My most popular post on here is Chicken Itame (despite the god-awful photo that accompanies it), but in recent months I’ve been on a bit of an eat-less-meat kick, so haven’t felt particularly excited about making it. This weekend, I had a craving and swapped out the chicken for cheese – Indian-style Paneer cheese, to be precise – and it was every bit as good. I confess I did use a chicken stock cube because that’s what I had in the cupboard but you can use a veggie one instead.
Creamy, zesty and comforting is the best way to describe what is basically a bowl of coconut soup, spiked with Thai green chilli paste and filled with thick egg noodles, punchy spring onion, a fresh orange pepper, bamboo shoots and lots of lime and coriander. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll see how easy (20 minutes and you’re done) it is to not only make but also adapt, depending on what ingredients you have to hand or prefer.
I recommend it for cold, miserable days when your lips are smacking for some serious flavour. Enjoy!
1 pack of thick rice noodles
1 tsp chilli powder
50g bamboo shoots
3-4 spring onions
1 yellow/orange pepper
2 tbsp green curry paste
1 can coconut milk
1 chicken/vegetable stock cube
Heat a generous lug of oil – or toasted sesame oil works really nicely if you have that – in a wok for a minute or two and then stir in the green curry paste. When you can smell it and there’s a bit of spitting, add a tablespoon of the coconut milk, stir for a minute and then pour in the rest and stir again.
When that starts to bubble, add the stock mixed with 300ml boiling water to the mix and keep stirring. This will take around 10 minutes to combine and cook.
Chop your pepper and spring onion and add that to the soup along with the shoots and a generous squeeze of lime. An actual lime is best but lime juice from the bottle will do. Let it simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, season the paneer with salt, pepper and chilli powder, cut into rectangles and fry on all sides in a little oil (again, toasted sesame is great). It should look a bit like halloumi when it’s done – lightly browned in places but still squidgy.
Fill a saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Add your thick noodles and cook for around 3 minutes until soft.
When you’re ready, divide the cooked noodles between two bowls and pour the soup over each. Top with the paneer, a wedge of lime and a healthy sprinkle of coriander and serve.