I was looking through the March 2013 Bon Appétit magazine and came to this photo of a soup showing noodles, chicken, cilantro and lime wedges. The broth looked redish and creamy. I had to make it. Any dish that has lime wedges squeezed over it is totally irresistible to me.
What is so intriguing about this curry is that it contains guajillo chiles, which are used in Mexican cooking. They are the chiles that are the basis of enchilada sauce. Do you suppose a Thai tourist in Mexico picked up some guajillo chiles, took them back to Thailand and was trying to figure out some way to use them, and consequently they ended up in the curry paste. I am not complaining, believe me. The flavor is amazing.
This is my platter with all the toppings. I served this wonderful soup at a small dinner party and they loved it. We ate with chopsticks and Asian soup spoons, which added some hilarity to the evening. I made the soup the day before and reheated it to serve. The noodles, which I bought at the 99 Ranch Market, are really handy because you cook them, drain, run under cold water and hold at room temperature in the pan. The soup is complex with coconut milk, guajilo chiles, shallots, garlic, fresh ginger, cilantro stems and ground coriander, turmeric and curry powder. Before serving, fish sauce and palm sugar are added. If you are a Thai food lover like me, this soup will truly satisfy.
Thai Curry Chicken Noodle Soup
4 large dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded
2 medium shallots, quartered
8 garlic cloves, quartered
2” piece ginger, peeled, sliced thin
¼ cup chopped cilantro stems
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 teaspoon curry powder or ancho chili powder
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 14-oz cans unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 ½ lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut in bite-sized pieces
4 tablespoons fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
2 tablespoons palm sugar or brown sugar, packed
1 pound Chinese egg noodles, preferably fresh from refrigerated case, or thin pasta
Sliced red onion, bean sprouts, cilantro sprigs, crispy fried onions or shallots, chili oil, lime wedges (for serving). Place vegetables on serving platter and cover with damp paper towel until needed.
Make Curry Paste
1. Break chilis into big pieces and, in a small bowl, cover with boiling water. Soak 25-30 minutes until softened.
2. Pour chilis into strainer over small bowl, reserving soaking liquid. In a small food processor, puree chilies, shallots, garlic, ginger, cilantro stems, coriander, turmeric, curry powder and 4 tablespoons soaking liquid. Process into smooth paste, adding more soaking liquid if necessary to achieve paste consistency.
1. Heat oil in a large heavy pot or wok over medium heat. Add curry paste and cook, over medium heat, stirring constantly for 4-6 minutes until slightly darkened.
2. Add coconut milk and chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Add chicken pieces, reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through, 10-15 minutes.
3. Cook noodles according to package directions.
4. Add 3-4 tablespoons fish sauce and sugar to soup. Divide soup and noodles among bowls and serve with toppings.