Thai Red Noodle Broth with Smoked Tofu, Sweet Potato & Bok Choy

Thai red noodle broth

I don’t think I’ve shared much in the way of bok choy recipes on my website before, so finally here is gorgeous recipe using this leafy green vegetable from the cabbage family. You can separate the leaves and stir-fry bok choy, but I love the detail only seen when it is split in half through its core. In this recipe I gently cook the bok choy with a brief steep in water from a boiled kettle, this keeps it fairly crisp and crunchy which is just how I like it.

This is a really simple dish, that packs a real flavour punch due to the Thai red curry paste, coconut and lime-y broth (inspired by their use together in a traditional Thai red curry sauce). I got the original idea for making a noodle soup with Thai red curry paste from Riverford. You can make the paste yourself from scratch, but I will admit that I can rarely see the point when cooking for one or two at home, and I don’t have time when I’m catering. I’m all for savvy shortcuts. The paste I use and recommend (Thai Taste) doesn’t contain fish sauce so is fine for vegans, whilst tamari helps balance the missing salty depth from the fish sauce.

This dish can be done as a one pot with the sweet potato, tofu and bok choy cooked in the broth, and then the cooked noodles added, but I have found that it is impossible to serve up across two evenly sized bowls like this. Whenever I have cooked this on a retreat for 10-14 people I have used the method I have outlined below.

Thai Red Noodle Broth with Smoked Tofu, Sweet Potato & Bok Choy
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Thai Red Noodle Broth with Smoked Tofu, Sweet Potato & Bok Choy
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 2
  • 400g sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1-2 tsps neutral oil (coconut, light olive or rapeseed)
  • sea salt
  • 150g smoked tofu, cubed
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 90g rice noodles
  • 1 bok choy, base end trimmed and split in half lengthways
  • Garnish: Handful toasted cashews - roughly chopped, micro herbs or cress, coriander
For the broth
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil (coconut, light olive or rapeseed)
  • 2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 200mls coconut milk
  • 200mls vegetable stock
  • Handful coriander
  • 1 lime, juiced
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200°/180°(fan) C.
  2. Toss the sweet potato in 2 tsps oil and season with salt. Place on half of a large baking sheet. Toss the chopped tofu with 1 tbsp each of tamari, maple syrup and sesame oil. Place on the other end of the baking tray. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp for the tofu. The sweet potato should be soft.
  3. Have a break for 10 minutes, then start on your broth. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a small saucepan, and add 2 tbsp Thai red curry paste and 1 tbsp tamari. Cook for a minute, the paste should be bubbly and fragrant. Add 200mls coconut milk, 200mls stock and leave to simmer until your sweet potato and tofu is ready.
  4. Just before serving prepare two bowls, one each for your noodles and bok choy. Boil the kettle and pour hot water over the noodles and bok choy until just submerged. Leave sit for 2 mins then drain.
  5. For the final piece of preparation add chopped coriander and lime juice to the broth and taste, adding more lime, salt or tamari as required (perhaps none if your stock / paste are already salty).
  6. To plate up start by dividing the noodles evenly between two deep pasta bowls, add the sweet potato and tofu, then ladle in the broth. Top with the halved bok choy and garnish with toasted chopped cashews, micro herbs and or coriander. Add a wedge of lime.
Please check the packet instructions for your noodles in case it differs from my recommended method.

What are your favourite recipes using bok choy or other Chinese cabbages?