Sunday, October 6, 2013

I *sniffle* hate the f*sniffle*ing Santa Anas.

What is it about these annual winds that makes everyone crazy? I grew up with them, and they're basically the weather equivalent of a full moon. People. Act. Nuts. Besides the normal nutty behavior associated with having to deal with downed trees and power lines, destroyed hair, dirt in your eyes, and head congestion, I mean. It's probably all the electricity in the air? Serious, check Wiki's Health Effects section. It's legit crazytime.

Anyway, I just got back from visiting my parents in the Inland Empire‚ which is like, Santa Ana central. Their house even shakes in these winds, which is actually cool to me, because in So Cal we often like weird things that terrify normal people (i.e. earthquakes, eating raw fish, flip-flop tanlines.) Anyway, it also means I returned with a head full of snot and completely plugged up ears. They got so pressurized on my drive home over the mountains that I literally couldn't hear E whining in the back seat. So, not all negative, I guess.

I woke up this morning and the sore throat was gone and I can hear out of my left ear, so it's getting better, but I still wanted something soupy for lunch. I was going to make this, but I had tofu that needed to be used, and some bean thread noodles my mom sent home with me (she may have discovered they weren't actually another form of bean sprouts and some hilarity may have ensued, but that's for another day), so I did some substituting. And it was delicious. And easy. And I will definitely be making again.

You could probably substitute green curry paste, if that's more your thing (I will be next time, cause I love it), but I had red in the fridge so I went with it.

Red Curry Coconut Soup
1 tsp peanut (or canola) oil
2 tbsp red curry paste
6 cups chicken broth
1 can light coconut milk
5 tbsp fish sauce
juice of 1.5 limes
3 tbsp sugar
1 package extra firm tofu, cubed or thinly sliced
2 small bundles of bean thread noodles (or about 4oz any asian rice noodles)
cilantro, chopped, to top

Heat the oil and curry paste in a stock pot over medium heat. Add broth, coconut, lime juice, sugar and fish sauce, bring to a low boil. Add noodles and cook until soft, anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on the kind of noodle.

NOTE: If you used really thin noodles (like bean thread) take a sharp knife or some kitchen shears, stick it in the soup, and cut, cut, cut. It'll still be a bitch to serve (and will require chopsticks to eat) but this helps a ton.

Add tofu and let cook another minute. Turn off the heat and let sit a couple minutes to let tofu get hot.

Add more lime juice to taste and top with cilantro.

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