In this long adventure into healthier cooking, we sometimes have a longing for things that are just taboo, save for the one day a week we indulge. The lack of carbohydrate rich foods in our diet did leave something missing. I don’t know if it’s psychological or physiological. It’s hard to say. Assuming its psychological, finding substitutes should help.
Every few months I like to bust out this Thai soup that is packed with veggies. But most Thai soups tend to have noodles. Occasionally I would add julienned zucchini to the soup which…helped…but wasn’t great. To compensate for that I started using Shirataki Noodles. They are made from a white yam, but unlike most yams it has no sugar and is very low in carbohydrates. It barely has any calories either. Evidently it expands in your stomach too, giving you the feeling of fullness. This isn’t so much an issue for us, as we eat as much as we want of the healthy stuff, which is a lot less now than it was 8 months ago. I think naturally our stomachs just shrank, along with the rest of us. Some shirataki are made from tofu. I try to avoid those b/c we already eat too much soy aside from the fact that they really don’t taste as good as real shirataki noodles. The tofu is seasoned with a little soy sauce but you can use Bragg’s Liquid Amino’s instead. My girlfriend doesn’t like the word “amino” so she doesn’t go anywhere near the stuff. Alternatively, if you are not a vegetarian you could use chicken (which is how I prefer it)
Thai Coconut Milk Soup With Shirataki Noodles
2 cans coconut milk
2 tbsp red thai curry paste
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large red pepper, diced
1 large carrot, julienned
1 stalk lemongrass, cut in 3 inch pieces and smashed
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups water
1 package tofu, extra firm
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
2 packages shirataki noodles
Start by cutting the tofu into 1/2 inch thick slices. Wrap between paper towels and set on deep plate. Place a plate on top of it so that it squeezes all the water out for about 1/2 hour. Before unwrapping give another good squeeze then cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Heat sesame oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat and saute about 3-4 minutes on each side until tofu is crispy. Toss in soy sauce in pan and mix until well incorporated. Remove from heat.
Separate the coconut cream from the coconut milk. Add cream to a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Mix in thai paste and cook until fragrant. Add onions and garlic and saute until the onions sweat – about 4 minutes. Then add peppers, carrots, and lemon grass. Mix well for 1-2 minutes. Add broth and water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover and let cook for 25 minutes. In the meantime, drain your shirataki noodles (they may smell funny but that smell goes away after you cook them. After the soup cooks for 25 minutes, add shirataki noodles and cook for another 5-10 minutes on simmer. Use tongs to remove desired amount of noodle into bowl. Use a ladle to spoon vegetables and broth into bowl. Top with tofu and enjoy.