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Rice Noodle with Catfish Curry (Kanom Jeen Numya Pla)

In Northeast Thailand (Isaan), this noodle dish is not commonly sold in noodle shops! Instead, it’s sold on the street by vendors selling Som Tum (Green Papaya Salad).

1 pound dried guilin noodle (small size)
4 cups water
1 stalk lemon grass (cut into 1 inch lengths)
3 slices galanga (1/8 th inch thick)
5 kaffir lime leaves
1/4 pound ginger root (remove skin and cut into 1/8 th inch thick slices)
2 tablespoons shredded krachai
3 dried chili pop peppers (remove seeds)
3 medium-sized shallots
1 tablespoon sea salt
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 pound catfish fillets
1 can coconut milk (13.5 ounces)
1/2 pound fresh bean sprouts
1/3 cup fresh lemon basil (bai maengluck; can substitute Thai basil)
Rice Noodle with Catfish Curry photo
Note: Krachai (also called rhizome) is available either frozen or in jars at Asian markets.

1. Fill a soup pot with water and bring to a boil. Add guilin noodle and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until soft. Drain in cold water and make little bundles out of the noodles. Cover with plastic wrap to keep moist and set aside.

2. In a soup pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add lemon grass, galanga, lime leaves, ginger, krachai, chili pop, shallot, salt, fish sauce, and catfish and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

3. Remove lemon grass, galanga, and lime leaves from the mixture and place the remainder, including the water, in a food processor (or blender). Mix the ingredients until they turn to a paste and set aside.

4. Skim off the coconut cream from the can of coconut milk and place in a soup pot. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Add the paste from the food processor and cook until oil droplets appear, approximately 3-5 minutes. Pour in the rest of the coconut milk and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

5. To serve, place several bundles of noodles on a plate and top with catfish curry, bean sprouts, and lemon basil (or Thai basil). Serve warm with lots of fresh vegetables, such as sliced green beans, sliced cabbage, and mint leaves.

Yield: 6 servings

This recipe taken from "Crying Tiger: Thai Recipes from the Heart" by Supatra Johnson. Published by Jasmine Market. (All Rights Reserved) Copyright 2004.

Website produced by Jasmine Market. (All Rights Reserved) Copyright 2011. Email: jasminemarket@supatra.com