One of the saddest parts for me of moving to Louisiana was leaving behind all my favorite restaurants and foods I’d come to love. One of my favorite places was Noodles & Company. I’m sure you guys are the same as me–there are times in my life that I look back at with such fondness and such happy memories that it almost hurts. The summer of 2006 was that way for me and it seems like in my memories, I was always at Noodles & Company–with my sister before she moved to Alabama, with my then-two-year-old son on a rainy, rainy day after story time at the library, the night I found out I was pregnant with my daughter (and, subsequently, 9 months later on the night before I had her). My favorite thing to eat there (besides the Macaroni and Cheese which had about a million calories and as many grams of fat, so I’d order a small portion for my son and snack off his plate) was the Bangkok Curry. It was light, healthy, full of veggies, and unbelievably delicious. At the restaurant, there’s the option of adding grilled chicken or shrimp, but I always just went the vegetarian route.
Well, when we moved here, not only was there no Noodles & Company, but there was nothing even similar. And there were none close by. Not even in Texas. I tried to re-create it at home and failed. I scoured the internet for copycat recipes and came up with nothing. I resigned myself to a sad, Bangkok Curry-less existence. And then…a few months ago…I Googled it again for the heck of it and found not a copycat recipe but a recipe from Noodles & Company themselves! I went on a mad hunt for ingredients and tried making it that night. And, to be honest, it kind of flopped. The rice noodles were great in theory, but they only made things messier and more complicated than they needed to be. This sweet chili sauce
(which I had a heck of a time finding–I’ll warn you now to forgo the grocery store altogether on this one, head to a specialty or Asian foods market, and ask someone where to find the sweet chili sauce. It’ll save you some road rage and mean thoughts if you do!) was way spicier than I was anticipating and the amount called for in the recipe made mine inedible. There also weren’t enough veggies and blanching fresh broccoli and carrots, along with soaking the rice noodles and using the wok, completely destroyed my kitchen. So I tweaked, streamlined, and simplified. And the next go-around was awesome. Just like I’d been dreaming for 2 1/2 years.
Aside from the sweet chili sauce, you should be able to find everything else at your average grocery store:
Linguine (be sure to buy the 16-oz. package and not the 12-oz. package), green onions, fresh ginger, fresh garlic, mushrooms, frozen (gasp!) veggies, red bell peppers, curry paste, and coconut milk. I sometimes get a little bewildered at the grocery store when recipes call for curry paste–what kind of curry? Indian? Thai? Green? Red? Powder? Paste? Sauce? Yeah, you get the picture. In this recipe, I used Thai Kitchen red curry paste, although you could totally use their green curry paste, too. It’s inexpensive and super easy to find. Problem solved, right?
I always know I’m going to find what I’m hungry for on your site even when I’m not sure what I’m hungry for. I’m printing this out and making it tonight. Thank you!!
Try Cash N Carry if there's one near you for the chili sauce. I've been able to find it at any I've been to!
DIVINE. Thank you so much for that recipe. I usually can't eat Thai food because I am allergic to peanuts, so this was a real treat. Thanks!
Oh, goodness gracious! This is absolute heaven! Thanks for the recipe. It will definitely be added to our frequently used recipes list.
I made this tonight and it was delish! Thanks for sharing! And, I found some sweet chili sauce (just not the kind that you used) at Walmart. It was still tasty.
Hey, I found the sweet chili sauce at Walmart in St. George, UT. They actually had 2 different brands!! Must be a Louisiana Walmart thing.
I'm in South Carolina, (originally from Seattle… moved here 6 months ago) I was so happy to find the Mae Poy at Wal-Mart since I have yet to find an asian market anywhere in close proximity to us here. I think the closest is 45min+ away (such a change from Seattle!)
Thanks for all the great recipes! I made the Thai Peanut Noodles a couple of days ago and planning to make this soon! Yumm!
I can't wait to try this recipe! I use coconut milk in smoothies too, so you can always put half in the fridge for the morning.
Yum! I love it when you do all the work and make recipes simpler and better for me! I do have a noodles and company, but making it at home is always a better option. I'll have to try it sometime, whenever I get around to finding a specialty asian market. Hmmm. Where did you find one of those is Louisiana?!?!
Jenna–you definitely don't want to use Heinz chili sauce! 🙂 Try a little bit of Sriracha (super easy to find, even for me in the boonies) and some sugar instead.
