You know when you can’t decide whether you want some comfort food, something packed with punchy flavor or something light, bright & refreshing?
These obnoxiously over-titled saucy summer yellow curry noodle bowls are the answer to that quandary. I even made ’em nightshade free for my aip fam.
You start off by making a no-chili-no-problems summer yellow curry paste that’s everything light, bright, zingy and aromatic. It’s not complicated and you can whip it up in something as basic as an immersion blender.
(If you’re freaked out by the fresh lemongrass, don’t be! Discard the hard outer layer before mincing it up and remember that if you have to buy a large amount, you can freeze the sticks. Once they’re thawed out, they soften quite a bit and that actually makes them convenient to stash and easier to chop or mince!)
Then you treat that as the base for these summer yellow curry noodle bowls, just like you would a store bought curry paste. It’s fried up a little, given the food-fluffer treatment by melding it with generous swirls of coconut milk and a smidge of broth. Then comes the secret summer part!
You’d think all of the glorious creaminess you see would come from the coconut milk, right? But it’s actually rounded out with a secret ingredient, one that’s everywhere all summer and that sneaks in some hidden veggies: yellow summer squash!
Blending them into the coconut infused aromatic broth gives the sauce added body without additional fat or adding so much coconut milk that it’s all that you can taste.
If you want a milder version of these summer yellow curry noodle bowls, you can start off by using only half of the curry paste, but I like me some flavor in my face and use the whole whammy. You can keep any leftover curry paste in the fridge for quite some time, which means you can also make the curry paste up ahead of time to save you some extra minutes if you want to make these bowls on a weeknight.
I called these summer yellow curry bowls not just because of the summer squash, but also because I loaded them up with lots of fresh and crunchy toppings, the kind that my little porch-garden is overflowing with this time of year: handfuls of fresh basil and mint, slivers of paper thin radishes, chunky snippets of green onion & and thinly matchsticked cucumbers.
If you’re wondering about the noodles, they’re actually totally grain free! These are sweet potato glass noodles and most people know them from the Korean stir fry dish japchae. They’re often marked as “japchae noodles” and you can find them in international markets. They can also be called Korean vermicelli, dangmyun or glass noodles. You can buy them online, but they’ll be much more expensive, which goes double for people marking them up as “paleo”! The only ingredients should be sweet potato starch and water.
I wasn’t kidding when I called these saucy summer yellow curry noodle bowls, either. There’s a little over a cup of schmexy curry sauce per serving and you can serve them hot or cold, whatever floats your boat.Print
Saucy Summer Yellow Curry Noodle Bowls
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4
- Method: stovetop
For the nightshade free yellow curry paste:
- 2 oz / 57 g minced shallot, about 1 medium
- 3 tbsp / 45 g grated fresh ginger
- 2 tbsp / 20 g minced fresh lemongrass
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tsp / 10 g coarse sea salt
- 2 tbsp / 30 ml avocado oil
- 1 tsp / 5 ml gluten free fish sauce
- 1 tbsp / 6 g galangal powder or ground ginger, see notes
- 1 tbsp / 3 g dried cilantro leaves, not to be confused with coriander seed!
- 1 tbps / 3 g dried Thai basil, can substitute dried Italian basil
- 1 tsp / 2 g ground turmeric
For the yellow curry noodle bowls:
- 2 tbsp / 30 ml avocado oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 medium yellow squash, diced
- 8 oz / 225 g sweet potato glass noodles, see notes
- 2 cups / 480 ml coconut milk
- 2 cups / 480 ml chicken broth
- 3 tbsp / 45 ml fresh lime juice
- 2 tbsp / 30 ml honey
- 2 tsp / 10 ml gluten free fish sauce
- 12 – 16 oz / 340 – 454 g shrimp
- 1/2 large English cucumber, cut into matchsticks
- 3 – 4 radishes, sliced thinly
- 4 – 5 green onions, sliced
- Handful each of fresh Thai or sweet basil & fresh mint
- Lime wedges, to garnish
SMOOSH: Add the minced shallot, grated ginger, minced lemongrass & garlic and the coarse salt to a wide mouthed Mason jar or the container that came with your immersion blender. Use the immersion blender to roughly chop & mash up the aromatics until you have a rough mixture. Add the oil & fish sauce, then continue to blend together into a not-completely-smooth paste. Add the galangal or ginger, cilantro leaves, Thai basil and turmeric, then blend together until you have a thick but not lumpy curry paste mixture. Set aside.
SOFTEN: Heat the oil over low-medium in a dutch oven and add the diced onion. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is softening and translucent, about 8 minutes or so. Add the curry paste (if you like things on the milder side, start off without about half) and fry for a minute or so until fragrant. Add the diced yellow squash and cook until just beginning to soften but not browning.
BOIL: While the onion and squash mixture is getting along, prepare the sweet potato starch noodles according to their package instructions. Cook time will vary, but add the noodles to a pan of boiling water and cook until they have separated from each other and are cooked through with just a bit of bite, similar to al dente pasta. Drain the cooked noodles and immediately rinse them with cold water in a colander, tossing them around a little to rinse off all the excess starch and prevent them sticking. Leave them to hang out in the colander until later.
BLEND: Transfer the softened onion and squash mixture to a blender, along with the coconut milk and as much of the broth as can safely fit into your blender container. Blend until smooth & super creamy. Transfer the yellow curry sauce back to the pan and add the remaining broth if it didn’t all fit into your blender. (Alternatively you can leave everything in the dutch oven and use an immersion blender.) Bring the curry sauce to a simmer and cook until heated through and thickened slightly. Add the lime juice, honey & fish sauce. Cook for another minute and adjust the levels of acid, sweetness & salt, to taste. Turn off the heat & cover to keep warm.
POACH: While the curry sauce is warming through, bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add the shrimp. Reduce the heat so that the water is at a simmer and cook until the shrimp are opaque and fully cooked through, depending on their size. Drain and cool until running water so that they don’t overcook.
ASSEMBLE: Drain the cooked noodles of any excess water. In large bowls, spoon the yellow curry sauce evenly (a little over 1 cup / 240 ml per bowl), then top with the noodles. (You could also warm them through in the sauce before plating, if you like). Divide the shrimp, cucumber, sliced radishes & green onions between the bowls. Garnish with the basil, mint and lime wedges & serve.
- Galangal powder has a flavor similar to ground ginger, with a little more heat and a hit of peppery spice. It’s a lovely addition to your AIP pantry if you’re missing spice & heat, but if you can’t find it, feel free to substitute ginger instead. The fresh ginger in the recipe brings that lovely aromatic brightness, while the dried ginger or galangal powder brings a more concentrated heat.
- The yellow curry paste blend yields approximately 3/4 cup / 180 g & can be made ahead of time to speed up preparation time on a weeknight.
- Sweet potato glass noodles are used in the Korean stir fry dish japchae, so they’re often marked as “japchae noodles” and you can find them in international markets. They can also be called Korean vermicelli, dangmyun or glass noodles. You can buy them online, but they’ll be much more expensive, which goes double for people marking them up as “paleo”! The only ingredients should be sweet potato starch and water, if that is listed.