Yasai Itame

Thai Green Curry Noodle Soup
Thai Green Curry Noodle Soup

“Aren’t you going to look at the menu?”
“No way, I know what I’m having, I always have the Yasai Ramen… I don’t like change” I say pushing the unopened menu away from me.
“But it wouldn’t kill you to try something new” said Jamie burying his face deeper into the Wagamama menu. “How about the Yasai Itame”
With a big sigh I reluctantly pick up my menu again and scan the noodle soup section. “Where’s that then?”
“It’s under ‘curry'”
“No thank you” I say and abruptly close my menu again and push it towards him. “You know I always order noodle soup so stop trying to make me try new things, I hate new things!”
“Yes but it IS a noodle soup, just a curry one”…
“Is it?” I say perplexed and reach for my menu for a third time. “It has to have tofu in it though, does it have tofu in it? I bet it doesn’t” I say shaking my head doubtfully as I squint to read the fuzzy tiny words. Why do I never wear my fucking glasses? I literally have the eyesight of a dead mole rat.
“Yes it does have tofu in it” Jamie smirks.
“Oh… But does it have those horrible fat noodles in it? You know, the ones that look and taste like actual worms.”
“Udon noodles?”
“Yes Udon noodles, disgusting, I hate those.”
“No it doesn’t have those in it.”
“Oh” I say again, realising I’m losing this battle so I might as well give in. So I order the Yasai Itame against my better judgement and start thinking of ways to guilt trip Jamie on the way home, after I inevitably hate it. But I don’t of course, it’s bloody marvellous, damn it!
“Oh do shut up” I say to Jamie through a mouthful of delicious noodles.
“I didn’t say anything!” He protests.
“You don’t have to, I can hear your smugness.”
“Would you have it again?” Jamie asked grinning.
“Yes… In fact, I’m only ever going to order this from now on.”
Jamie rolls his eyes.
… The problem is dear reader, I really REALLY liked this dish but obviously can’t afford to eat at Wagamama every night. So I had a go at making my own version, which to my surprise actually worked (for once). Not only is it quick, it’s cheap and buys you enough ingredients to make four portions. The recipe below serves two but I found I had enough ingredients left over to make it again, I only had to buy an extra can of coconut milk, everything else I had far too much of. For example, spring onions tend to come in bunches of 6, pak choy in packs of 2, chestnut mushrooms 12-13 per packet and so on and so fourth. So why not double up and have some scrumptious leftovers for lunch? Unless you can think of anything else you can make with left over beansprouts other than stir fry?… Exactly.

Yasai Itame
Serves 2 / Takes 30 minutes / Vegan
100g rice noodles
3 Tbs Thai green curry paste (2 Tbs if you want it a little less spicy)
2 Tbs soy sauce
Half a red onion sliced
3 Spring onions chopped
1 Inch of bashed chopped lemon grass finely chopped
Knob of ginger finely grated
1 Bulb Pak Choy roughly chopped
Half a red pepper sliced
Handful sugar snap peas chopped
Handful bean sprouts chopped
6 chestnut mushrooms
1 Can of coconut milk
150g of firm tofu cut into cubes (I use Tofoo)
Half a lime cut in half 
Sunflower spray oil (or a tsp on sunflower, vegetable or coconut oil)
Fresh corriander leaves and a chopped red chilli to garnish (optional) 

1.Cook the rice noodles as per the packet instructions. (As I use Chinese rice noodles from China town they rarely have English instructions so I cook them in boiling water for 3-4 minutes.) Once cooked, immediately strain and rinse well with cold water to cool the noodles completely. Leave to drain.
2. Slice the red onion and roughly chop the spring onions. Pop them in a heavy bottomed pan or wok with the oil. Cook on a medium heat until softened (around 10 minutes.) If the onions start to show signs of burning add some water to prevent burning and to aid steaming.
3. Once the onions are cooked add the Thai green curry paste and cook for a further minute before adding the finely grated ginger, lemongrass, coconut milk and soy sauce. Give it a good stir, add the tofu and bring to the boil.
4. Meanwhile start chopping your red pepper, sugar snap peas, pak choy and mushrooms (stalks removed).
5. Once boiling reduce to a simmer and add the veg, a handful of beansprouts and stir carefully to avoid breaking up the tofu. Simmer for around 5 minutes until the vegetables are nice and soft but still have a bit of crunch.
6. Evenly distribute the noddles into two deep bowls and spoon the curry over the top. Serve topped with fresh coriander leaves, a sprinkle of chopped chillies and lime wedge.

Thai Green Curry Noodle Soup
Thai Green Curry Noodle Soup

If you’ve had a go at making my Yasai Itame or any of my recipes I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com

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