Whenever I’m feeling in between worlds, I don’t waste time floating… I just straddle both.
It doesn’t bare questioning whether or not I am craving noodles because the answer will always be yes, but the context in which they are served is often pondered. Not for long, but definitely pondered.
The pondering is whether or not said noodles come in a stir-fry manner where all other ingredients and sauces are clinging on to the curly strands for dear life, or do the noodles come in a pool of creamy, cloudy but thin broth and I can stab at each ingredient individually.
So do I opt for noodles swimming in a thin broth or clinging to other ingredients for dear life?
This recipe doesn’t answer the question. It straddles both answers and I’m okay with that. And for someone who always like to live in a world of definite conclusions, when it comes to culinary choices I feel why decide, when you can have both.
This week I found myself craving some sort of Thai curry, but without any chunks because I wanted a velvety soup and a repetitious eating technique. So I knew I wanted a green, aromatic soup that was creamy and thick.
But then I realised I wanted noodles. As always.
So what I landed in was a kind of thick, creamy curry sauce swathed over some egg noodles to create something between a noodle soup and a curry. It’s as good as I’ve tried to make it sound, I swear.
When I handed the bowl over, I was greeted with “Is it a curry or a soup?”.
I shrugged and said “Ask it”.
We applied the noodles to our faces and decided it didn’t really need a proper answer. It’s a soup in my opinion because you still eat it with a spoon… but I have to pluck the noodles out with chopsticks (or a fork, in his case – eyeroll) but I’m happy to also masquerade it as a noodle based curry for those that feel a green soup isn’t appetising enough.
These noodles are genuinely divine. I made extras (the quantities below will serve four) because I wanted some for work. You won’t be disappointed. They’re so humble to look at, just a bowl of egg noodles slathered in jade promise but if the scent doesn’t tempt you, the taste will trap you, I swear.
And I have used lime leaves here which I managed to find in a local deli, but arm yourself with a few limes instead and you’ll be fine. I promise.
Boil a kettle.
In a big pan, pour in an entire can of coconut milk. Big thick creamy part too. Break this part up with a spoon.
Drop a veggie stock cube in the can, half fill it with the boiling water, shake it about carefully and empty into the pan.
Throw in three spring onions, cutting off the spindly, wiry heads first. Throw in two garlic cloves and a thumb size piece of fresh, peeled ginger.
Chuck in the cut florets of a head of broccoli. Don’t be too diplomatic about chopping because everything is getting blitzed up. Do chop though because you’re relying on everything softening in the liquid so it blends to a nice, creamy soup.
Grab a chili – I kept it green to not interfere with the final jade coloured liquid, but go red if you have to. Stab it a few times over and throw in.
Chuck in a handful of lime leaves but if you don’t have any, the zest of one lime will be fine.
Now sprinkle in some sea salt. I used Seaweed Sea Salt I buy from Halen Mon but this isn’t essential, any salt will go.
Turn on the heat and bring to a big bubble. Lower this to a simmer, slap on a lid and leave for 20 minutes until the broccoli stems have softened.
Once everything has softened up in the coconut broth, remove the lime leaves (if used) and throw in two or three handfuls of spinach. Stir, clamp on a lid again and cook under the lid for another 4 or 5 minutes.
Now carefully ladle the pan contents into a blender and blitz to thick, creamy a gorgeous emerald hued soup. Squeeze in the juice of one lime and stir.
Put some cooked noodles into a bowl (I used ready to eat from a packet – sue me). Drizzle with a little sesame oil and soy sauce. Pour the coconut soup over the noodles and toss up so that the noodles are coated.
Sprinkle with some fresh coriander and serve.