Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thai Chicken Noodle Bowl

Here in Birmingham, we have a "chain" of Thai restaurants under the Surin name. From Surin West in the historic Five Points South neighborhood, to Surin 280 and Surin of Thailand, you can ALWAYS find some Surin Thai around here. 

However, though the food is always great, the prices are sometimes a little bit steep, and the staff is constantly rotating in and out, and can be pretty inconsistent, and almost always SLOW. As a result, I VERY rarely go to Surin anymore, especially since getting some ABYSMAL service on a lunch date with my mom at the Huntsville location

That being said, the food IS good, though I almost always get either the Chicken Noodle Bowl, Pad Thai (recipe coming soon), or Pad See Ew. The Chicken Noodle Bowl is AMAZING - it's a char-grilled chicken breast, served with a sweet and coconutty curry sauce, with rice noodles, bean sprouts and Romaine lettuce.

I scoured the internet for a LONG time looking for a copycat recipe. I even asked a few friends of mine who had worked at Surin. I was on the right track to recreating the recipe myself, but never could get the curry sauce just right. Then, one day I was strolling through Whole Foods and noticed a premade yellow curry sauce. I picked it up, looked it over, only to find THE Chicken Noodle Bowl recipe right on the back of the bag. Needless to say, I decided to try it out that night, and it was DEAD ON.

That was over 3 years ago; I haven't been to a Surin restaurant since (except for the lunch date with Mom), since now I make this dish at home anytime I crave it. 

Thai Chicken Noodle Bowl
adapted from Curry Simple

1 lb pad thai rice noodles (the flat, wide ones)
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-size strips 
2 tsp grated ginger
1 lime, halved
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 cup torn Romaine lettuce

Soak rice noodles in warm water for 1 hour before cooking. Drain, then cook in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and place in a large bowl.

In the same pot of boiling water, blanch the bean sprouts for about 20 seconds, Drain and place atop rice noodles.

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the curry sauce, half and half, chicken and ginger; cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, squeeze the lime atop the bean sprouts and rice noodles. Top with the chicken curry mixture, then garnish with the scallions and torn Romaine.


  1. This looks yummy! I'm looking forward to seeing your Pad Thai. I had it at a restaurant a while ago, and would love to attempt to re-create it at home. :)

  2. It's REALLY easy - honestly, most people just use a premade Pad Thai sauce, since it's a LOT easier than making the sauce from scratch (tamarind concentrate is a main ingredient, and it's not exactly easy to find!).

  3. Hi Julia! I am also a Bhammer, and I like Surin's food, but if I can make it myself, I AM SOLD! Thanks for posting this...and I love your recipes! I made the cookie cake over the weekend, actually. Delicious. In other Surin news, have you figured out the cocunut curry soup? Please advise!

    1. Hi, Amanda - thanks for reading!

      I definitely know how to make the coconut soup; you ARE talking about the one with the mushrooms and tofu, right?

      I'm planning to make a blog post about it soon, but I'll go ahead and say this: I use this exact recipe:

      (They too are local - they used to have regular posts on

      Their recipe is a dead ringer for the Surin soup, but the recipe makes a BUNCH. I typically half the recipe (it doesn't freeze well), and it's more than enough for us!

  4. Julia, my wife and I love the chicken noodle bowl from Surin West. I have recently starting cooking more at home and came across this recipe. I have not tried it yet, but we will be making a trip to whole foods in the morning. If this lives up, as I am sure it will, you will be our new hero.

    1. Please let me know how it turns out!

  5. Hi Julia! I too have an insane addiction to Surin's chicken noodle bowl. I have to eat it at least once a week! I literally just tried your recipe...thank you SO much for posting it! I did have one you know what to add to this recipe to make it a little spicier? I needed a bit more kick to my bowl! Thanks!

    1. A touch of Thai red curry paste will kick up the heat a notch, and so would a nice squirt of Sriracha! Glad you enjoyed the bowl!!

  6. I was just wondering if you have done this with the Thai noodle bowl. It has chicken and shrimp and I was hoping I could adapt this recipe to make that one. Thanks!

  7. what about the peanuts where do they come in?