I love Thai food, but it’s virtually impossible to get in the region I’m currently living in (the closest is in Amsterdam, and in these times that’s not going to happen). There aren’t any specialty Asian food stores, but we can get jarred lemongrass, which does the trick in a pinch.
A friend said something the other day about how this kind of dish is not even close to a resemblance of what it should look/taste like without lemongrass. If you can get it fresh, all the better. So this is kind of a northern European in the boonies yellow curry, and it’s pretty good for what it is.
I make this curry noodle soup all the time in summer, especially when it’s quite hot out – it only takes a few minutes to cook, so barely heats the house as a result. More often with plain rice noodles instead of the fancy black ones, but you know. Aesthetics.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Rice noodles: any rice noodles, or any other kind of pasta, really, can be used here. I am partial to udon noodles if I don’t have rice noodles but even spaghetti works in a pinch.
- Greens: baby spinach, rucola (arugula/rocket), or even chard or kale can be used as the green. Frozen is good too, just thaw it in the hot broth before adding the rice noodles. You can also add a bit of fresh cilantro if you’d like.
- Vegetable broth: water can replace the broth, just make sure to season properly.
- Lime juice: lemon juice is not comparable to lime here so if you can’t get fresh limes (I often can’t) then use bottled lime juice instead.
- Lemongrass: if you’re using fresh lemongrass, a couple stalks should do it.
Rice noodles will turn into a soggy mess if they’re left in broth for any length of time. If you know you’ll have leftovers, keep the noodles and the curry broth separate. To reheat, only heat the broth, and serve it over the noodles instead of combining them.
There is a good chance that your rice noodles will stick together if they’re not added to the broth immediately. Don’t worry if they do. They should un-stick as soon as they’re added to liquid again.
If large pieces of ginger and garlic sound unappealing to you, either mince or finely grate them instead. Fresh turmeric can be grated and added alongside these if you have it, instead of using dried.
- Sear the mushrooms: cooking the mushrooms first draws the water out more effectively and makes for a better taste and texture.
- Fry the spices: this improves the flavour and aroma, and is better than adding them to the broth.
- Season to taste: try the soup broth before serving and make sure it has enough salt and acid to suit your tastes, adding if needed.
More Quick Meals
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Vegan Yellow Curry Noodle Bowls
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 100 grams button mushrooms, sliced
- ½ medium sized yellow onion thinly sliced
- 150 grams carrots or 2 medium sized carrots, cut into matchsticks
- 150 grams red pepper or 1 medium sized, cut into matchsticks
- 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1 thumb ginger thinly sliced (about 5 cm or 2 inches)
- 2 tablespoons lemongrass paste
- ¾ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste
- 250 ml vegetable broth or water
- 125 ml full-fat coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
- Juice of a lime ~2 tablespoons
- 30 grams baby greens
- 100 grams rice noodles cooked according to package instructions
- In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes to sear them and draw out the water, avoiding stirring.1 teaspoon coconut oil, 100 grams button mushrooms, sliced
- Stir in the onion and cook for another minute to soften. Add the carrots, and cook for another two minutes, stirring, followed by the red pepper, garlic, and ginger. Cook for another minute, until fragrant.1/2 medium sized yellow onion, 150 grams carrots, 150 grams red pepper, 4 cloves garlic, 1 thumb ginger
- Add the lemongrass, turmeric, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper, and stir for 30 seconds. Add the vegetable stock and coconut milk.2 tablespoons lemongrass paste, 3/4 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 250 ml vegetable broth, 125 ml full-fat coconut milk
- Bring the broth to a low boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer with the lid on for 15-20 minutes, or until the carrots are softened.
- While the broth is simmering, cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions. Once they’re finished, strain and divide between two bowls.
- Add the coconut sugar and lime juice, then taste and add extra seasoning as needed. Stir in the baby greens and serve immediately, ladled over the rice noodles.1 teaspoon coconut sugar, Juice of a lime, 30 grams baby greens, 100 grams rice noodles
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
This post was originally published in March 2018. It has been updated with improvements to the text and recipe as of August 2020.