From northern Thailand, a noodle soup with an amazing mix of flavor and texture. My mom made this for me recently, and I fell in love with it. It is a variation on a recipe about street food she found in her local paper. It is quite flavorful, so if you prefer a less spicy dish, reduce the amount of spices.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir chopped shallots and garlic until garlic starts to turn golden, 2 to 4 minutes. Add red curry paste and curry powder; cook and stir until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add coconut milk, water, chicken, and sea salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer soup.
Mix fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice into soup and simmer until heated through, about 10 minutes more.
Heat 1/2 cup oil in a skillet over medium-high heat; fry Thai chile peppers until browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer chile peppers to soup, reserving oil in skillet. Fry quartered shallots and bok choy in hot oil until browned, 2 to 4 minutes; transfer to soup and reserve oil in skillet.
Place noodles in a large bowl and cover with hot water. Set aside until noodles are softened, about 15 minutes. Drain and rinse thoroughly. Add 3/4 of the noodles to the soup. Fry the remaining rice noodles in the hot oil until crisp, 3 to 5 minutes.
Divide soup among 6 bowls and top with fried noodles, pickled cabbage, cilantro, and lime wedges.
Per Serving: 726 calories; protein 20.5g; carbohydrates 58.1g; fat 48.5g; cholesterol 35mg; sodium 1073.8mg.