If you like Malaysian or Thai food or spicy, tropical flavors in general, you’ll really want to get to an Asian grocery store or an online grocery store for curry paste. I am very blessed to live close to a big Korean market that happens to sell a lot of Thai, Chinese, and Japanese food along with Korean offerings. In this grocery store, there is a whole wall of curries that are designed to add to soups, stews, and whatever. It’s quite amazing that so many of these curries contain no animal ingredients, however, I take issue that most of them list palm oil as the first ingredient. As a rule, I try to avoid palm oil because its use is destroying the habitats of many beloved creatures like orangutans whose homes are destroyed so palm oil plantations can flourish. After much looking, I found a great red curry paste in a can called Massaman that had no palm oil. It was perfect! If you can find or order Massaman, buy it. It sure beat hunting down all of the ingredients it already contains, like tamarind, lemongrass, and galangal.
3 cups water
1 vegan broth cube
1 tablespoon Massaman curry paste or other prepared curry paste, found in Asian grocery stores
1 handful rice or sweet potato (glass) noodles
1/2 cup coconut milk
1.5 cups fresh basil leaves
1 green onion, chopped
Combine water and broth cube in a large pot and bring to a boil. As it boils, add a heaping tablespoon of curry paste and let it dissolve. Turn the heat down to medium high and add the glass or rice noodles, pushing them down with a spoon. After 5 minutes of cooking in the broth, noodles are already done. This is the joy of rice or sweet potato noodles versus typical Western spaghetti — they cook much, much faster. And they’re gluten free. Anyway, add the coconut milk and turn the heat off. Honestly this did not need coconut milk to be good but I was trying to be authentic.
Chop the basil and green onion and stir into the soup shortly before serving.