This is my favourite recipe of all time*. (*Until I find my next favourite.)
Those of you who watch my Instagram Stories will probably recognise it. I’m currently making this Thai chicken noodle soup at least once a week, and more if I’m feeling particularly lazy and/or in need of comfort.
Because is there anything more comforting than a bowl of warm, creamy, limey, Thai-spiced soup, stuffed to the brim with noodles and chicken and vitamins and peanuts?
No. No, there is not.
I’m obsessed with Thai food. Ever since I had my first pad thai at Busaba Eathai last year, I’ve not been able to stop.
There’s just something about their flavour combinations which blows my mind. Salty peanut butter, creamy sweet coconut, fiery red curry paste, a savoury umami note of fish sauce, and a reaaaaally big squeeze of tangy lime juice, to bring it all together…
Throw in some crushed peanuts for extra crunch, and you’ve got yourself a great big bowl of warm comfy goodness!
This recipe actually started out as a curry-rice-bowl-thing. I was making a Thai chicken curry and rice for dinner one night, and at the last minute decided to add the rice in to the curry, instead of spooning it over the top. Then, a few weeks later I threw in some egg noodles, instead of the rice, and it became the “soup” you see below.
I say “soup” because I am a noodle fiend and prefer more noodles than soup. But that’s the great thing about this recipe: you can make it as soupy or as noodley as you like! If you prefer more liquid, just throw in some more stock. Want your noodles to be dry? Add in less stock. Simple.
As for the curry paste, I’m sure there are much fancier/better ones out there (you could even try making your own!) but I’ve just been using Sainsbury’s own brand, which is about £1.40 a jar.
The red paste has more kick to it than a green curry paste does, so if you prefer a milder taste just substitute it for green. (However, I find the coconut milk and vegetable stock balance out the spiciness really well anyway. It’s up to you!)
Finally: the spinach. I adore frozen spinach. We always have at least two bags of it stocked in the freezer at all times, and I use it constantly.
Fresh spinach is fantastic in salads, smoothies, and some pasta dishes, but for the most part: I prefer actually cooking with frozen. It’s cheaper (£1 for a giant 1kg bag in Sainsbury’s), bulkier, and as it’s already chopped, it cuts a whole load of time off your prep work!
THAI CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
- 2 nests of medium egg noodles
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 red pepper
- 6-8 balls of frozen spinach
- 3 tbsp red curry paste
- 1 tin coconut milk
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp peanut butter (crunchy is best!)
- 1 lime
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 250ml (about half a pint) vegetable stock
1. Put a pan of hot water on the hob. Once it’s boiling, add a generous pinch of salt, and your noodle nests. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until just tender, then drain and rinse with cold water (this will stop the cooking process, so your noodles don’t go mushy!).
2. Slice your red pepper in half, remove the seeds, and cut into thin strips. Chop the chicken breasts into bitesize pieces.
3. Heat a large deep frying pan, and once it’s hot: add the coconut oil. Once it’s melted and sizzling, add the chicken and red pepper to the pan. Fry for 8-10 minutes, until the chicken is golden on the outside, and perfectly white on the inside (slice a piece open if you’re not sure!).
4. Add the curry paste, and stir fry with the chicken on a medium heat for 2 minutes. Then throw in the coconut milk and peanut butter, and stir it all in until the peanut butter is dissolved and the sauce starts to gently bubble.
5. Once it’s simmering: add the frozen spinach. Let the spinach melt and dissolve slowly into the sauce, then add the fish sauce, the lime juice, and the stock. Stir it all thoroughly. Check the taste and adjust accordingly (I always have to add more lime at this point!)
6. Add the cooked noodles to the pan, and carefully stir them into the soup.
7. Serve with a wedge of lime and a sprinkling of crushed peanuts.
So there you have it: my Thai chicken noodle soup recipe.
It’s no pad thai or massaman curry… but it will hit the spot until I can save up for those flights!