Chicken Khao Soi Noodles
This classic Thai dish is a standout and comes from northern Thailand, which is home to some of the spiciest foods with a rich complexity of flavors. Khao soi in and of itself isn’t super spicy on the Scoville scale, but the curried soup base is laden with some strong spices, including turmeric, cumin and coriander.
One of the other things I love about a traditional khao soi is its doubling down on the noodles—some fried egg noodles sprinkled on top are a MUST to contrast with the soft egg noodles in the curried soup base.
- Khai Soi Paste
- 2 Thai red chiles
- 2 medium-sized shallots, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons (12 g) diced fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons (12 g) diced fresh turmeric
- Small handful of fresh cilantro stems and root
- 2 teaspoons (4 g) ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) shrimp paste
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
- 1 lb (450 g) boneless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons (15 g) red curry paste
- 4 1/4 cups (1 L) chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons (6 g) palm sugar
- 1 (13.5-oz [400-ml]) can coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) Asian fish sauce
- Salt (optional)
- 14 oz (400 g) thin-cut Egg Noodles
- Scant 2 oz (50 g) thin-cut Egg Noodles, deep-fried
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- 3 1/2 oz (100 g) pickled mustard greens, chopped
- Fresh cilantro, for serving
- Mung bean sprouts, for serving
Make the khao soi paste: In a food processor, combine all the paste ingredients and blitz until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside until required.
Make the soup: In a wok over high heat, heat the vegetable oil. Once hot, add the chicken and stir-fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside. Add the khao soi paste to the wok and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the red curry paste, chicken stock and palm sugar, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and add the coconut milk and fish sauce. Add back the chicken and let simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes. Taste and season with salt, if required.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles for about 3 minutes, or until just cooked through. Drain, then divide among four serving bowls. Ladle the hot khao soi soup and chicken over the cooked noodles. Top with the deep-fried noodles, sliced shallots, lime wedges, pickled mustard greens, cilantro and mung bean sprouts. Serve immediately.
Reprinted with permission from This is a Book About Noodles by Brendan Pang. Page Street Publishing Co. 2022. Photo credit: Thomas Davidson.
Read NextSouthern Minestrone Soup