Thai Curry Coconut Udon Noodle Soup (made with Annie Chun’s Udon Noodles)
This Tom Kha Gai soup inspired dish is perfect for a fall or winter night dinner or even a lunch with friends and family. Instead of chicken, I used udon noodles that were the perfect pair to the creamy coconut base, the fragrant seasoning and the fresh mushrooms and bok choy. The best part? You can make this in under 20 minutes from start to finish! You’ll find a recipe recap at the very end of the post, but keep scrolling for step by step instructions and an overview of all the ingredients and suggested alternatives. For this recipe, we teamed up with Annie Chun’s to showcase how versatile and delicious their pre-cooked udon noodles are.
You can make this in under 20 minutes from start to finish!
This recipe is:
- Can be made gluten-free
- Ready in under 20 minutes!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
This is a one pot dish, so you really won’t need much to start cooking! Here are the kitchen tools I’d recommend (and what to use instead if you don’t have them):
- A medium-sized pot: the recipe yields 2 large servings, so 1 medium-sized pot is perfect. If you’re doubling the recipe, just make sure you choose a slightly bigger pot. Alternative: a large/deep pan would work as well!
- A ginger grater or paddle grater (optional): using a grater will allow for a much smoother consistency of the final soup. If you don’t have one at hand, however, no need to go out and buy one! You can simply use a small spoon to manually grate the ginger or you can chop it and then strain the soup before adding the coconut milk, veggies and noodles.
- A garlic press: a garlic press is the easiest way to mince garlic perfectly, but as with the ginger grater, there are ways to bypass it if you don’t have one. You can either press the garlic using a large knife (place the flat side of the knife on top of the peeled garlic and the press down to crush it, then finely chop it.
INGREDIENTS & SUBSTITUTES
The recipe will turn out best with all of these ingredients, but some are more essential tan others and a few can be swapped out for other ingredients. Here’s an overview (scroll down to the recipe box for the exact amount of each of them):
- Coconut oil: you can choose either virgin or refined coconut oil. The main difference is that refined coconut oil has a neutral taste and smell whereas virgin coconut oil has a much stronger and very coconut-y fragrance and taste. In most recipes, you might prefer using the refined version in order not to overpower the other ingredients, but since this recipe also includes coconut milk, it doesn’t really matter which one you use! If you can’t decide, I’d opt for the refined version so you can use it in a wider variety of other recipes as well. If you don’t have or like coconut oil at all, avocado oil and olive oil are good alternatives.
- Fresh lemongrass: You can find fresh lemongrass in the herb section of most supermarkets, health food stores and Asian markets. You can buy it in dried form too, but fresh is really best if you can find it!
- Red thai curry paste: this is one of the most important ingredients of this recipe, so make sure you don’t skip it. It usually comes in small glass jars and can be found in Asian supermarkets or the Asian food section of any larger supermarket. Since this is a pantry item that only needs to be refrigerated after opening, it can also easily be ordered online. Important note: traditional curry powder cannot be used as an alternative here as it would alter the dish’s flavors too much.
- Fresh ginger root: fresh ginger is an amazingly versatile ingredient. You’ll only need a small piece (most stores let you buy ginger root by weight), but if you have any left over, you can add it to juices and smoothies, as well as stir-fry’s and soups.
- Onion powder: I used onion powder instead of fresh onions in this recipe so that you don’t have to strain out the aromatics after adding the broth, making it much more convenient and also allowing you to skip peeling and cutting onions and thereby saving even more time. That being said, you can absolutely use fresh onion instead! I’d use about 1/3-1/2 chopped onion per 1 tsp of onion powder used. You can then either strain it out or leave it in depending on your personal texture preference.
- Sea salt or Himalayan pink salt: you’ll only need this if the broth you’re using isn’t salty enough. I usually do prefer to add a little extra salt, but make sure you taste test it first so it doesn’t get too salty.
- Garlic cloves: instead of fresh garlic, you can use garlic powder if you’d like (about 1/2 tsp per garlic clove).
- A small red jalapeño pepper: these aren’t that spicy as long as you only use a small amount. If, however, you don’t like spicy food at all, you could also use a mini sweet bell pepper instead to get a similar texture and look. Otherwise, simply omit!
- Vegetable broth: there are many different ways to get vegetable broth. If you often cook with fresh vegetables, you could keep leftover scraps in a reusable container in your freezer and then make your own broth whenever you have a sufficient amount of it. You can also buy ready-made broth at your local supermarket. One of my personal favorites is using concentrated veggie broth paste or essence and then mixing it with water since it takes up less space and it lasts a very long time.
- Button mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms: I love the combination of these two types of mushrooms (that you can find at any supermarket), but if you don’t want to buy two separate types, you can either just use one (doesn’t matter which one, but button mushrooms are usually a lot cheaper, so just keep that in mind) or use any other type of fresh mushrooms. I wouldn’t recommend using frozen mushrooms as those would make the dish too watery.
- Baby bok choy: depending on where you live and/or whether there’s an Asian market nearby, this might be a little more difficult to find although more and more mainstream supermarkets have started carrying it as well. Baby bok choy is the perfect size for this kind of noodle soup, but if you can only find larger/regular-sized bok choy, simply use less of it and chop it up before adding it to the pot. If you can’t find it at all, you can use Swiss chard, collard greens or even kale instead.
