I love when a little game of what do we have in the pantry goes really right. I have made Thai red curry noodle dishes before, and this one is not claiming to be authentic, but it’s inspired by the amazing flavors of the dishes I have made and what I know about Thai cooking. There are many things that make this dish come together beautifully thanks to the amazing flavors that Thai culture combines and we Americans like to borrow. First, the zip from the lime zest and a squeeze of fresh lime juice at the end, to me, is key and I wouldn’t make this dish without it. Traditionally, kaffir limes are used in Thai cooking (usually the peel, sliced in thin strips or zest and even the leaves), but our grocery doesn’t have those readily available, so regular lime is the next best substitute here. I do to use a small, fresh squeeze of regular lime juice at the end, but if you are using the kaffir lime, it is more common to only use the peel and leaves and not the juice. I love my personal addition of kale to get an extra veggie in, and this would not be found traditionally, but it I love throwing it in so that I don’t feel as if I have to make another vegetable on the side. Oh, and don’t skip the fish sauce! I know it may be a new smell for some, but trust me, it adds so much flavor you do not want to miss out on! The noodles are also not a traditionally a Thai noodle, but I like using the thicker spaghetti noodles as they are able to hold up a bit better without breakage and make for better leftovers than the thinner noodles. Feel free to use whatever noodle you would like if you do not prefer this one.
This is a fantastic little weeknight meal that can look complicated but comes together quickly and easily. The baby kale makes it very convenient just to toss in with no prep, but feel free substitute chopped regular kale as well. Like my other recipes, this is gluten free, but it would also work well with normal semolina or whole wheat pasta as well.
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Thai Curry Shrimp and Noodles
- 1 lb. raw peeled, deveined shrimp (fresh or frozen, thawed)
- 12-16 oz. (1 package) of gluten free spaghetti noodles (brown rice noodles hold up best)
- 2 teaspoons red thai curry paste + 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (to season raw shrimp)
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons red thai curry paste
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 cup, canned coconut milk (about half of regular sized can -or- just short of one cup)
- 4 cups baby kale
- 1 lime, zested or 1 kaffir lime peeled (green part only with as little pith as possible) sliced in thin strips\
- 1 tablespoon lime juice (fresh highly recommended but optional)
- Optional: 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of red chili flake if you like a little kick of spice or thinly sliced Thai red chilies if you can find them.
- Cook the gluten free pasta noodles according to package directions and set aside.
- Blot 1 lb thawed shrimp dry with a towel or paper towel. Toss shrimp with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 2 teaspoons thai curry paste. Make sure they are thawed beforehand. Set aside.
- In a large skillet with high sides, heat 1 tablespoon of cooking oil over medium high heat. Toss in the shrimp and cook on one side for 2 minutes. Flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Remove shrimp to a plate and set aside.
- Add another tablespoon of cooking oil to the pan over medium-low heat and toss in 1 diced yellow onion and 3 cloves minced garlic. Sautee for 1 minute.
- Add 2 tablespoons red thai curry paste and 1/4-1/2 teaspoon chili flake if using to the pan and stir around for 1 minute.
- Whisk in 1 cup coconut milk, 1 1/2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon fish sauce. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. More to taste. Simmer 2 minutes.
- Add 4 cups chopped or baby kale to the pan until wilted (30 seconds to 1 minute). Turn off the heat.
- Add shrimp and pasta to the pan along with 1 tablespoon lime juice and toss carefully with tongs. Top with lime zest and serve with extra lime wedges for squeezing if desired.
Pan: If you don’t have a large skillet with high sides, a large saucepan will work for this recipe.
Shrimp: Keep in mind if you are using a small shrimp, it will cook faster. Cook it until just pink to avoid rubbery shrimp.
Pasta: Gluten free pastas can be a little more finicky so take care not to overcook it. I find that brown rice pasta has the best texture. I have not had good luck with quinoa, corn, or white rice pastas. Once the pasta is done cooking, rinse it in cold water to stop the cooking process. This will help with the sticking together. If you find that your pasta still wants to stick together after you’re ready to add it back to the pan, rinse it in hot water before tossing into the coconut milk mixture taking care that it drains well and you don’t accidentally add extra water back into the sauce.
Salt: Unless otherwise specified, I always use kosher salt in my savory recipes (for baking I use a finer grain salt). If you would like to substitute a fine grain or table salt, start with 1/2 to 3/4 as much (you can just eyeball it). As a general rule, 1 teaspoon of fine salt is equivalent to 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, but it can differ depending on what type of salt you’re using as different kinds of salts can taste more or less salty.
Coconut Milk: The kind of coconut milk called for in this recipe is the full fat kind that typically comes in a can. If you use something different than that, it will not taste the same and will be watery.
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