Picture this- 8 girls, one kitchen and 6 months in Florence Italy.
It sounds like the start to a great sit com right? It pretty much was.
Italy was undoubtedly one of the best experiences of my life, and the food being a major reason for that. Endless fresh pasta, pizza, wine and gelato while roaming through the streets of Florence with some of my best friends? I am so grateful and stupid lucky.
What I didn’t expect however, was to come back with a new favorite Thai recipe that remains an all time favorite.
No matter how much you love cheese and carbs, and trust me, I am a HUGE fan, you eventually hit a point where you’re craving something with totally different flavor. One day, after much deliberation over what type of food we all were craving most, one of my house mates Paige found this phenomenal recipe and the rest is history. Fortunately we lived down the street from a little ethnic grocery store, something that’s not very common in Italy, and would go there to get our peanut butter fixes. You would have though we’d struck gold when we found that they sold red curry paste and coconut milk, meaning this coconut curry chicken noodle soup was going to become a reality. We definitely got judging looks from the surrounding italian shoppers as we shrieked but we had gotten use to that.
Back in our apartment kitchen we quickly realized we didn’t have a can opener! But, thanks to a youtube tutorial and a lot of persistence, discovered you can open canned products using a metal spoon and a lot of friction. Lots of laughter and mess later we had coconut milk cans opened and were on our way’s to satisfying the thai food craving that had paralyzed us for weeks. I still remember how amazing that first spoonful tasted, without a doubt due my taste buds having been exposed to nothing spicy or coconutty in months.
Here’s a few fun photo’s of Italy & the food- just because! Thanks for letting me go down memory lane…
Thanks to how the cooked rice noodles look, this dish lovingly became referred to as hairs and long after Florence the nick name has stuck. It’s much more of a noodle dish than a true soup, as the rice noodles soak up so much of the broth, but it makes them extra flavorful. It’s also been improved on a bit in all the times it’s been made since that chilly Spring and wins best leftovers award from someone who doesn’t like leftovers.
So here’s the most recent version of the recipe, with all my favorite additions! Scroll to the bottom for the ingredient list and step by step instructions.
Whisk together the coconut milk, red curry paste, chicken broth, sesame oil and fish sauce over medium heat! Add spices to taste as it simmers.
Once the base has simmered for 10 minutes, add the red peppers, shredded chicken and rice noodles.
Stir together and bring to a low simmer for 8 minutes- allowing rice noodles to cook fully.
Don’t forget to sauté the bok choy in a seperate pan the last 5 minutes the noodles cook!
Spoil yourself! Top with bok choy, green onions, cilantro, a dab of chili garlic sauce and some peanuts! DIG IN!
Let me know what you thought of this recipe, if you give it a try and if you have any favorite food/travel memories!! Any other Italy lovers out there?