Coconut Milk Borscht with Drunken Rice Noodles

Quite possibly the most delicious comfort soup on the planet.  If soup is as old as the history of cooking, then this one surely makes history.  Why?  Cause we’re marrying Thai and Eastern European flavors into one incredibly colorful noodle dish, this ain’t your everyday ramen, folks.  Rice noodles and beets get dunked and drunk and wake up in a broth of spiced coconut milk. This was created on a rainy spring day in Cape Town with the craving for noodles, coconut milk and something colorful.  Anything with coconut milk will taste good, and sorry if you are one of the those kids who can’t stand coconut, but you are missing out.  This one is easy and fast and impressively gorgeous and delicious.

How to hook up Borscht with Drunken Noodle:


1000ml/1 litre water

400ml of coconut milk

3 medium-sized carrots

50 ml of fresh or dried lemongrass

half of a medium-sized red onion

1 large beet root

1 cup of diced butternut

2 cups of sliced baby cabbage

2 small cloves of fresh garlic

1 TB sesame oil

1 TB fish sauce

1 TB rice vinegar

1.5 TB tamarind paste

1 tsp salt

1 TB Thai red curry powder or paste

1 TB fresh grated ginger

1 cup of fennel stalks

120 grams of rice noodles

First, dice/chop/slice the beet, carrots, cabbage, onion and butternut to your heart’s desire.  Add them to boiling water and reduce after 5 minutes to a simmer.  Use a hand blender after 10 minutes to make a thicker broth or let the vegetables stay in bite size pieces.  Toss the fennel stalks to flavor the broth and remove them after 10 minutes.  Cut the two cloves of garlic in half and toss them into the broth.  Stir in the can of coconut milk, rinsing the can with water to add the excess coconut milk left in the can to the broth.  Stir in the salt, tamarind paste, rice vinegar, fish sauce, curry, sesame oil, ginger, and lemongrass.  Let it simmer while you soak the rice noodles in tap water for 5-8 minutes.  Drain the noodles and add them to the simmering pink coconut broth.  The noodles will naturally thicken the soup into a drunken mess of flavor so good you want to slurp and lick the chopsticks clean.

Garnish with fennel or coriander and fresh cucumber slices.

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