We love Thai food! If you’ve ever try to make it at home, you’ll quickly find out that making these exotic and complex flavored dishes is not that difficult, with a few key ingredients. This Instant Pot (or stovetop) Chicken Curry & Ramen Soup is a great example.
That said, if you need to make a few ingredient adjustments because your kitchen isn’t stocked with Thai ingredients, you can still get spectacular results by making sure that your dish is balanced. Finding the right combination of spicy, tart, salty and sweet notes with a touch of unami (earthly flavors often found in fermented foods), is an art that Thai cooks have perfected. Keeping that in mind helps when testing your dish in order to get the fantastic result.
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We start out with a simple trick. Instead of using vegetable oil to sauté the chicken, we instead selected virgin coconut oil. It’s important to use the virgin oil, because it has a nice nutty aroma and slightly sweet flavor. It also has a high smoke point, so we often also use it when baking to help keep cakes from sticking or burning around the edges.
Another key ingredient in this dish is a good red curry paste. How do you determine if the curry paste available at your local market is good? If salt is the first ingredient, for example, keep looking. Mae Ploy is a popular brand, but it can be spicy. If you aren’t a fan of spicy foods, you can always start with less than called for in the recipe and then add more after the cooking process is done.
Some of the other ingredients can be substituted if necessary. If you can’t find Kaffir lime leaves in the international foods section of your grocery store you can source dried leaves on Amazon, for example, or just add more lime juice. Thai Fish Sauce will give a more authentic Thai flavor, but soy sauce can be used in a pinch.
I will suggest that you don’t skimp on your stock. Because we have an Instant Pot and stock is so easy to make, we typically have plenty of on hand in our freezer. You can also make your own stock using Better Than Bouillon or mixing one bouillon cube with 8 ounces of water, or even by using pre-made stock.
Keep in mind that any of these methods can add more salt. Make sure to taste the soup before adding the fish sauce (or soy sauce if you are using that) so that your results are not too salty.
Another thing to keep in mind is the ramen noodles that you choose to use. If you are buying a package of noodles make sure that it is the sort of noodle that is unflavored. If there is flavoring, it should be provided as a seasoning packet on the side that you can just discard. With all of the ingredients you are adding, you won’t need the packet, which is often mostly sodium anyway.
Finally, we love spicy foods and suggest serving the soup with a little extra hot sauce on the side. Something like Sriracha is a good option. Try to avoid hot sauces that are vinegar based, such as tabasco. While we love tabasco, the vinegar flavor is very strong and could overwhelm the more subtle seasonings in this soup.
Here are some additional Instant Pot recipes you might enjoy!
- 2 Chicken Breasts, cut into small cubes (about 1/2 inch/1.3 cm)
- 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) Virgin Coconut Oil (or other vegetable oil)
- 3 Cloves Garlic, finely diced or grated
- 1 inch (about 5.27g ) Knob Ginger, finely diced or grated
- 3 Tablespoons (50g) Red Curry Paste
- 2 Kaffir Lime Leaves (or 1 teaspoon (14g) dried crushed leaves) Optional
- 1/2 Red Bell Pepper (diced)
- 1 Cup (75 g) Diced Mushrooms (1 large portobello)
- 1 Cup Snow Peas, Washed and trimmed
- 1 Package Ramen Noodles
- 2 Cups (474 ml) Chicken Broth
- 1 14 Ounce (400 ml) Can Coconut Milk (full fat)
- 2 Teaspoons (8.4g) Brown Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) Thai Fish Sauce
- Juice 1/2 Lime
- Lime Wedges, Cilantro
- Chili Sauce (such as Sambal Oelek or Sriracha) Optional
Instant Pot Instructions
- Add the coconut oil to the bottom of the instant pot and set it to "sauté"
- Once the pot indicates that it is "hot" add the chicken.
- Coat the chicken with oil and sauté until most of the outside of the chicken has turned white (do not overcook, the center should still be pink at this point).
- Add the garlic, ginger, lime leaves and red curry paste. Sauté for about 2 minutes until the spices become aromatic. Stir in the vegetables and combine until well coated with the seasoning.
- Turn off the heat.
- Add the brown sugar, ramen noodles*, coconut milk and broth.
- Shut and seal the Instant Pot, make sure the valve is set to "sealing".
- Set the pot to "High" or "Manual" for "0" minutes.
- Once the Pot indicates that it has reached pressure, (about 15 minutes) immediately release the steam.
- Open the lid and stir in the Thai Fish Sauce and lime juice.
- Taste the soup. Because curry pastes can be very different, adjust the flavor and add more paste to increase the curry flavor and spiciness of the dish to your liking.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with cilantro. Serve with the hot sauce of your choice and lime wedges.
Follow the instructions above through #4.
Add the coconut milk, broth and brown sugar and bring the soup to a boil.
Lower to a simmer and continue stirring frequently. Continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the soup begins to thicken.
Add the noodles and allow to simmer for 2 minutes. Stir the soup to loosen the noodles and add the lime juice and fish sauce.
Adjust the flavor with additional curry paste, lime and or fish sauce until the taste is to your liking.
When the noodles are cooked through, ladle into bowls and serve with lime wedges, chili sauce and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.
* It is quite easy to overcook ramen noodles in a pressure cooker. If you are not planning to serve the soup right away, you can omit the noodles to the pressure cooking portion of the recipe. When you are ready to serve, bring the soup back to a boil using the sauté function. Add the noodles to the pot and simmer until they are fully cooked (about 3 minutes or per package directions).
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 420Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gSodium: 1380mgCarbohydrates: 19.7gProtein: 20.9g
The nutritional values stated are estimates and will depend on the exact ingredients used.