Has anyone noticed that the squirrels are looking mighty fat lately in the Northeast? I have a feeling they’re stocking up. So strange, but right after Hurricane Sandy hit, I saw a squirrel outside my window chewing on a plastic container. At first, I thought he must have been really hungry, and that he was trying to eat the plastic. But, after one of my boys did a little googling, he concluded that the squirrel was trying to sharpen his teeth. With all the strange weather patterns we’ve been experiencing, I have a feeling we’re in for a very cold, long winter.
For those of you who’ve been following me for a while, you know that I love Thai flavors – lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk – in curries, stir-fries and soups. With the weather turning much colder lately, I especially love Asian noodle soups that have warm spices. Although I love hearty noodle soups, I do lighten up my noodle soups with shirataki noodles once in a while. Shirataki noodles have been enjoyed by the Japanese for many years, but have become all the rage recently now that they have been discovered to have almost no calories and are very low carb, so they’re diabetic friendly. They’re also gluten-free and vegan.
Made from the root of an Asian plant called konjac, shirataki noodles are translucent and remind me of mung bean noodles. They have some crunch to them, but are flavorless, so they absorb soup flavors nicely. Shirataki noodles should be rinsed before using to remove any bitterness.
Today, I’m sharing a Spicy Thai Coconut Winter Squash Noodle Soup recipe for this week’s Food Network Fall Fest event where Winter Squash is being featured. Winter squash is a terrific way to add bulk and meaty texture to vegetarian meals, so be sure to give this recipe a try if you like Thai flavors but are looking for something on the lighter side.
Be sure to check out the following recipes from all my friends participating in this week’s Fall Fest!
Feed Me Phoebe: African Peanut Stew With Shrimp and Butternut Squash
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Spicy Thai Coconut Winter Squash Noodle Soup
The Heritage Cook: Spaghetti Squash Two Ways
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Winter Squash Muffins With Honey and Molasses
Virtually Homemade: Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese With Sage and Bacon Breadcrumbs
Red or Green?: Spicy Twice-Baked Stuffer Winter Squash
Devour: Rachael Ray’s Easy Pumpkin and Winter Squash Lasagna
Thursday Night Dinner: Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
FN Dish: 5 Light Squash Recipes
Thai Spicy Coconut Noodle Soup
- 3 tablespoons Thai chili paste in soy bean oil nam prik pao
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce or soy sauce
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 stalks lemongrass bottom third, trimmed and crushed
- 6 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 cup mushrooms trimmed, cut into thick slices
- 1 cup butternut squash or kabocha squash cut into 1" chunks
- 1 1/2 cups baby bok choy cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 pack shiritaki noodles
Place chili paste, fish sauce, chicken broth and 3/4 of a can of coconut milk in a large saucepan. Whisk together until combined. Add lemongrass stalks, lime leaves and mushrooms, and bring soup to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until flavors develop.
Add squash and rest of coconut milk, and cook until just tender, about 10-15 minutes, depending on the squash. Add bok choy and shiritaki noodles and cook another 2-3 minutes until vegetables are just cooked through and noodles are heated through.
Adapted from Easy Thai Cooking by Robert Danhi. For a vegetarian version, substitute soy sauce for fish sauce.
This recipe is linked up to Beyond the Peel’s Keep It Real Thursdays.