I've been wanting a good Coconut Ginger Noodle recipe for some time. Variations abound online, but they often contain strange ingredients, such as tomato paste, or look like a coconut-y version of Pad Thai, which is not what I was looking for, albeit more or less in the same family. I've been tinkering for a while now, and I've figured out a pretty nice recipe that can be made as a simple side dish or gussied up with shrimp and vegetables to make a full-on meal. Aside from the tedious peeling of the shrimp, if you're making it as a main course, this is very quick to make! However, the wonderful texture of using raw shrimp more than makes up for the fifteen minutes of drudgery.
Coconut Ginger Noodles
250 grams dry rice stick noodles
400 ml. coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 medium cloves garlic, crushed
3 cm fresh ginger root, grated or minced
3 - 5 kafir lime leaves (dry or fresh)
1/4 teaspoon ground lemongrass
1 red bird chile (Thai chile)
salt to taste
juice of 1 lime
1 green onion, finely sliced
pinch cayenne pepper (optional, if you want it spicier)
Bring a large pot of water to boil and have it standing by for the noodles. Don't cook them yet.
In a large skillet, over high heat, add the coconut milk, the white part of the sliced green onion, the garlic, ginger root and powder, lime leaves, lemon grass and a good pinch of salt. simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, uncovered, and allow the liquid to reduce. Taste the sauce (carefully!) and add more salt if necessary. Turn heat to medium-low and allow to continue to simmer. Add a little water if it starts looking too thick.
Drop the rice sticks into the boiling water and allow to cook for 3 minutes. While it cooks, stir the lime juice into the coconut sauce. Taste the sauce , and add a little more ginger powder, and the optional cayenne, if you like. Drain in a colander, then rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process and cool them down. Add the noodles to the coconut sauce, turn off the heat, and stir through carefully so that all of the noodles are coated with the coconut sauce. Garnish with the green part of the sliced onion.
Extras to make it a meal:
Shrimp: peel 450 g. of raw shrimp (frozen works fine, just soak them in cool water for a few minutes to loosen them up). Add to the coconut sauce just as you drop the rice sticks into their pot of boiling water. Stir them until they are pink on all sides.
Snow peas & red peppers: julienne a red bell pepper, and cut a good handful of snow peas each once on the bias. Add to the sauce at the same time as the noodles, and stir/toss through. No pre-cooking or blanching required!