Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thai-Inspired Coconut Soup with Pork and Rice Noodles

This met with great enthusiasm at the dinner table last night. : )
I think all it's missing in the Thai department is lemongrass, which I'm not in the habit of keeping on hand.

Thai-Inspired Coconut Soup with Pork and Rice Noodles
Serves 2-3, depending on appetite

1 quart chicken broth
1 can coconut milk
about 1 inch knob of ginger, peeled with spoon, then grated with a Microplane, with about a tsp set aside for pork
1 carrot, sliced
2 large cloves garlic, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
about 1/3 pound ground pork
sea salt
fish sauce (simply of anchovy, salt, and sugar), to taste
1 tbsp rice vinegar
enough rice noodles* for two people
a large handful of sugar snap peas, tips chopped and strings removed
a small handful cilantro, chopped, for garnish
red pepper flakes

This can all be done in pretty rapid succession; the veggies should retain some texture. Heat the broth and coconut milk to boiling. Add ginger, garlic, and carrots, fish sauce and vinegar. Knead the pork with the tsp ginger and a little sea salt, and drop bite-sized pieces into the soup. Add water as necessary to keep it soupy. Wait a few minutes and add the pasta. When the pasta is very close to done, toss in the snap peas and cover while you get the bowls ready; the snap peas should cook only till bright green. Serve in large bowls, with cilantro and red pepper flakes sprinkled on top, to taste.

*Whenever we eat pasta, we use Tinkyada brown rice pasta. Unlike other white and even whole grain pastas, it is a whole product ~ fully available for the body. And it's tasty, with a good texture.

A late-summer variation:
Substitute cubed (unpeeled but scrubbed) sweet potatoes - or my recent favorite discovery: purple yams! - for the carrot and snap peas. Simmer in the broth until soft but still intact.
Substitute cooked brown rice for rice noodles.