Golden Coconut Curry Noodle Bowls

March 07, 2018

This is a bit of a cheater yellow curry that's made without lemongrass, soy sauce, or anything else that I don't usually have in my kitchen. It's a simple vegan golden noodle curry made with coconut milk, lots of ginger, turmeric, and packed with veggies. I chose black rice noodles because they're the same price as regular and create a beautiful contrast, but any noodles will be fine, just try to choose a whole grain one like brown rice or whole wheat. I love Thai and other Southeast Asian foods but I just don't have all of the ingredients around all the time - I do always have turmeric, ginger, and coconut milk, and this way if you don't cook a lot of Asian dishes, you can still make this without a bottle of Tamari collecting dust in the back of your pantry that you buy for one recipe. It's great for people who don't eat soy (hi), and despite paring down the ingredient list, there definitely isn't any flavour lost here. 

I made this like a stir fry minus the wok, because I don't have one, but it speeds up the cooking time. Everything is cut into matchsticks or slices and cooked in a certain order so that it's finished within a few minutes. The most time consuming part is cutting, but if you have kids you can always do what my mom did and get them to do the prep work! I had some red pepper left over from a photography job I did and although I usually wouldn't include it in a recipe in March, it tasted pretty great. Changing up the veggies for the seasons but keeping the coconut broth base will work really well, I think, and I can't wait to make this again with some spring produce. Because this recipe isn't packed with protein, I had an egg alongside and stirred some cooked chickpeas in for Graham. If you can eat soy, tofu would be a good option, or use a high protein legume-based pasta. 

Clearly, if you can't tell from my lack of wok and most of the ingredients usually associated with a yellow curry, this isn't meant to be an authentic recipe. I'm adapting to what I can get here and my personal tastes - and it tastes a lot better than curry paste that comes in a jar. This recipe is for two (or one very hungry person) but can easily be increased to suit your family. Noodles are always better than rice, right?

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Golden Coconut Curry Noodle Bowls
Serves two

1 teaspoon coconut oil
100 grams / 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
60 grams / 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
150 grams / 2 medium carrots, matchsticks
150 grams / 1 medium red pepper, matchsticks 
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced*
1 thumb ginger, thinly sliced
3/4 teaspoon turmeric*
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
250ml / 1 cup vegetable stock or water
125ml / 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 teaspoon coconut sugar
Juice of a lime (~2 tablespoons)*
30 grams / 1 cup baby greens
100 grams rice noodles, cooked according to package instructions

In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium. Add the mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes to draw out the water. Stir in the onion and cook for another minute to soften. Add the carrots, cook for another two minutes, stirring, followed by the red pepper, garlic, and ginger. Cook for another minute, then add the spices and stir for 30 seconds. Add the vegetable stock and coconut milk.

Bring the broth to a low boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer with the lid on for 20-25 minutes, or until the carrots are softened. Add the lime juice and coconut sugar, then taste and add extra seasoning as needed. Stir in the noodles and greens and serve immediately.

• I'm sure you can cook the noodles right in the broth, but I haven't tried it yet - if you want to, just add some extra broth or coconut milk so that there's enough liquid for them.
• If you cook your rice noodles a little early and have to set them aside, they'll probably stick together. That's happened to me a couple of times, but as soon as they're added to the broth they come apart easily.
• One more noodle tip. If you're going to have leftovers, don't mix the noodles into the broth. They soak up too much liquid and everything gets a bit unpleasant. Keep them separate and add the noodles just before you eat instead.
• Spinach is my favourite choice here but when I wanted to shoot this recipe there wasn't any at the grocery store. Any baby greens work, just use what you have, even frozen spinach.
• Some turmeric can be a little on the bitter side and it's more noticeable here because it's the main spice, so you might need to add a little extra coconut sugar when you check the seasoning at the end of the cooking time.

1. If you're a little wary about big pieces of garlic and ginger, mince them instead. 
2. If you can get fresh turmeric, use a half teaspoon of grated turmeric instead of dried.
3. It seems to be impossible to find organic limes here, so I use bottled lime juice. Other citrus just doesn't work, it really has to be lime.

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