Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Thai Red Curry Chicken Soup

This soup ticks a lot of boxes -- it's easy, healthy, and also lots of fun! I love dishes where you get to build your own plate or bowl.  Each person can add more or less noodles, chicken, and toppings as they like, which just makes the whole meal more fun.  The components come together quickly.  Start with chicken broth spiked with red curry, lime juice, and fish sauce.  Chicken breasts get simmered in the broth, and then combined with noodles or rice.  We used thin maifun rice noodles that are simply softened in hot water, but you can use thicker rice noodles, white or brown rice, or even thin spaghetti if you prefer -- just get the water boiling to cook them before you start on the soup.  Toppings are not optional here; this soup definitely needs the hit of freshness and texture that it gets from herbs and scallions.  You can mix up the herbs here: any combination of mint, cilantro, and/or basil will be tasty, so this is a great recipe for using up the end of bunches that are left from other recipes.

Thai Red Curry Chicken Soup (adapted from Serious Eats)
Serves 4

2 tsp vegetable oil
2 T Thai red curry paste
6 cups chicken broth (more as needed)
2 T fish sauce (more as needed)
2 T sugar (more as needed)
2 T fresh lime juice (more as needed)
10 ounces chicken breast, cut into 3-4 pieces
Cooked rice noodles, rice, or thin spaghetti, to serve
Chopped basil, cilantro, and/or mint, to serve
Sliced scallions, to serve

1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat, until hot,  Add the curry paste and cook, pressing it into the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, until fragrant and sizzling, about 1 minute.  Whisk in the broth, fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice.  Add the chicken.
2. Bring to a simmer, and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
3. Remove the chicken to a cutting board, using tongs.  Carefully cut into small chunks (using a fork or tongs to hold down the chicken so you don't burn yourself).
4. Taste the broth, and add more borth, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, or salt as needed.
5. Build your soup bowls.  In the bottom of each bowl, layer noodles or rice and chicken.  Pour over some of the broth.  Then top with chopped herbs and sliced scallions and enjoy right away!
6. If you have leftovers, store the noodles or rice in one container, the broth and chicken in another, and the herbs and scallions in a third -- reheat and then combine when ready to eat.

1 comment:

  1. This is the perfect winter dinner! Red curry paste sounds like a wonderful addition to soup!