These Bangkok Coconut Curry Noodle Bowls with brown rice noodles are healthy and easy – can be made vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free!
For the Coconut Curry Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 shallots
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced (or a paste – I like this stuff)
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 1 14-ounce can regular coconut milk
- 1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken or veggie broth (optional – see notes)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon hot chili paste (sambal oelek)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
For the Bowls:
- 4 ounces rice noodles – I use brown rice noodles but they can be hard to find – so I buy these ones
- 1 tablespoon oil
- half an onion, chopped
- 1 cup chopped broccoli florets
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup chopped asparagus
- 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
- sesame seeds for topping
- limes for serving
- a handful of fresh basil for serving
- Noodles: Soak the noodles in a bowl of cold water. Start this right away – they need at least 20 minutes or so of soaking. When they’re soft, drain and rinse.
- Sauce: Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the shallots and ginger; stir fry for 3-5 minutes. Add the curry paste; stir fry for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, sugar, chili paste, fish sauce, and soy sauce. Simmer for 15 minutes or so while you prep the rest of the ingredients – it should thicken slightly. If you’re adding the broth to make the sauce go farther, you might need a little extra simmer time for the sauce to thicken.
- Vegetables and Assembly: In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the onion, carrots, broccoli, and asparagus. Stir fry for about 5 minutes until the broccoli and asparagus are bright green. Add the noodles and toss around in the pan with the vegetables. Add the sauce and toss together until just combined (if you cook it too long at this point, the noodles might get too sticky). Serve topped with the purple cabbage and sesame seeds and a squeeze of lime or basil leaves if you want.
If you want more of a saucy, soupy consistency to the curry, add the broth with the coconut milk. Otherwise leave it out – you won’t have as much sauce and it will be more like a velvety, sticky sauce on the noodles (also yummy). The pictures here show the version WITH the broth.
For a vegetarian or vegan version, make sure your curry paste is vegetarian, or make your own, and omit the fish sauce in this recipe or use a vegan alternative (you could make up for the missing saltiness with more soy sauce).
For those who like spice, add more chili paste or anything else you like to get a touch more heat! I would rate this as mild +.