I love December. It’s the month of celebration and family gathering. The weather is perfect, it makes us want to stay home and just spend time together. Festival here is not necessary means cookies, turkey, ham or eggnog. We celebrate it with local menu and ingredients. Here in India, the focal main course must be Biryani and some luscious curries. But in Thailand, Rice noodle is one festive dish that is a must to make in any cerebrated occasion.
Rice noodle with curry sauce is a simple and common everyday meal in Thailand. You would find this delicious noodle and options of curry sauces along with it in many local restaurants everywhere. It is not common to make this at home day-to-day unless it is a special event.
We used to wait patiently for my mom to cook up the rich and delicious curry sauces. She usually made 2 kinds of sauces to suit everyone’s taste buds. Her chicken curry sauce was so creamy with thick fresh coconut cream and the aroma of kafir lime leaves which would take over the kitchen. The fish curry sauce was lighter with shredded cooked fresh water fish with aromatic wild ginger, chili and scallion. Though it looked light, but its flavour was explosive and intense.
While both of her curry sauces were simmering away, we were put in charged with peeling, cleaning, cutting, dicing fresh vegetables. String beans, cabbages, morning glories, fresh mint, cucumber, etc. from our own farm were usually placed on top of this noodle and accompanied various dishes.
She would be preparing other dish like Laab (Spicy Thai minced meat salad), stew beef with herbs, BBQ meat and ribs, grilled fish, spicy salad, etc. It’s amazing how she managed to put up more than 10 dishes on the table before guests arrived.
Once the sauces were ready, she would ask me to try it. The fresh rice noodle, usually bought from the market, were placed in the dish, followed by sliced string beans and beans sprout, basil or fresh mint, then poured over with thick chicken curry sauce. I didn’t even have to put it in my mouth to know that it was so delicious and perfect. I would have that and again another round with fish curry sauce… and again…and again…whole day.
When I tried to create this dish in my own kitchen, I wouldn’t have fresh rice noodle, so I used regular rice noodle or angel hair pasta for this dish. For the sauce, I used skinless, boneless chicken cut into small pieces unlike my mom version which used big chunks of chicken with skin on. I wouldn’t compare my dish with that of my mother who I considered to be the best chef in the world, but it’s very good and satisfied.
Rice Noodle with Chicken Creamy Curry Sauce
Ingredients: (4 servings)
200 gm rice noodle- cooked as per the package instruction (you can use angel hair pasta)
500 gm skinless, boneless chicken- sliced
50 gm Thai red curry paste
Few dried Thai wild ginger- optional
Few kaffir lime leaves- optional
1 cup thick coconut cream
3 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
1 tbsp fish sauce or to taste
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp oil
Fresh mint leaves for garnishing
How to cook:
Heat oil in the large pot over the medium-low heat.
Add curry paste and fry until fragranced.
Add chicken, wild ginger, kaffir lime leaves and stir for few minutes.
Add coconut milk and bring to boil. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and tender.
Add peanut butter, sugar and coconut cream.
Add fish sauce and check the seasoning.
Whenever I indulged myself in this rich noodle dish, I thought of holiday and it’s the holiday for me. It always reminded me of the early mornings of many cherished days. This bowl of saucy noodle is so comforting and rewarding.
Have a nice day,