetable peeler
1 cup snow peas, trimmed
2 Tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. lightly toasted peanuts, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges (for serving)

  1. Soak noodles in very hot water until softened. Rinse and drain. Begin this right at the start of cooking as noodles will take some time to soften. See above note for more info. 
  2. In a large saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp. oil. Add shallots, garlic, ginger, and cilantro stems and stir fry for about 3-4 minutes, or until shallot has softened and is translucent. 
  3. Add curry paste, coriander, and turmeric and stir-fry for 1-minute.
  4. Add coconut milk, sugar, chili paste, fish sauce, and soy sauce and stir. Add broth and chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25-minutes, until chicken is fork tender.
  5. Transfer chicken to a plate and shred with 2 forks. Add back to sauce.
  6. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbso oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, broccoli, carrot, and snow peas and stir fry for 5-minutes. Add sauce, noodles, and 2 Tbso. cilantro and toss to combine. Serve in bowls topped with additional cilantro, peanuts, and a lime wedge. 
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