Are you excited about this post? I know I’m excited about this post.
I don’t know if Khao Soi Curry Noodles has recently become more trendy, or if, after discovering it for the first time, just started noticing its existence on many Thai menus. I first discovered Khao Soi at a little Thai restaurant in Ypsilanti, Michigan called TupTim and have been making it at home ever since. ‘Lo and behold when we moved to San Diego I started seeing this dish on many Thai menus, as well as on Burmese menus. However, it still remains (I think) a slightly undiscovered gem of a dish.
And discover it, you should, because Khao Soi is an intensely flavor packed, noodle-and-curry lover’s dream come true.Khao Soi is a Northern Thai street food, and is also served in Burma. The ingredients are familiarly Thai, but with the addition of egg noodles and curry powder to showcase the Burmese influence. The flavor is rich and savory, and punctuated by seasoning of fish sauce, lime, and just a little bit of sugar. (Side note- If you’re not familiar.. Burmese cuisine, to me, is kind of like a Thai-Chinese-Indian fusion, which makes sense given the location of the country. It is exceptionally delicious and highly flavored- a great treat, if you can locate a restaurant!). The great part about this dish is that it is surprisingly quick to prepare. The curry and noodles cook up very quickly, and the thinly sliced chicken takes very little time to poach in the sauce. The prep time will depend on how fast you can slice chicken and your onion-y condiments…That being said, the condiments are all completely optional and are added depending on the individual diner’s personal taste. I included condiments such as cilantro, lime, shallot, green onion, fish sauce, sugar, and chili paste. It is also common to include picked mustard greens and fresh bean sprouts, although I excluded them here.
The noodles in this dish are egg noodles, which are both boiled and fried. The boiled noodles make up the base of the chicken curry soup, and the fried noodles are arranged in a delightfully crunchy nest on the top of the entire bowl. This not only adds drama to the presentation, but also textural complexity to an already delightfully constructed bowl.
Break through the crunchy noodle barrier and be met with the most delightfully rich bowl of curry you ever did taste.
I could (and did) eat this for days…
Khao Soi Curry Noodles
- 2 ½ tablespoons red curry paste I use Mae Ploy brand
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 ½ lb chicken breast or thighs sliced thin
- 2 cans 13.5oz unsweetened coconut milk (I use Chaokoh brand)
- 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- ½ teaspoons turmeric powder
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Salt to taste
- 3/4 lb Chinese fresh egg noodles
- ¼ cup cilantro roughly chopped
- ½ cup fresh bean sprouts
- 3 green onions sliced
- 2 Shallots sliced thin
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- Thai Chili Paste Nam Prik Pao, as desired
- ¼ lb Chinese fresh egg noodles for frying (instructions below)
- 1 ½- 2 cups peanut oil for frying
- Start by preparing the noodles- Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove. Add ¾ lb of the noodles and boil per package instructions (mine took about 1 minute). Drain noodles and distribute into serving bowl(s).
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan heat 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add curry paste and fry for about 1 minute, or until fragrant.
- Pour coconut milk and chicken stock into the pan with the curry paste. Whisk together to combine.
- Season with fish sauce, sugar, curry powder, turmeric, and lime juice. Whisk together. Taste, and add salt as necessary.
- Add chicken and bring mixture to a simmer. Simmer for about 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
- Ladle the chicken curry over the noodles.
- Garnish with cilantro, sprouts, green onions, shallot, limes, as desired.
- Top each bowl with fried noodles (if using).
For the fried noodles (makes 4 individual fried noodle garnishes):
- Pour about 1 ½- 2 cups of peanut oil in a wok or medium saucepan. Turn heat to high.
- Add a small piece of noodle to the pan and wait until it bubbles and fries. This is when your oil is ready.
- Divide ¼ lb of noodles into 4 even sections.
- Mound one of the noodle sections onto a large slotted spoon or slotted spatula and gently set it in the hot oil. Fry briefly (mine only took a few seconds), flipping once, or until the noodles appear golden brown.
- Drain on paper towel-lined plate.
- Repeat with the remaining noodles.
Love that contrast of the fresh and fried noodles. A little party in your mouth of flavors that is so prevalent in Thai cooking is why I love this dish a nice balance with spicy, sour, sweet and savory. Gorgeous photos as always. Your fresh Chinese egg noodles look beautiful. Sharing everywhere!
Thank you! Thai is definitely one of my favorites as well for all these reasons 🙂
Thai flavours are amongst my ALL time favourite, so fresh and delicious and healthful. Yarm! I know what I am making for dinner tonight. Gorgeous photos, love that blue bowl. Crazy the way food trends have changed, I remember when everything had to be served in/on white crockery. Anyways, thanks for the inspiration, my tastebuds thank you in advance. 🙂
Oh my gosh, I know! I get bored doing the same-ole white dishes over and over. The blue bowl I picked up at a local asian grocery store for like $2. It’s one of my favorites for shooting asian-style noodles and soups these days 🙂
I have never heard of Khao Soi before but this ingredient list makes me want to try the dish! Looks amazing 🙂
Thank you so much!
This looks amazing! I’ve never had Khao Soi, but I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye out for it now. And I think I’ll try making this at home, too. I LOVE fried noodles – they’re my weakness. Thanks for sharing, Sarah!
Yes! It’s absolutely delicious- hope you give the recipe a try (or are able to locate a version at your local Thai restaurant)!
A Thai stumbled upon your blog.
I used to live at Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor for years. There was a Thai resto, but I cannot remember its name. Here in Thailand I live in Chiang Mai. In fact I’m a CM local. Even in Thailand, it’s really hard to find autentic Khao Soi outside the northen part of the country. People always asks (in a biggest Thai webboard) where can they find real Khao Soi in Bangkok or other provinces. There are some food shops sells the dish, but it’s not authentic.
I do cook myself. Unfortunately I haven’t cook Khao Soi. It’s too complicated. But hope you don’t mind a bit of my correction. Just think of it as info.
-You can use red cuury and curry powder/paste for substitution, but the authentic curry paste for Khao Soi is not red curry paste. It has it own recipe made of ginger, dried chilli, tumeric, salt, etc. (I have to search for the recipe since I haven’t cook it like I told you.)
(During the search I’ve found another recipe for the curry paste. Of cause not the authentic one but you can try it. The 7th comment from http://topicstock.pantip.com/food/topicstock/2012/07/D12424444/D12424444.html said that she used 2 of Panang curry paste+1 of Thai Chili Paste (Nam Prik Pao)+ginger (she said 5-6 peices or about 1/4 cup)+curry powder. All blended together.)
-You can use other meat beside chicken. Here we have beef, meatball, even pork (although Khao Soi originated from Chinese Muslim cuisine)
-We don’t eat it with bean sprout. The garnishes are cilantro, green onion, shallot (sliced if you like), chilli paste (not Nam Prik Pao. More like Thai chilli powder fried with oil), lime, and prickled vegetable. (See the picture at https://www.pinterest.com/pin/421297740117216945/. Look at the right. They have all the garnishes except chilli paste)
That’s it. Enjoy your cooking.