Thai Yellow Curry (with rice noodles)

January is almost over, and despite 90% of the weather remaining cold and miserable in the UK, lately there have been a few days that have given us all a glimpse of summer. By summer, of course, I mean it’s occasionally been 15 degrees celsius. Which, to be fair, is what British summer days largely consist of. Regardless of how faint, the slightly-more-blue skies, and incremently small raise in temperature have me hopeful and happy – with summer recipes bobbing around in the vast untamed ocean that is my mind (living around Greenwich seems to be turning my metaphors nautical these days). Basking in the summer sun, fresh strawberries and a jug of Pimms, being able to make use of my garden that currently squats woefully grey outside my window – my imagination is rose-tinted and excited.

Unfortunately, reality check!

Whilst this sounds oh-so-serene, all is not quite as joyful as it seems. It turns out, whilst the weather is more likely to be 12 degrees than 2, this also happens to be flu season!

So instead of relishing the nice(ish) weather, I’ve been stuck inside, coughing my lungs out and sniffling day and night. Fun. I’ve only slightly been comforted by the fact that everyone else in my proximity is also ill, and so my fear of missing out isn’t going too wild.

Why am I telling you about the weather and the flu, you ask? Mostly because I like to complain. But partly because this lead to the inspiration behind my yellow Thai curry! (ah yes, did you forget this was a food blog by this point?)

This curry is not only fresh, vibrant, and full of flavour – but will whack whatever cold ailment you have out the park, with a powerful punch of ginger, garlic, chilli, and lemongrass. (Does lemongrass help the flu? Who knows. Tastes good anyhow).

I can not emphasise how making your own curry paste makes a WORLD of difference. Do it. Please. Your taste buds, and health, will thank you. I didn’t have any fresh coriander on hand annoyingly, but I would definitely recommend you add a handful of this to my curry paste recipe if you do.

Also, despite the relatively large ingredients list, and the fact that the curry paste is made from scratch (which before I made, seemed really scary – now I can’t imagine using premade paste ever again!)- my recipe is very simple. I have no idea if this is particularly authentic in the manner in which it is cooked, I would definitely recommend this for those new to the kitchen who perhaps aren’t yet confident in their cooking skills but still care about creating amazing flavours.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 200g rice noodles
  • 350g prawns (frozen or fresh!)
  • 1tbsp vegetable oil (most oils will do, just don’t use olive oil)
  • 400ml can of coconut milk
  • 1 medium carrot, the whole carrot peeled into shreds
  • 125g baby corn, sliced lengthways in quarters
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 green pepper, thinly sliced
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 120g bamboo shoots
  • 200ml tinned chopped tomatoes (1/2 a can)
  • 1 Thai chilli (I used half of one red, half of one green), finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp miso Paste
  • 1tbsp turmeric
  • 1 lime worth of lime juice, plus one lime quartered to serve
  • 1 Mango, cut into small chunks

For the curry paste

  • 2 stalks lemongrass, bulb and light green bit thinly sliced
  • Thumb sized chunk of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 4 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 small Thai chilli, chopped
  • 1tsp dried coriander
  • 1tsp cumin
  • 1tbsp vegetable oil

To make the curry paste: Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until a smooth paste forms, scraping from the sides when necessary. If you don’t have a food processor, I also see no reason why you can’t just chop everything very small and add them anyway – it won’t be a paste, but it’ll taste good!

Method

  1. First prepare the rice noodles by soaking in boiling water for 10-12 minutes, then quickly draining and rinsing in cold water so they don’t cook any longer. (Just follow the packet instructions though, if it says something different, do that!)
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wok or large saucepan, and add all the vegetables (including the chilli and bamboo shoots – are they vegetables? I heard that chillies are actually fruit???), miso paste, the freshly made curry paste, turmeric, and the lime juice. Stir fry for a couple minutes, and then add the thick creamy part of the coconut milk can (should be the top half of the can). Stir this round, breaking it apart, until well incorporated.
  3. Add the rest of the coconut milk, and chopped tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, and then reduce heat. Keep stirring for another couple minutes.
  4. Add the prawns, bring to a simmer once more, and stir fry till pink and cooked.
  5. Once the prawns are done, take off the heat and add half the mango chunks, the rice noodles, and combine everything thoroughly.
  6. Serve with the other mango chunks, the quartered lime, and if desired, more thinly sliced chilli.

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