- Full fat coconut milk: now, you may be tempted to opt for low-fat coconut milk, but trust me when I say that full fat is best for the creamiest and most delicious result! If you insist on getting a lower fat version, I’d just recommend using half or 2/3 of the amount of full fat coconut milk and mixing it with water or broth instead. Low fat coconut milk is basically just full fat coconut milk thinned with water, so you’ll save money by just thinning it yourself.
- Annie Chun’s Udon Noodles: these noodles are part of what makes this recipe so convenient and satiating. They come pre-cooked, so all you you need to do is add them to the pot about 2 minutes before the end and voilà. You can also use their Hokkien noodles. For a gluten-free version of this recipe, use Annie Chun’s Maifun rice noodles. You’ll just need to add them to the pot a few minutes sooner.
- Lime juice & coconut sugar: these two ingredients give the recipe just the right amount of acidity and sweetness for the perfect finishing touch. As an alternative, you can use lemon juice or tomatoes and any type of sugar or sweetener like cane sugar or even maple syrup.
- Cilantro & freshly ground pepper: both of these garnishes are optional. As an alternative, you can use Thai basil and chili flakes or white pepper.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
(Note: for a recap and a printable version of this recipe, scroll down to the recipe box)
STEP ONE: PREP ALL YOUR INGREDIENTS
Make sure to read through the entire recipe before you start cooking so that you can chop, mince, cut and grate everything ahead of time. This “mis-en-place” (French for “putting in place”) will make cooking the dish so much less stressful and fun. If you’re new to cooking, I’d recommend not skipping this. I usually separate the ingredients according to the order in which I’ll be adding them to the pot. The aromatics first, then the broth, the veggies, the noodles and lastly, the lime and sugar followed by the garnishes.
STEP TWO: START COOKING
Add the coconut oil to a medium-sized pot over medium heat and set a timer for 15 minutes. Then add the lemongrass, ginger, garlic, curry paste, onion powder, red jalapeño pepper and salt (or wait until later and add it to taste) to the pot. It’s important to add the spices at the very beginning to get the best result. This will integrate their flavors throughout the whole dish. Let the spices and condiments cook for 2 minutes (3 if you’re not using a gas stove), then add the broth.
STEP THREE: ADD THE VEGGIES, COCONUT MILK & NOODLES:
Increase heat to high to bring the broth to a boil (this should take about 2-3 minutes), then add the sliced mushrooms. Reduce heat to medium and let cook for 7 minutes. Add the bok choy to the pot with the coconut milk. Bring the heat back up to high, cook for 1 minute, then add the udon noodles and cook for 2 more minutes. Bok choy cooks much more quickly than the mushrooms, which is why you’ll want to add it a bit later.
STEP FOUR: ADD A LITTLE SWEETNESS & SERVE:
Remove the pot from heat and mix in the coconut sugar and lime juice for the perfect amount of sweetness and acidity. It’ll be quite hot, so be careful when you serve it. This recipes makes two generous or 4 smaller servings, so pour the noodle soup into either two larger or 4 smaller soup bowls or cups using a ladle. Add fresh cilantro (no need to chop it, you can leave the leaves whole!) and freshly ground pepper. If you didn’t taste test the soup before, be sure to quickly do so to see if it needs extra salt or not. If you accidentally added too much salt, you can even it out by adding a little more coconut milk or cream.
ABOUT ANNIE CHUN’S
Annie Chun’s creates irresistible Asian favorites that are made to make your life more practical and convenient and your homemade dishes even more delicious. Their organic and vegan noodles with authentic, Pan-Asian flavors are made from only the best ingredients, making it easier than ever to recreate all of your favorite Asian restaurant flavors at home.
This Tom Kha Gai soup inspired dish is perfect for a fall or winter night dinner or even a lunch with friends and family.
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- Fresh lemongrass (about a 2 inch piece)
- 1 1/2 tsp red thai curry paste 1/2 thumb fresh ginger
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt (or to taste) 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small red jalapeño pepper (or use a mini sweet bell pepper instead to make it less spicy)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 4oz button mushrooms (with the stems), sliced
- 2oz shiitake mushrooms (stems removed), sliced
- 1 small/baby bok choy
- 1 can (400mL) full fat coconut milk
- 1 package of Annie Chun’s Organic Udon Noodles (2 servings per package)
- 1/2 lime, the juice
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1/2 handful fresh cilantro
- 1 pinch of freshly ground pepper (optional)
- Thinly slice the lemongrass (remove the outer layer and the ends first) and pepper, mince the garlic and grate the ginger (you can use a nutmeg grater or a small spoon for this).
- Add the coconut oil to a medium-sized pot over medium heat and set a timer for 15 minutes.
- Add the lemongrass, ginger, garlic, curry paste, onion powder, red jalapeño pepper and salt to the pot. Note: if you don’t like your dishes to be too salty or your broth is very salty, only add the salt after taste testing later on.
- Let the spices and condiments cook for 2 minutes (3 if you’re not using a gas stove), then add the broth.
- Increase heat to high to bring the broth to a boil (this should take about 2-3 minutes), then add the sliced mushrooms. Reduce heat to medium and let cook for 7 minutes.
- Slice (or chop) the box choy and add it to the pot with the coconut milk. Bring the heat back up to high, cook for 1 minute, then add the udon noodles and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Remove the pot from heat and mix in the coconut sugar and lime juice.
- Serve with cilantro and freshly ground pepper (and more salt if need be) and enjoy!
Read the blog post above for recipe notes and suggestions for alternative ingredients (including gluten-free options!)