This is my kind of comfort food! It combines some traditional Thai flavors with somen noodles and tofu for protein. I cook the tofu in a frying pan to crisp it up a little, and it contrasts really nicely with the soft wheat noodles. Udon noodles, which are a little thicker, would work as well. Although rice sticks would be more authentic, I like the heartiness of the wheat noodles.
I scaled down the spiciness considerably – I only used 1 tsp of red curry paste, and it was pretty mild – but if you like spicy food, use a full tablespoon. I used Thai Kitchen brand, and I’m not sure how that compares with other brands in terms of spiciness.
(adapted from Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson)
9.5 oz somen noodles
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp chopped ginger
3 cups broth (vegetable or chicken – your choice)
1 tbsp turmeric
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp red curry paste
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
20 ounces extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 1 cm cubes
1 can (13.5 oz) light coconut milk
1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro
3 tbsp chopped roasted peanuts
2 tbsp thinly sliced shallot
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and cook somen noodles according to package directions. Set aside.
Heat the peanut oil in a large saucepan or soup pot, until you can clearly smell the peanut aroma (that’s how you’ll know it’s hot!)
Add the onion, garlic, and ginger, and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes.
Add the broth, turmeric, soy sauce, curry paste, sugar, salt, and lime juice, and whisk to combine.
Turn heat to low and allow broth mixture to simmer.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add tofu and cook, shaking pan and flipping the tofu cubes until they are golden and slightly crisp on the outside.
Put the tofu into a large serving bowl or soup tureen.
Add the noodles and coconut milk to the broth mixture and cook for a few minutes. The noodles may be stuck together, but just give them a nice stir. When the soup is heated through, pour over the tofu and stir well.
Top with cilantro, peanuts, and shallots to serve.