Bon Appétit's Spicy Curry Noodle Soup with Chicken and Sweet Potato

I've been looking to recreate Buddha's Belly's Spicy Tom Yom Koon soup for a while now and even though this recipe isn't really it, I thought it would satiate the craving and make for a good culinary challenge, or, what the laymen refer to as a bon appetempt. I'm happy to say, it didn't let me down on either front.

bon appétit's version:

our version:

The part of the challenge of every attempt that isn't captured via photos is the gathering of ingredients, and this soup was the most difficult to date. Check out just some of things we had to buy:
And after four grocery stores, and two specialty food shops, we still couldn't find yellow curry paste and decided to substitute with the readily available red curry paste, which explains why our version isn't as yellow as bon appélittleheadsupontherarityofyellowcurrypastewouldvebeennice.

Here seems like a good time to catalog our many screw-ups:

1. buying light coconut milk. Thought I would sneak it in there and we wouldn't even notice, but this time my nod towards the healthy backfired and the soups richness and creaminess suffered. (My bad.)

2. Either not mincing the lemongrass enough (second from the right) or leaving too many of the outside layers on. Not sure, but we kept hitting tough bits of it while trying to enjoy the broth.

3. forgetting to add sugar to the stock. (matt's bad, if you ask me.)

4. Not asking the Whole Foods butcher to take the bones out of the thigh pieces. (My bad.)

5. Gifting Shalom Auslander's Foreskin's Lament to Matt's Dad and sister after hearing only the second chapter on This American Life. (While hilarious and moving, this book - the title alone should've tipped us off - makes for a bit of an awkward gift to the in-laws.) (Matt's and my bad.)

Anyway, let's give thai food some credit for its color palette.

The end result is really one part noodles, one part soup and one part garnish. The noodles go into the bowl first, followed by the broth (with the sweet potato and chicken) and then, as garnish, the onions, cilantro, peppers, snow peas and lime.
Final verdict: the soup was spicy and refreshing, but truth be told, it was a little bland. Adding salt helped, but the full fat coconut milk and the two tablespoons of sugar were sorely missed.

In short, we made soup. It tasted pretty good. It's Father's Day and I've blogged instead of sent gifts off. (My BAD.)


Andrea said...

LOVE the new look of the blog and the colorful pictures. If you hadn't TOLD me that soup was kinda bland, I would have thought it was fur-flect.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering why yours looked redder. Cool blog.

Matt said...

I didn't think it was that bland, but it definitely would have been better with the full fat coconut milk!

Mary Anne said...

ames, lemongrass is allllllways like that. not yo' fault, girl!

Heather Taylor said...

ooooh la la! looks yummy anyway. this is my fave though:


super easy and delish. i always use the lite coconut milk. would the full fat make it richer? of course it would. does it matter in this recipe? not really.

Courtney said...

Ooh, this looks amazing. We're starting to get cold weather over here in NC, and we all know that means savory pies and soups. I'll have to try this one myself maybe next week sometime (keeping in mind the no-no for the lite coconut milk)! i've never used fresh lemongrass either. this should be interesting....


Em D said...

hello! were you ever successful at recreating the Tom Yom Koon from Buddah's Belly?? I have tried every thai soup in town (now in Chicago) and haven't found anything close! thank you!