A few of my favourite things

by Jax on November 29, 2012

Forget raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…lemongrass on coriander and chilli on garlic – they might not rhyme, but these are definitely a few of my favourite things.

A few of my favourite things
As long as you can source the ingredients that is. Although you may lose a little of the flavour, I have had some success making this Nigel Slater recipe for a lipsmackingly tasty aromatic thai style noodle soup with dried alternatives, but fresh is best if available.

It takes a few minutes to make the paste – for which I use my Chef’n VeggiChop, and the rest is easy peasy.I never bother being too precise with the ingredients, and because chillies vary so much in strength I usually find it tastes slightly different every time I make it anyway – but never less than very tasty.ThaiPaste.gif

It’s technically not a one pan dish as you need to cook the noodles too – but this can be done in a bowl as they just need to be covered with boiling water and left to stand. Sometimes if I’ve got some left over chicken I’ll split the aromatic soup at the end and turn it into a chicken version for the geek, though I guess you could make it proper veggie with mushrooms or sugar snap peas if you like.

Thai inspired Noodle Soup

A good knob of fresh root ginger, peeled (you can do this by scraping with a teaspoon), and roughly chopped
1-2 red chillies (remove the seeds if you don’t like it too hot), roughly chopped
1-2 stalks lemongrass, tough outer leaves removed, roughly chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 handful fresh coriander, (reserve a few sprigs), chopped
a glug or 2 of vegetable or ground nut oil
1 tbsp of coriander seeds
1-2 pinches of ground turmeric (careful not to spill this, it stains everything yellow!)
a small jug of vegetable stock (I usually use about 1/3 litre)
rice noodles for 2
1x400ml can of coconut milk
1 large handful of raw peeled tiger prawns (or any raw prawns, but I have also made it with cooked ones if that’s all I can find)
a few splashes of Thai fish sauce to taste

Blend (VeggiChop) the chilli, garlic, lemongrass and coriander until quite finely chopped, adding a little oil if the paste is too dry (which it invariably is).

Add the paste to a large shallow pan and cook for a few minutes to release the aromas, stirring frequently. Roughly crush some coriander seeds with a pestle and mortar and add to the paste with a pinch or two of turmeric and the vegetable stock and simmer for a few minutes.

Meanwhile pour some boiling water over the noodles in a bowl and leave to soften – about 4 minutes, then drain and set aside.

To soften the heat of the sauce add the coconut milk to the pan and bring back to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer while you devein the prawns if necessary, then add them to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until pink and tender, finishing off with splashes of fish sauce to taste (I have also added a dash of lime juice, and/or palm sugar – everyone’s taste is different) and more chopped coriander.

Divide the drained noodles between two bowls and ladle over the soup with the prawns and serve straight away.

Thai Inspired Noodle Soup

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