Is there anything better than a big bowl of Asian noodles? It's up there on my list of favorites, along with chocolate, mashed potatoes and fresh baguette. When I was working as a young social worker in Philadelphia, I had lunch every single day at a no-frills Vietnamese noodle soup (Pho) house. They only served soup and they did it right. I slurped soup there so much that the wait staff insisted that I learn to use chopsticks properly. I love the contrasting textures and flavors of these kinds of soups: tangly noodles, crunchy bean sprouts, tender-crisp veggies and flavorful broth.
As I write this post, I'm enjoying these noodles brimming with spicy green curry, creamy coconut milk, perky lime and peppery basil. I'm so excited to share this recipe with you because I've been perfecting a quick and relatively easy Southeast Asian noodle soup recipe for a very long time. I wanted one that didn't require a trip to the Asian grocery store for ingredients like galangal, lemon grass, fish sauce and kaffir lime leaves. I also wanted it fast. This soup comes together in less than 30 minutes. Best of all, it tastes authentic and delicious! I hope you give this recipe a try and happily slurp away too!
Green Curry Noodle Soup Recipe
Please only use full fat coconut milk for this recipe.
I think the soup has just the right amount of heat, not too spicy but spicy enough to notice.
The trick to making it taste authentic is finding a good green curry paste. I've tried several kinds. Maesri is my favorite. It's well rounded and flavorful. Find one you like. Some seem to have a bitter aftertaste. Made in Thailand, Maesri comes in small cans for convenience. If all you can find is red or yellow curry paste then that's fine too.
Thai basil is just delicious in this soup. It's stronger than regular basil. But regular basil is fine too. Fresh mint would also be lovely.
Rapunzel bouillon is my go-to veggie bouillon for it's clean taste. It's just wonderful! I learned about it from Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks. I find it at Whole Foods or buy online at Amazon. It's a lifesaver for quick soups like this one. But you can swap it and the water for three cups of your favorite broth or stock.
If you're going to want leftovers, keep the noodles separate from the broth. Add them to the soup when you serve it. The broth can be made ahead of time too.
This soup is a great base for protein add-ins like soft tofu, shrimp or thinly sliced chicken.
- 6-ounces of rice noodles
- A large handful of green pea pods or snow peas
- 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
- 4 scallions, diced, reserve the dark green parts for garnish
- 1-2 limes
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 small garlic clove minced. I use a zester for this.
- 1 heaping teaspoon of green curry paste. I use Maesri Brand.
- 2 vegetable bouillon cubes. I use Rapunzel No Salt Vegetable Bouillon.
- 1 can of full fat coconut milk. I use Thai Kitchen Brand.
- Coconut oil or other neutral tasting oil for cooking
- Salt to taste
- 3 cups of water
- To Serve: lime zest, lime wedges, Thai basil or regular basil, fresh mint, Thai chilies, bean sprouts, scallions
Cook the noodles according to the package directions. During the last minute add the peapods to blanch them. You don't have to worry about fully cooking the pea pods or snow peas. You want them to stay crunchy and green. Rinse the noodles and the peapods under cold water. You can stir a little coconut oil to help separate the noodles and keep them from clumping together. Set aside.
Heat a large soup pot on medium with some coconut oil. Saute the green curry paste with the light green parts of the scallions, red bell pepper, ginger and garlic. Cook for about 2-3 minutes to release the flavor of the paste. Then add the coconut milk, water, bouillon cubes and salt to taste. If you're going put some chicken, shrimp or tofu in this soup, add it now. Cover and simmer on low for about 5-8 minutes. Stir in the reserved noodles/peapods and a few squeezes of fresh lime juice. Serve with the reserved green parts of the scallions, Thai basil and bean sprouts or any of the above suggestions.