Coconut peanut noodles in a soup or rather soupy peanut noodles to be more precise. But what’s in a name, any noodle in this broth would taste as fabulous, which is the gorgeous alchemy of cooking. It’s really about how different ingredients marry each other to form something so deliciously splendid that you’re left licking the contents of the bowl to the last ceramic whiff.
There are Thai tones to this dish, what with the astringent uplifting bouquet of lemongrass that harmonizes ever so perfectly with the moody mellowness of coconut milk and peanut butter, it is strictly speaking not exactly Thai as globally Asian. It tends to borrow and makes something of its own and that’s really the beauty of home cooking.
What’s really great about this noodle bowl is that it came into existence simply out of necessity to get rid of forgotten bits of vegetables and shrimps languishing about in the vegetable drawer and freezer. There are mushrooms, broccoli, peppers, spring onions, lemongrass, garlic, coconut milk, peanut butter, shrimps, dried red chillies (also the name of this blog), soy sauce and water. Phew. And really, you could omit or add anything to your liking. If I happened to have some other vegetables this lineup would look a bit different.
also some noodles. Use whatever noodles you fancy. I’m using some sweet potato starch noodles.
We begin rather ceremoniously with a bit of vegetable chopping.
followed by lemongrass smashing, and this step is important because it starts releasing all the flavours that stay compacted in this stem of wonders.
saute sliced green onions (mostly the white part) and garlic in oil.
throw in the chillies
once a wall of fragrance hits your face, throw in chopped mushrooms and keep sauteing
and a bit of salt
in the meanwhile start cooking your noodles in boiling water.
throw in the smashed lemongrass and cook for about a minute
after which we pour in some water. Let it come to a gentle simmer
and add coconut milk.
let the flavours mingle and come to a simmer
add in peanut butter
and soy sauce
stir everything together and we are greeted with this gorgeous fawn coloured broth that smells of heaven. Cover and let it come to a bubble
Finally, add shrimps
and vegetables. Cover and cook until it comes to a boil.
Finally, turn off the heat and fish out whatever remains of lemongrass. It has done its job. By now your kitchen is exploding into aromatic pops.
Place cooked noodles in a bowl and pour over the peanut coconut soup
garnish with spring onion greens or coriander.
and serve hot!
Noodles of your choice: 1 packet or 1 nest
Chopped vegetables: 60g (1 cup)
Assorted mushrooms: 150g (2 cups)
Shrimps (optional): 70g (1/2 cup)
Coconut milk: 200mls (3/4 cup)
Water: 200mls (3/4 cup)
Peanut butter : 2 heaped tbsps (1/4 cup)
Garlic: 2 cloves
Spring onions: 2-3
Dried red chillies (optional): 2-3
lemon grass: 1 stalk
soy sauce: 4 tbsps
Oil: 1 tbsp
cook noodles and reserve cooked noodles into a bowl.
Chop vegetables, green onions and garlic into bite sized pieces.
Smash the lemongrass stalk to release its oils.
Heat oil in a wok and add white part of green onions and garlic and saute until fragrant. Add dried red chillies and saute for a few more seconds and add in the mushrooms, lemongrass and cook for a minute. Add in salt and water and let it come to a light simmer.
Add coconut milk and let it come to a slight simmer again, after which add in peanut butter and soya sauce. Stir to combine and make sure peanut butter doesn’t settle in a lump. Cover and let it bubble, finally adding in the shrimps and chopped vegetables. Cover and let bubble again.
Once it’s come to a boil, turn off the gas and fish out lemongrass stalk.
Pour peanut coconut broth over cooked noodles. Garnish with greens of spring onion or coriander and serve hot.