Brighten up your weeknights with this Thai Coconut Curry Beef Noodle Soup! Made with Thai red curry paste, coconut milk and a few vegetables and herbs. Incredible flavors! This is no doubt one of my favorite recipes of this year!
When it comes to noodles, my favorite is rice noodles, especially fresh flat rice noodles. They are made with rice flour. They are soft with a mild taste and perfect to soak up all the sauce and soup. Beef chow fun is definitely my all-time favorite!
Ever since living to the states, I have never cooked rice noodles. When I’m craving for it, we usually go for pho. A few months ago, I was shocked to see Whole Foods carries fresh rice noodles. I bought a pack and tried to figure out some way to use the noodles. After some web-browsing, I have decided to try out this curry noodle soup recipe from Damn Delicious. I did some minor adjustment, like swapping out chicken with beef and adding kaffir lime leaves. It was absolutely fantastic!
A good noodle soup requires a good broth. This recipe started with onion and bell pepper. Then there were Thai red curry paste, garlic, and ginger. Next was the liquid. Coconut milk and chicken broth was added. Let everything boil and simmer for a little bit. Not to forget the kaffir lime leaves. Those little leaves have so much flavors. Season with fish sauce and brown sugar. Last, add all the aromatic herbs, like green onion, cilantro and basil. That is one amazing broth that you will not forget. There are so much depth and flavors that I would love drinking it all.
Now, you have the broth. The noodles are even easier to cook. But first, there are many types of rice noodles. Some are thinner and some are thicker. It’s really up to you what to use, but I would avoid the very thick noodles, like the ones for pad see ew. Those are little too thick for noodle soup. Other than size, there are fresh and dried noodles. I personally like fresh ones more. If you got dried ones, you will have to soak them first. Cook the noodles in boiling water. Timing will depend on the noodles. Please follow your package instruction. Once finished, drain and transfer to serving bowls. Top with beef and broth. It’s ready to serve.
One more thing, when serving, you can add desired amount of lime juice. I’m warning you that lime juice can change the flavors of the broth dramatically. Only a few drops can change the broth from rich and hearty to more light and citrusy. It’s up to you which one you prefer.
No doubt this noodle soup is one of my favorite recipes of the year! I’m going to be making this a lot. Enjoy!
Thai Coconut Curry Beef Noodle Soup
- ¾ pound flank steak (cut into 1/8-inch thick slices)
- ½ yellow onion (finely diced)
- ½ red bell pepper (finely diced)
- 2½ - 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 3 garlic cloves (minced)
- ½ tablespoon ginger (grated)
- 2½ cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 11 ounces rice noodles
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 4 kaffir lime leaves (stem removed)
- 2 green onions (thinly sliced)
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
- ¼ cup fresh basil (chopped)
- 2 wedges lime
- Vegetable oil
- Ground black pepper
- In a medium pot over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Add beef. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until mostly cooked through with a little pink. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside. Wipe the pot dry with paper towel.
- In the same pot over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in curry paste, garlic and ginger, and cook for 1 minute. Pour in chicken broth and coconut milk. Scrap off any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Cook the rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and transfer the noodles into 2 serving bowls.
- Back to the broth. Add fish sauce and brown sugar. Cook for another 3 minutes. Add beef and kaffir lime leaves. Cook for 3 more minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Remove from heat. Stir in green onions, cilantro and basil. Transfer to the serving bowls. Serve immediately. Squeeze in a couple drops of lime juice if desired.
- Thai red curry paste can be found in most grocery stores. I got mine from Whole Foods, like this. The spicy level is pretty mild. I didn't get any kick in the noodle soup at all.
- Fresh kaffir lime leaves can be found in Thai or Vietnamese supermarkets. I like to buy a big bag. Use a few and freeze the rest. If you can't fresh ones, you can buy dried ones too (Amazon). Use double the amount of dried leaves.
- To easily remove the stem on lime leaf, fold the leaf in half from one side to the other. The stem should be on the edge. With your fingers, tear the stem apart from the leaf.
- My favorite coconut milk brand is Aroy-D, like this.
- Fresh rice noodles can be found in Whole Foods and most Asian supermarkets. The one I bought is this one.
- Lime juice can change the flavors of the broth dramatically. Add a couple drops to taste if desired.
- Kaffir lime leaves should not be eaten. Just like bay leaf, discard them.
Love your modified version , for steak adds so much flavor to the soup. Thanks 🙂
Thank you so much! Very happy to know you like this. Yes, the beef gave another layer of flavors to the soup. 😉
Could you use shrimp in place of beef and would galangal root slices add to the flavor ?
You can definitely use shrimps. I haven’t had any experience with galangal root, so I can’t really comment on that. If you try it, I would love to hear how it goes. Hope you like this dish! ?
john smith says
Would you consider this another way of cooking “PHO”?
Hi John, thanks for the question. No, I would not. Pho broth is a clear broth, and usually requires long cooking time. This broth is quick and flavors are Thai-based. It has coconut milk and Thai curry paste, which are uncommon in pho broth. Hope this helps!
john smith says
I understand, Thank you very much for answering my question. Love the website cheers!
So delicious! I had a few modifications…left out the noodles, used ground beef (all I had), used Splenda Brown Sugar and added 2 kinds of mushrooms. Yum!!
Thank you very much Natalie! This soup is to die for and it’s good with anything in it. Glad you enjoyed it! I need to make this again very soon! ?
I’ve made this twice within a week it’s sooooo good!! First time with thinly cut blade steak, 2nd time with chicken thighs. Both absolutely amazing. I’m lazy, so just added the noodles straight to the pot for a few minutes without pre cooking first. Delicious and my household loved it just as much. Thank you for sharing!! It will definitely become a new kitchen staple!
Thank you so much Casey! I’m sooo happy to hear that! You reminded me that I have to make this again soon. Perfect for the fall weather! ?