This richly flavored dish is made with vegetables and kelp noodles, simmered in coconut sauce with an enhanced red curry paste. It’s so delicious you won’t even know your eating paleo noodles.
Before you say “yuck”, let me tell you a little about kelp noodles. First of all they don’t taste like seaweed at all. Actually they’re almost tasteless. This is a good thing since they absorb the flavors of the sauce they’re cooked in.
Kelp noodles are a raw, mineral rich food full of nutrients that aid digestion and metabolism, help your thyroid, strengthen bones and teeth, and improve your circulatory system. They are also low in carbohydrates and calories, and are gluten-, wheat- and sugar-free. The minerals in kelp noodles help alkalinize your body.
They have a similar appearance and springy texture like thin rice noodles. I like them best with Asian flavors. Read how to buy prepare and store kelp noodles.
Thai red curry paste is a condiment that I use often. Added to coconut milk it makes a fragrant sauce for vegetable, chicken, fish or tofu dishes. It’s easy to use and makes a pretty good sauce, but in this recipe I enhance it for a more complex flavor.
Certainly making Thai red curry paste from scratch has a deeper flavor similar to what you’ll find in a great Thai restaurant. But generally I don’t feel like searching for the galangal, lime leaves, Thai chili peppers and dried shrimp needed to make my own Thai red curry past from scratch. I’ve only done that a few times after returning from a trip to Thailand full of inspiration.
In this recipe, to make the basic Thai curry paste that’s sitting in the back of my refrigerator a little more exciting I simmer cumin seeds, coriander seeds and curry in coconut oil at the beginning to enhance the flavors. I add shiitake mushrooms, shallots, scallions, garlic and chili peppers. Saute them with the spices until golden brown. The mushrooms add a lot of umami flavor to the dish.
Thai bird chilis have the best flavor and a good amount of heat. If you don’t like hot-spicy use a jalapeno peppers instead. Since the fresh Thai chilis aren’t available near me, I use dried Thai chilis soaked in hot water for 15 minutes. They’re fabulous. Remove the seeds before soaking unless you like your food really hot-spicy.
Next stir in some the Thai red curry paste from the jar. You can find it in most supermarkets. Cook for a few minutes until fragrant. Add coconut milk, lime juice and Thai fish sauce.
I like Red Boat Fish Sauce. It is an all-natural, first press, “extra virgin” Vietnamese fish sauce which is made from a two hundred year-old, chemical free, artisanal process.
Add sweet red pepper and broccoli, simmer 3-5 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the kelp noodles. Drop them in boiling water for a few seconds, drain and rinse in cold water. They’re already cooked, this step is just to freshen them up. Lay them out on a kitchen towel to dry.
Stir in spinach and cook until wilted.
Serve Paleo Thai Red Curry Noodles with lime wedges, scallions and sliced radishes. Add optional garnishes; torn basil or mint leaves, sesame seeds. You’ll be amazed how satisfying they are.
You can add chicken, tofu, shrimp, or squid for more protein.
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- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- 4 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms (about 6 ounces)
- 6 scallions, thinly sliced, (1 ½ cups), white and green parts divided
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 fresh hot red chile, seeded and thinly sliced (use jalapeno pepper if you don’t like hot-spicy)
- Celtic sea salt
- 12 ounces kelp noodles
- 2 tablespoons Thai Red Curry Paste
- 1 (13.5-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 ½ tablespoons Asian fish sauce, more to taste, use coconut aminos if vegan
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, more to taste
- 1 cup sliced red bell pepper
- 1 cup broccoli, cut into florets
- 5 ounces spinach or tatsoi torn into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- Lime wedges, for garnish
- Optional garnishes: thinly sliced radishes, scallions, torn basil, mint, or cilantro leaves; sesame seeds
- In a large skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add cumin seeds. Cook 20 seconds until lightly brown. Add ground coriander and curry powder. Simmer 10 seconds.
- Stir in mushrooms, half the scallions (the white part), garlic, shallots, chile and a large pinch of salt. Sauté until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Prepare the noodles: Boil a pot of water, turn off. Add noodles, stir to separate, drain and rinse in cold water. Spread out on a kitchen towel to dry. Cut into 4-5 inch sections. Set aside.
- Stir red curry paste into skillet and cook until fragrant and darkened, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Stir coconut milk into skillet along with 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce, and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Mix to combine evenly.
- Add red pepper and broccoli. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, 2 to 4 minutes longer.
- Fold in noodles, tossing until coated with sauce and heated through.
- Add additional fish sauce and lime juice to taste.
- Top with remaining scallions and cilantro leaves.
- Serve with lime wedges and any optional garnishes.
Add cooked chicken, shrimp or squid for additional protein.
- Category: Paleo, Vegan, Gluten Free
- Cuisine: Thai, Healthy