We’re all about hearty bowls of food — plates are overrated, anyway. Join James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur Rachel Yang as she dives into this most useful piece of servingware and shows you how to keep it fresh. These cold red curry noodles with shrimp are sure to turn some heads.
You could look at this refreshing summery noodle dish from two angles — first, as an example of the classic Korean summertime banchan combination of zucchini and salted shrimp, and second, as an Easternized version of a more Italian pasta dish with shrimp, pesto, greens and peppers. Either way, pairing inherently sweet zucchini with salty shrimp produces a flavor we love.
Because noodles do tend to firm up as they cool, we make our cold noodle dishes with softer noodles — achieved, in this case, by adding a mixture of eggs, egg yolks, and baking powder to the dough. Make sure to toss the cooked noodles immediately with the pesto, or they’ll stick together.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and rolling
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- rice flour, for dusting
- 1 quart water
- 1/4 cup sake
- 1/2 small daikon radish, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 small carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 small celery rib, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 small onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 pounds large shell-on shrimp, deveined (shells left intact)
- 2 cups packed thai basil leaves
- 2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound)
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon salted shrimp
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup drained pickled grilled Korean peppers
- 1 small head escarole, chopped (about 2 packed cups)
For the noodles
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt to blend. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, whole eggs, curry paste, and oil until uniform in color. Make a small well in the center of the dry ingredients, then add the egg mixture to the well. Using your hands or a spoon, mix the ingredients until they cling together in a shaggy mass, then pat the dough together, transfer it to a clean lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth. Wrap the dough well in plastic and set aside to rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
In a 3-quart pot, combine the water, sake, radish, garlic, carrot, celery, onion, peppercorns, coriander, thyme, bay leaf, and salt and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a bare simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add the basil and cook for about 30 seconds, then drain and, when cool enough to handle, squeeze the excess water out of the basil. Transfer it to the bowl of a food processor.
Trim the ends of the zucchini, then cut the skin of the zucchini in strips that go about 1⁄2 inch into the zucchini, like you’re cutting the kernels of a cob of corn. (It’s the skins you want to keep.) Cut the skin strips into 1⁄2-inch pieces, discarding the white inner core of the zucchini.
Add the zucchini skins, oil, salted shrimp, fish sauce, and ginger to the food processor with the basil, and whirl until the zucchini is very finely chopped (but not totally smooth). Set aside.
Add the shrimp to the simmering court bouillon and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to an ice bath to cool, then peel them and set aside.
Using a pasta-rolling machine, roll to level 5 and cut into thin noodles, dusting the noodles with rice flour as needed to prevent them from sticking together.
Put about half of the noodles in to cook. When the noodles are done, dunk them in an ice bath until cool, then drain them and transfer to a large bowl. Add about 1 cup of the pesto and toss to coat. Repeat with the remaining noodles, then to the entire batch, add another 1⁄2 cup of the pesto, plus the pickled peppers, escarole, and reserved shrimp, and toss to blend, adding more pesto as the noodles soak it up. Serve cold in individual Asian-style noodle bowls.