My friend gave me a Thai food cookbook for my birthday and I pretty much had to drop everything to try a recipe. And I did, and it was good…but it wasn’t great. So I wavered a lot about whether I should post anything about it all or just let it go. But parts of this were so good that I couldn’t really just push it aside and call it a failure. Let be honest, unless you are raised with it or live in a community that is truly devoted to it cooking Asian food at home can sometimes be a struggle. I am sure that if I had all the knowledge and all the access to the appropriate ingredients then this probably would have turned out perfectly the first time. But I don’t have that knowledge and I don’t have ready access to perfect ingredients. And I know myself and even if I had gone above and beyond to find the perfect ingredients to make this, I would never ever do it again.
Enter Top Ramen. I realized what I was really unhappy with the first go round was the texture of the noodles; they didn’t get as soft or silky as I really would have wanted. And while the Asian food section at my grocery store has a good number of options there aren’t really a wide variety of choices for any one thing. But Top Ramen costs very little money and it has that really supple silky texture that I was looking for. Judge me if you want, but it really made a huge difference.
I am not saying this is going to be the most authentic dish in the world, but it tastes pretty damn good and isn’t that really the point? Plus it is pretty perfect with a glass of Roussanne, the rich texture of the wine is right at home with this rich curry. Also the rounded honey fruit quality of the wine is a great partner for the warm heat of this dish.
Adapted from Simple Thai Food
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut against the grain into thin, bite sized pieces.
- ¼ cup vegetable oil + 1 tablespoon
- ½ cup coconut cream (this comes from the top of the can of coconut milk before you shake it up)
- 3 tablespoons red curry paste
- 1 ½ tablespoons light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 ½ cups coconut milk
- 3 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 6 ounces extra firm tofu, cut into matchsticks
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 8 ounces ramen noodles
Optional Toppings and seasonings:
- Finely chopped roasted peanuts
- Lime wedges
- Fish sauce
- Granulated sugar
- Red chili powder
- First make the fried shallots by putting a ¼ cup vegetable oil in a small frying pan and add the sliced shallots. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally as the shallots on the outter rim of the pan will cook faster than those in the middle. Cook for about 5 minuets until the shallots are golden brown. Then pour the contents of the pan through a fine mesh strainer and lets the shallots sit and drain off most of their oil. You can also save the oil from the frying and use it in place of vegetable oil in another recipe.
- Next, to make the medium boiled eggs fill a small sauce pan with water and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling gently lower the eggs in and set a timer for 7 minutes. After 7 minutes immediately remove the eggs from the water and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. (Note, you want your eggs at room temperature because that will help prevent them from cracking when they go into the boiling water)
- Then make the curry by heating a saucepan over medium high heat and combining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, coconut cream, and curry paste. Stir until well combined and fragrant. Add the chicken and stir to coat in the mixture, then add the sugar, fish sauce, coconut milk, and chicken stock. Stir well to combine, keep the chicken moving periodically and bring the whole mixture to a gentle boil. The chicken should be cooked through after about 3-4 minuets. At that point you can add in the tofu and curry powder, mix well to combine and then turn the heat down to low to keep the curry mixture warm.
- Meanwhile, in another saucepan bring 3 cups of water to a boil and cook your ramen noodles according to package directions. Drain the water off the noodles.
- To plate, place you noodles in the bottom of your bowl and then ladle the curry on top. Garnish with fried shallots and ½ of a medium boiled egg.