Soupy Thai Green Curry with noodles (slow cooked)

As you are probably aware, soup is probably my ultimate comfort food. When I have had a bad day or I am feeling under the weather I always turn to soup for comfort. As much as I love cake (I discussed getting a tattoo of cake to cement my love of it) it was soup that cured my broken heart last September.

This recipe is another slow cooker recipe and is an adaption of the Malaysian style chicken soup I made in September. This one obviously packs more of a punch in the spice department and the coconut milk adds more of a richness to the mix. They do suggest feeding a cold, right? Anyway, this is a beauty of a recipe for a dark, drizzly evening. You can of course make your own curry paste but I used shop bought.

To make this you will need:

1 medium chicken

1/2 a lemon

Cold water

A thumb sized piece of ginger

2 cloves garlic

2 tbsps Thai green curry paste

An onion

250ml vegetable stock

Butternut squash – 1/2 a smaller squash or the neck of a bigger one

Rice noodles

1 can coconut milk

1 tbsp fish sauce

2 large pak choi or 3 smaller ones

Heat your slow cooker on low. Put your chicken in the slow cooker breast side down. Crush your garlic, peel and slice your ginger and onion, and add to your slow cooker along with your lemon and curry paste. Cover everything with your cold water and heat on low for 6-8 hours.

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Not so pretty at this point, eh?

After your chicken has cooked remove from the liquid and allow to cool slightly. Peel and chop your butternut squash into 1cm cubed pieces. Use a sieve to strain your liquid into a large pan. Add your vegetable stock at this point and heat your butternut squash in the liquid.

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Pick your chicken off the bones and add to the liquid again. Discard any skin and bones. Add your coconut milk and fish sauce to this. If your pan gets too full (like mine did) put some of the soup into another pan.

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Once your butternut squash is tender (after about 10 minutes) add your rice noodles. Once these are cooked slice the bottom off your pak choi to release the leaves. Cook the pak choi in the soup for about 1 minute then serve.

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You should feel your spirits lift and your sinuses clear in no time at all.

Attempting a vegan recipe – “Thai style” tofu noodle soup

Now as any regular reader know from my regular fish and steak posts (and related consumption) I am not exactly about to go vegan, but I do eat a lot of vegetarian and vegan meals by choice – I’d far rather eat more vegetable based meals a week and eat meal of a higher quality and welfare standard. Anyway, I digress. Inspired by a couple of vegan blogs I follow and also a man at my gym who regularly wears a t-shirt with the slogan “all this was built on tofu” I decided to knowingly attempt a vegan meal. Now this wasn’t easy, and I take my hat off to anybody who follows the vegan lifestyle by choice.

Now this recipe I use vegetable stock. I had no idea that some vegetable stock cubes contain fish products or egg. Fortunately mine contained neither but if I were to make this for an actual vegan I’d definitely make my stock from scratch just to be sure. I bought a Thai spice and seasoning mix from Asda containing birdseye chillies, ginger, garlic, galangal and lemongrass (far better for peace of mind than using my usual curry paste). I did use tofu, which is probably partially cheating as I’m told it shouldn’t be too much of a staple (forgive me, I’m new to this!) but next time I’ll cook something lentil based.

Anyway, enough of a foreword from me, here is what you need to make this recipe:

Rice noodles (I used vermicelli ones)

2 pints of vegetable stock

3 baby pak choi or 2 normal sized ones

5 or 6 shitake mushrooms (or any other kind you fancy)

Tofu

4 spring onions

2 cloves garlic

Soy sauce

Lemongrass

The juice of half a lemon

2 bird eye chillis (be careful chopping them if you wear contact lenses, chillies burn!)

(This makes 3 decent sized portions or 4 smaller portions).

Chop the tofu and mushrooms up into bitesized pieces. Slice the garlic and spring onions and chilli and cut the pak choi into 1.5 inch pieces. Put the pak choi to one side, it needs less cooking than everything else.

Obligatory shot of chopped food
Obligatory shot of chopped food

Fry the spring onions and garlic until they are soft and fragrant.

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Add the tofu and the mushrooms and fry for 2-3 minutes.

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Why did the tofu cross the road?
To prove he wasn’t chicken

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Pour the stock in the pan. Crush the lemongrass, slice the chillies and add them to the pan along with a good splash of soy sauce and grated ginger. Taste the soup and if you think it needs it add more seasoning (be aware the flavour develops a little over time).

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So apparently I make brown food a lot

Simmer the soup for at least 15 minutes. Taste and re-season accordingly. Add the lemon juice as this freshens up the flavour. Add the noodles and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the pak choi and cook for a further minute.

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Relax and eat enjoy your soup.

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So apparently I was too hungry to take an in focus picture? Note the tactical positioning of the pak choi.

The Buddha Lounge

The Buddha Lounge is one of my all time favourite restaurants. Last week we went there to celebrate my mother’s birthday Now I was so wrapped up in eating out and spending time with my family and J that I didn’t actually take any photos (silly me). Rest assured the food is delicious and beautifully presented and the staff cannot do enough for you.

I had seafood sizzling starter, massaman curry and pad Thai noodles which were gorgeous and we all left nursing food babies.

The Buddha Lounge operates as two restaurants in Ramsbottom (where we went) and Whitefield. I think both serve Thai food and Cantonese food, but honestly I’m too in love with the Thai food to try the Cantonese.. If I had one piece of advice it would be: go there.

If you are planning on visiting this restaurant you might want to book, especially at the weekend. You can find out about the restaurant contact details and restaurant locations (and see some actual images in the gallery) here.