Red Curry Ramen

I'm a big fan of curries. Growing up, my momma made many variations: spicy, creamy, veggie-dense, chicken, beef, tofu, green, and yellow curry. There wasn't one I didn't like, but I most especially enjoyed Thai red curry with lemongrass. The light and fragrant addition of lemongrass to this dish marries well with the spices. I enjoy this soup with ramen noodles, but rice noodles or steamed rice are also great.

Tip: When using lemongrass, use only the bottom 4 inches of the stalk and remove the tough outer leaves.

Effortful Time: 20 mins Total Time: 35 mins Servings: 2-3

You Need

  • 1½ tablespoons ghee or avocado oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, finely chopped
  • ½ yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 dried shiitake mushroom caps, rehydrated and sliced (reserve 1 cup of stock)
  • 1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons red curry paste (more curry paste=spicier soup)
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, chopped
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 8 slices pork belly, thinly sliced
  • 5 ounces ramen or rice noodles

For Serving

  • remaining cilantro
  • green onion, sliced
  • limes for squeezing

Do It

  1. Before you get cookin', rehydrate shiitake mushrooms for 30 mins. Add hot water to the bowl of mushrooms and cover. Once 'shrooms have marshmallow-like fluff to the caps, thinly slice and remove stalk. Reserve the stock for later use.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add ginger, garlic, and onions. Stir occasionally until onions are translucent, 3-4 mins.
  3. Add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms have softened and browned, 6-8 mins.
  4. Add red curry paste and mix well into onion/mushroom mixture. Add chicken stock, shiitake stock, coconut milk, fish sauce, and lemongrass. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Stir in ¼ cup of cilantro and cook for an additional 15 mins.
  5. While the soup is simmering, start cooking the pork belly. Coat the bottom of a skillet with a thin layer of oil and heat over a medium flame. Add pork belly to the pan and cook until well-browned on both sides, 4-7 minutes. You'll want both sides to be nice and crisp. Once cooked thoroughly, transfer to a plate and add a whisper of salt on both sides (optional).
  6. In a separate large pot, cook the ramen or rice noodles in boiling water for 4-5 minutes or as directed on the package. While you're waiting for the noodles to cook, add spinach to the pot of red curry soup and reduce heat to low.
  7. Just before serving, remove lemongrass from the soup and discard.
  8. Once noodles have finished cooking, drain and divide among 2-3 bowls. Ladle soup over noodles and top with remaining cilantro, green onion, pork belly, and a squeeze of a lime wedge.