Burmese Noodle Bowl

2 medium yellow onions
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
1 teaspoon shrimp paste (belachan)
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 14 oz can coconut milk
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 packet rice noodles
1/2 cup shallots, thinly sliced and fried to a crisp
3 eggs, boiled and chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped fine
2 limes, quartered

Peel and chop the onions and garlic cloves into chunks. The size doesn’t matter as they are to be ground.

Place the onions, garlic, ginger, shrimp paste, and water in a blender or food processor. Pulse well till you have a smooth paste.

Clean and chop the chicken into bite size pieces. Wash well and drain.

Heat canola and sesame oils in a Dutch oven. Add the onion paste and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes to get the rawness out of the onions.

Add turmeric and chili powder. Stir to incorporate them into onion mix.

The chicken goes in next. Sauté the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring well to coat with spice mixture.

Add coconut milk and 1 cup of water. Stir well and bring the soup to a boil. Lower the flame, and let the soup come to a simmer. Cover the saucepan and let the soup simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Fill a large, deep saucepan with water and bring to a boil on a high flame. Add rice noodles to the boiling water. Take the saucepan off the heat and let rice noodles steep in water for 20 minutes. Drain well and keep aside.

Assemble the soup with a large helping of rice noodles in a soup bowl. Top with ladlefuls of soup. The noodles should swim in coconut broth.

Add pieces of chicken. Garnish with fried shallots, chopped egg, a sprinkling of chili powder, some cilantro, and a large squirt of lime juice.

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