This Thai red curry ramen 2 ways is a new family favorite, with its warm red color and nutty flavors that complement vegetables and meats alike. We like it with tender chicken or mushrooms, red bell peppers and spinach. It goes together quickly considering its relatively long list of ingredients, every one worth it.
In Thai red curry ramen 2 ways, the carnivores’ “way” or portion gets chicken and the vegans’ “way” gets extra mushrooms (or tofu if you like). Thai Kitchen curry paste is vegan so that ingredient works for both. The spice level can be adjusted by the amount of curry paste, and there is so much flavor that all eaters thought it was great!
Subs for the meat-containing ingredients
My major change in making this Thai curry ramen 2 ways was to use vegetable broth instead of the bone broth from slow-cooking a whole chicken (as in this post). Perhaps I’ll make my own vegetable broth one of these days, but in the meantime, Imagine Foods makes an excellent one.
And then there’s fish sauce, which I always felt made Thai recipes “taste Thai.” But luckily, you have marvelous choices for the salty, umami flavors. Coconut aminos or tamari are both vegan and gluten-free. For those who hanker after the fish-sauce flavor, you can just place the fish sauce with the other condiments on your table and let your meat-eaters sprinkle fish sauce on after serving. (If you do this, let them know to just start with a few drops!)
Last, you have a choice of curry pastes. Thai Kitchen is more widely available and is vegan, so the natural choice here. Mae Ploy curry pastes, which contain shrimp paste, won’t work for vegans. But if you are ever making a version for meat-eaters only, “economical-me” likes that you get a larger quantity (14 ounces) in each container of Mae Ploy than Thai Kitchen (4 ounces). If you plan to use a curry paste often, Mae Ploy will save you money over the long run.
Red, green or yellow?
I have often made Thai green curry but less so the red or yellow. Thai green curry’s green color comes from the cilantro and basil it contains. These are two of my favorite tastes and I could eat them in everything! I always add more fresh basil and cilantro to Thai curries since I love them so much. But I know people who don’t like cilantro and so the green might not be their favorite.
With a red curry, which contains more chilies (and sometimes chili powder) I rely more on the paste itself for the flavor. Red curry can be sweeter than the others, but that depends greatly on what else you add to it. There’s cilantro and basil in this recipe too – what can I say?
Yellow curry contains lots of turmeric, which makes it yellow. Look for a yellow curry recipe later on!!
Red curries can be very spicy-hot, but the spiciness is not so noticeable once the soup is all combined. I think it’s that the almond butter and the coconut milk temper the heat and give the broth a rich smoothness. Add more curry paste if you want it hotter.
You can adjust the vegetables according to taste or what you have on hand. Bell peppers and onions are what I’ve most often used, but green beans and mushrooms are so good with these flavors. This recipe is a fantastic way to eat spinach, since I’m one of those people who can’t stand it raw!
This recipe is adapted from this one.
Other curries on A Meal In Mind include:
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Kitchen items used in this recipe
I love my Lodge Dutch oven for a recipe like this because it heats evenly and is wide enough to come to a simmer quickly. Major downside: it weighs 13 pounds.
The Henckels Santoku knife is my favorite. It’s light in the hand, holds its edge well (a sharp knife is a safe knife) and has the little pockets that keep vegetables from sticking to the blade as you slice or chop. I have two sizes but I use the 7 inch most often.
Here are both curry pastes, and though you may not want to buy all three from Mae Ploy, on Amazon this is the best deal. Mae Ploy keeps well in the refrigerator but if you are trying this recipe for the first time, the small jar of Thai Kitchen is probably your best bet. And of course Thai Kitchen’s product is vegan.
Imagine vegetable broth is great – there is a low-sodium version too.
The link for the coconut milk is for 12 cans, which can take up a lot of cabinet space. As with the curry paste, it’s a good bet if you use coconut milk in as many dishes as I do.
Coconut secret coconut aminos are delicious. I’ve seen that brand in a larger size at Costco but haven’t bought it there because I’m not sure I’d use it up fast enough. Wherever you buy it, be sure you store it in the refrigerator after opening and keep an eye on the expiration date, as it can grow mold if you forget about it. San-J Tamari is gluten-free. I love Japanese sesame oil, and Kadoya is an excellent one. I chose this brand of coconut sugar partly because of the small container, but I bake with this now and so tend to buy a larger one for my own use.
I hope you will enjoy this recipe!
This Thai red curry ramen 2 ways is a favorite, with its warm red color and nutty flavors that complement vegetables and meats alike. We like it with tender chicken or mushrooms, red bell peppers and spinach.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 red bell peppers, chopped
- 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup Thai Kitchen red curry paste (if you like your curry spicy, add another tablespoonful – the extra can also be added at the end)
- 4 cups chicken bone broth or vegetable broth
- 1 can (14 ounce) coconut milk (see note)
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce, tamari or more coconut aminos
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar or slightly more to taste
- 1/3 cup creamy almond butter
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach, a knife run through it first (see note)
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/3 cup fresh basil or cilantro, roughly chopped, plus more for serving
- lime wedges, chopped almonds, sesame seeds and toasted sesame oil, for serving
Prepare separately and add at end:
- 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts. See notes.
- 4 squares millet and brown rice ramen noodles, cook separately according to the package directions, rinse and store.
- See notes for cooking chicken and ramen noodles separately.
- In a large soup pot over medium heat, add 1 tablespoonful of the olive oil and stir to coat the pan.
- Add the mushrooms and stir quickly so that each one gets a little oil. Continue to cook, stirring, until the mushrooms lose a little of their volume and are slightly shiny, about 3 minutes. Remove to a small bowl for use as a garnish later.
- Add the remaining tablespoonful of oil and the red bell peppers to the pan and saute until they have obtained a thin coating of oil and are just starting to tenderize, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and ginger and stir for a minute more.
- Add the red curry paste and stir to coat the vegetables.
- Pour in the broth, coconut milk, coconut aminos (or tamari), coconut sugar, almond butter and spinach.
- Bring to a low boil over medium heat, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes or until the peppers are cooked through and tender.
- Stir in the cooked noodles, cilantro and lime juice.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and top with protein of choice for each eater.
- Garnish with chopped almonds, sesame seeds and lime wedges. Enjoy!
I prefer the spinach to be very coarsely chopped. I pile the clean greens on a cutting board and pull the knife through them making about 1/2 inch wide cuts.
Coconut milks vary greatly in their effect on a curry broth. The brand that thickens the most in my experience is Chaokoh, possibly because it contains sodium meta-bisulfite. The one that thickens the least is Trader Joe’s. In between are Native Forest, Thai Kitchen, Natural Grocers, Thrive Market and Sprouts.
For cooking chicken breasts, if you don’t have a preferred method, try mine! I let skinless chicken breasts slow-cook in the instant pot for 7 hours in about ½ cup of water on slow-cook setting. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove to a plate and shred with two forks. This is enough to cook them without them getting tough and makes great unseasoned pulled chicken. Add to individual bowls or to a portion of the curry or any other dish.
For the ramen, cook separately and refrigerate if you won’t be serving right away. Stir the noodles into the pot or the bowls of hot soup just before serving. If you add them to the soup too long before serving, they will get soggy.
Keywords: red Thai ramen, plant based, chicken option, coconut milk curry, red thai curry, vegetable broth, rice millet ramen, asian cuisine