Kitchen Misadventures: Thai Curry Noodles

In an attempt to lose a bit of poundage (my sister gained a couple of kilograms after a year in Singapore and blames me for it because I do most of the cooking at home), we have decided to stop stocking rice in our pantry. Inherently it's not unhealthy, white rice, but we just eat copious amounts of it and it is so very difficult to stop; I am pretty sure I can eat an entire tiny rice cooker's worth if left to my own devices (actually I might have done that several times). It's going pretty well, but two weeks in and I have already run out of ideas. So now I've started experimenting with things.

Today's dinner was partly inspired by this recipe from Jamie Oliver's FoodTube (he calls it "laksa" though, but it's really not). I say "inspired" because I did more than a couple of modifications (out of personal preference and the availability of the ingredients in the nearby grocery). I do like the way it turned out, though. And it was not as complicated as I initially imagined.

I wish I took pictures of the prep but I wasn't sure if it was going to be blog-worthy. Heh.

1 lemongrass stalk
4 cloves of garlic
1 small shallot, peeled
1 thumb of ginger (I know, I know, thumb is not a unit of measure)
1 bunch of coriander (I honestly don't know how to measure coriander)
4 kaffir lime leaves
3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (this depends on how concentrated it is, so adjust accordingly)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 chicken cube
1 small carton (200mL) coconut milk
200g dried rice noodles
Shrimp or protein of choice (chicken would be great, but the grocery store ran out)
Snow peas and young corn, blanched
Juice of 2 limes
More coriander for garnish
Other things that might work: straw mushrooms, bean sprouts, tofu

1. Thinly slice the bottom half of the lemongrass stalk, place in a bowl, and cover with boiling water for a couple of minutes (while you prep).
2. Blitz the garlic, shallot, ginger, coriander, and kaffir lime leaves together. I used the chopper that came with my hand blender set (it's no longer listed on the website but it's similar to this, but cheaper).
3. Sauté the resulting mush paste in vegetable oil until fragrant, and then add the fish sauce and curry paste.
4. Strain in the lemongrass water, and then add the coconut milk and chicken cube and simmer for a couple of minutes. Squeeze in the lime juice and adjust the seasoning.
5. Chuck in the rice noodles. Don't worry if the sauce is still too watery, because the noodles absorb a lot of liquid (I actually had to add more water later on).
6. When the noodles are close to cooked, add the shrimp and the vegetables.
7. Sprinkle with chopped coriander et voila, Thai red curry noodles something or other :D

Serves four (hungry people).

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