There is a Japanese/Thai restaurant in Murfreesboro, TN that has a fantastic spicy coconut soup. When I was in North Carolina my husband would talk about this soup for days at a time and complain about the lack of decent Asian joints near us. One day, I got fed up with it and decided I was going to try to make a similar soup. You can use regular or light coconut milk for this recipe. What ever you personally like. I use regular coconut milk from the Hispanic section as opposed to the Asian section. For some reason the Hispanic brands coconut milks have less fat than the Asian brands.
Asian regular: 14 g
Asian light: 4.5 g
Hispanic regular: 9 g (some brands have 11 g)
I think the 9 g of fat gives the best balance of flavor and texture.
BE AWARE: coconut water and creme de coconut are DIFFERENT than coconut milk
Thai Coconut Soup
5 C water
1 serrano chili, halved (optional)
1 lemon, halved
1 lime, halved
2-3 green onions, cut into 3 in sections
1-2 inches of ginger, sliced
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 Tbsp lemongrass puree
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 can (~14 oz) coconut milk
1 1/2 Tbsp red curry paste
1 Tbsp honey
2 tsp sriracha (It's hot! Go light at first and adjust to taste.)
8 oz udon noodles (follow cooking instructions on package)
4 oz shitake mushrooms, sliced (reconstituted if dried)
chopped green onions
In a large pot, add water, chili, lemon, lime, green onions, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and vinegar. Bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove 1 half of lemon and 1 half of lime (to prevent bitterness). Simmer for another 15-20 minutes. Liquid will reduce by about 1/4.
Strain broth through a mesh sieve. Return liquid to pot. Add coconut milk, curry paste, honey and sriracha. Whisk to make sure curry paste is fully incorporated. Heat through.
Add shitakes and udon noodles. Heat for a few more minutes. Serve. Top with as much cilantro and green onions as you want.
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