There is something so comforting about a bowl of rich, steamy soup, especially when it’s so cold outside that you don’t want to go out of the house, you just feel like hiding under a blanket and watching a movie with something warm to cheer you up! It was one of those days and I just ran to the market to grab a couple of things because I desperately wanted to make a soup, a colorful noodle soup… Not just because it was rainy and cold outside, but because I had some leftover meat to use up. And what better way to do it than to make a soup topped with meat and vegetables, something like ramen, but with home made soba noodles and Thai coconut soup base?! There was a bit of fusioning in my kitchen that day!
Ramen soup, as well as the soba noodles, noodles made of buckwheat, are traditional Japanese dishes that became popular all over the world. Ramen soup is a soup based on miso or soy sauce flavored broth with noodles, topped traditionally with sliced pork and different vegetables. Soba noodles are usually 100% buckwheat or a mix of buckwheat and regular wheat flour, with an irresistible nutty flavor, served with a sauce or in a soup. Although I adore ramen, I felt like adding some spice to it using a Thai inspired red curry and coconut broth. Thai broth and sauces are something I absolutely adore, it’s a beautiful mix of sour, spicy, sweet, of subtle and strong flavors that warm you and your soul up in a second.
First, I prepared the red curry I needed for the Thai inspired broth. I used:
2 tbsp double-concentrated tomato paste
2 big green (or red) chili peppers, not overly strong
1/4 red onion
3 cloves garlic
1 spoon dried lemongrass (fresh is better)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
5 cm fresh ginger
5 cm fresh turmeric
3 full tbsp solid coconut milk
5 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 lime zest and juice
Process all the ingredients till you get a smooth paste. Simple as that!
Next step were the soba noodles. Making soba noodles at home with whole wheat buckwheat flour won’t get you smooth noodles like the ones you buy in stores, but it will leave you with a richer nutty flavor. For the homemade soba noodles you’ll need:
300 g buckwheat flour
70 g all purpose wheat flour
150 ml warm water
Since I used whole wheat buckwheat flour, it was pretty hard to make a dough easy to work with. The more regular wheat flour you use, the smoother the dough will be. Mix the flours, add the water, form a ball, kneading it for a couple of minutes. Put it on a working surface covered with flour, and thin it out using a rolling pin till you get a 2 mm thin sheet. Sprinkle it generously with cornstarch to prevent the dough sticking together, even the cornstarch out and fold a couple of times. Cut thin strips of it using a sharp knife, then separate them. Leave aside till you get the soup done.
To finish the soup, you’ll need:
1/4 chopped red onion
4 -5 tbsp red curry paste
750 ml vegetable or broth of choice
400 ml coconut milk can minus the 3 tbsp used for the curry
soy sauce to taste
meat of choice, sliced, chopped or pulled apart (I used sauteed turkey legs and grilled chicken breast)
vegetables of choice (I used radish, scallions, red peppers, parsley)
First, sauté the onions till they soften up, add the curry and fry for a couple of minutes. It’s gonna turn darker red. Add hot broth and coconut milk. Add soy sauce and spices to taste. Cook for a couple of minutes.
Cook the soba noodles in salted boiling water or in the prepared broth. Once done, put them in a bowl, pour the prepared broth over them, top with sliced meat and vegetables, garnish with slices of lime and enjoy!
You can top the soup with vegetables and meat of choice, cooked or poached eggs, whatever comes to your mind! But one thing is for sure, this bowl of soup will warm you up and make you forget the rain and bad weather outside.