I explained to my husband earlier this week that “curry” is actually a generic term for a dish made with a spice blend. He’s always gone on about how my curries are his favorite dishes that I make. Apparently he’d been assuming the whole time that “curry” was one specific spice which, when featured in a dish, made the dish a curry.
This might be news to you. Thai curries, Indian curries, some other curries you’ll find in cuisines of other countries…all different. There’s no specific formula for the spice blend, and sometimes it’s a paste, sometimes it’s a powder. The only common thread seems to be lots of different spices with varied flavors that intermingle to create deliciousness.
So, while Monday’s recipe had the flavor of an Indian curry, today’s recipe is more in line with what you’d find in Thai cuisine.
The great thing about curries is that since they’re blends of spices, whether in paste or powder form, you can make a big batch at once. After that, any time you want a quick and easy meal, you’ve got your flavors ready, so the meal is delicious, and it usually comes together quickly and easily.
Red curry paste is the only seasoning used in this particular meal, which is kind of amazing because it is packed with flavor. I’ll admit, I sometimes, out of habit, have the compulsion to mince some garlic or grate some ginger when making a Thai curry, but that’s not necessary at all. Every bit of flavor you need is conveniently packed into a little jar of paste.
I used my homemade red curry paste for this recipe, which I always keep on hand, safely stocked away in the freezer, for months at a time. You can use store bought if you like – just read the ingredients list, as many contain shrimp paste or similar ingredients. My favorite vegan brand is Maesri.
- Fill a large saucepan with water and place over high heat. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Place noodles into water and soak until softened. This normally takes about 3 minutes, but refer to noodle package directions, as brands may vary.
- Remove from heat and drain. Rinse with cold water.
- Combine broth, coconut milk and curry paste in large saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Make sure to stir enough to blend curry paste into broth completely.
- Add baby corn and allow to simmer about 10 minutes, until baby corn is tender. Add snow peas and simmer just until bright green and tender-crisp, 2-3 minutes more.
- Stir in noodles and tofu. Ladle into bowls and top with scallions and cilantro.
Save time by preparing the noodles while the soup simmers.