Thursday, December 30, 2010

#55 Thai Curry Chicken Noodles

We savor all types of modest noodle dishes in our home. The Malaysian Restaurant Panang in our area is a place to eat the most gratifying noodles, red and Panang curries that we love. I always go back to eat their fried squid appetizer and never get tired of it. But, have you ever been to a small "Mom and Pop" little Asian cafe and they served up a simple dish that was so luscious and deceptively filling that you thought to yourself....maybe I should try and conjure up something along the lines of these flavors?? R and I took V to this small restaurant called The Lotus Cafe near the neighborhood of V's school. They served a delightful curried noodle platter that inspired me to come up with this succulent dish loaded with intense Thai flavors. We've heard about curried noodles and especially different versions of Pad Thai noodles considered most popular among food available along the streets of Thailand. They say that the aroma rising from the hot street side woks as the noodles are simmered in the fragrant sauce is impossible to pass without an excruciating urge to satisfy your hunger. I can see why this happens as I cannot resist putting a fork to the wok when I cook this in my own kitchen and the aroma floats around me. The distinctive spices such as kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, fish sauce, galangal and coconut milk make it an authentic Thai feast for anyone like me- who has adoration for Asian flavors. Here is my recipe --

Thai style Chicken Curry Noodles
Chicken- 1 skinless boneless breast sliced thin(as shown in picture).
Whole Baby Corn- 1, 15 oz can
Straw Mushrooms- 1, 15 oz can
Bamboo Shoots sliced- 1, 8 oz can
Red or Yellow peppers- 1 sliced lengthwise
Scallions- 4 stems sliced lengthwise.
Tomato- 1/2 cut up
Carrot- 1 sliced up
NamPrik Maesri Brand Red Curry Paste- 2 Tblspns
(This paste has all the right combination of lemon grass, galangal, red chili, and kaffir lime leaves
Spaghetti Noodles or Chinese Noodles- 1, 14 oz pack
Onions- 1 Sliced lengthwise
Garlic- 4 cloves sliced thin
Ginger- 4 cloves chopped
Lime juice- 3 tblspns
Coconut Milk- 2, 13.5 oz cans
Rice Wine/Mirin- 2 Tblspn
Soy Sauce- 3 Tblspns
Fish Sauce- 3 Tblspns
Salt to taste, Oil for sautéing.

1. The pictures here show the cans used in this dish except for the NamPrik Maesri Curry paste, which is all available a
at any Asian market that sells them.
2. Slice the chicken thin on an angle as shown in the photo and marinate with 1 tspn soy sauce and black pepper.
3. Place a pot on the fire and fill half way with water. Let it come to a boil and add some salt and the spaghetti noodles.
4. Stir well and cook the noodles. Drain well and keep aside.
5. Now, place a large Wok on a medium fire. Add some oil and when it heats up add the chicken and
stir fry well until just cooked but not too tough. Remove the chicken on to a plate and keep aside.
7. In the same Wok, add the Onions, Tomato, ginger, garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
8. Add the Peppers, and drain the bamboo shoots, straw mushrooms and baby corn from the can liquid and add the vegetables.
9. Stir for about 1-2 mins until the water has evaporated. Remove the veggies onto the plate with the chicken and keep aside.
10. To the same Wok, add NamPrik Curry paste, followed by soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, rice wine and may 1/4 cup water.
11. When the sauce starts boiling, lower the cooking level and add the noodles to the sauce.
12. Let the noodles get infused with the flavors of the sauce without overcooking the noodles, and add the coconut milk very slowly making sure it does not curdle.
13. Keep stirring it around the Wok so that the sauce is smooth. Turn off the fire.
14. Add the Chicken and vegetables and scallions and stir well to spread the lovely sauce around. serve topped with herbs or nuts.

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