By the way, if you do use the Mae Ploy red curry paste, start off with no more than 1/2 a teaspoon. I'm telling you, that stuff is hot! But very good.
Thank you thank you! What a timely post; I was just searching for a recipe for Noodle and Co's Bangkok curry, and couldn't find any. I'm excited to give yours a try; it's my favorite thing off the menu.
You may want to give the rice noodles another try. I'm actually Thai, and use rice noodles in many recipes. The secret is to soak them for TWO hours in cool water (30 min is not nearly enough), then drain them. Also, don't use hot water, it will cause them to become gummy.
Last, as someone mentioned, Mae Ploy makes an excellent red curry paste (I use it all the time), but be warned it is very hot! (Esp. if you think the chili sauce is hot, which doesn't even register on my hot scale). A little bit goes a long way.
By the way, I just found your site about a week ago and have made the Asian wonton salad about three times already. Delicious! It's my favorite salad dressing now.
Delicious. I made this last night, but added chicken so OH could not complain about getting a total veggie meal.
Made a couple of slight adjustments to suit the vegggies & noodles I had in.
Definitely a winner & will be a regular in this household.
I can find chili sauce in normal supermarkets all the time…at least in SLC. I think there are more Asians here than by you, Kate. Good thing, too, because I'm addicted to all Thai food.
For anyone that cooks for people with lots of allergies, thai recipes like this are awesome (typically gluten free, dairy free, MSG free, egg free) as long as you use rice noodles. The secret to those is to soak them in hot water, don't boil them, and then don't live in a humid place.. I'll bet if you do, you could probably just leave them out on the counter on a hot day.
Do you think a regular Heinz/generic-type Chili sauce (meant for burgers and stuff) would work? Or is "sweet chili sauce" a different type of sauce all together?
Looks fabulous! I'm always looking for new Asian recipes to try out since we go out to eat Asian so often.
I will definitely be trying this recipe! I put leftover coconut milk in the freezer all the time when I make curry chicken. I bet you could also mix up the coconut milk/curry paste sauce and freeze it, too. Since I'm only cooking for one, I'm going to try that out.
Love this dish! I can't wait to try it. Thanks for the feta link love:)
This looks delish! I must admit, I always got the mac and cheese at Noodles and Co. Whoops. 🙂 Man, that stuff is pure evil, isn't it? Thanks for the recipe!
I buy the sweet chili sauce at Walmart, they stock it in the Asian isle here where I live.
I can't wait to try this, it sounds so good! I bet it's especially good with Udon noodles too.
I am up in Alaska, and I have always found mae poy in the regular grocery store (fred myers, or Kroger), just in the asian isles. So if anyone has never bought it before, try the grocery store first, then venture out to the asian markets. But mae poy is excellent…I bet you don't make it without it!
Thanks, Double Dipped–I knew I forgot something! You whisk it in with the coconut milk and I changed it in the instructions.
Also… your recipe doesn't state when to use the curry! I assume it's in the hot oil before you add the mushrooms and such?
This looks fabulous! That same brand of the red chili sauce makes a great curry- and it's TONS cheaper in an Asian store than in the grocery store. Also, with your extra coconut sauce, you can make coconut rice! http://doubledippedlife.blogspot.com/2009/11/chicken-satay-with-coconut-rice.html
Awesome!! Your Thai Peanut Noodles are fabulous, so can't wait to try these…our town is opening a Noodles and Co. next month, so I am so excited!! Will be making this soon…:)
Thanks for this recipe. Everything Asian is delicious at Noodles–I eat there all the time! Now, if you could just perfect their coconut curry soup. YUMMY! 🙂
Tara, I totally bet you could use garlic chili sauce. Start small and add more to taste just so you don't overdo it! 🙂
Wow, this looks really good- as usual! So how crucial would you say the sweet chili sauce is? Driving 25 minutes to the asian store only to drag three kids through those tiny aisles… shudder. I have garlic chili sauce and srichicha. Would that work, or is the sweet chili sauce really key?
Oh & I forget to say, with regards to using only 1/2 a can of cocount milk. I do this frequently as it's just the two of us, then I freeze the rest of it for another time.
How fabulous you were able to finally find the recipe. That's tonight's dinner sorted for us, thanks.
I now how you feel about moving away from your favourite restaurants. I've had the same problem since moving to Spain. However, what I miss the most is the decent supermarkets in UK & all the lovely ingredients that are so hard to find here.