Oh glorious Thai food!
If you thought delicious, spice-ladened, creamy, coconut-ty Thai curries were limited to Red, Yellow, Green (and the other usual suspects of the Thai restaurant menu, Penang and Massaman) then you were soooooooo wrong….
There’s an entire country full of different curry recieps just waiting to be tried.
And here’s one of them: Khao Soi
It has no direct translation from Thai but, seeing as it originates from Myanmar (Burma), the name Khao Soi is most likely an evolution of the Burmese word for noodles “khao swè” (ခေါက်ဆွဲ)
But, whatever its origins, or name, or compilation, Khao Soi is the de-facto signature dish of Northern Thailand and it has everything you want from a Thai-style curry/ noodle/ soup situation: spices, coconut milk, noodles (soft boiled noodles on the inside, and crispy fried noodles on top)….
and so much yumminess.
♥️Feel the Thai curry love!♥️
You know how Facebook has that memory feature? You know, when it shows posts you made exactly one, or several, years ago with the caption “your memories from [insert number of] years ago?”
I like this feature; it’s a brief, social-media-esque trip down memory lane usually accompanied by exclamations of “wow! that was five years ago?!” or “ jeez, that seem’s like yesterday!”
It’s fun. I enjoy it.
Most of the time…
Other times it can be nothing short of annoying; reminding you of the awesome things you were doing this time last year when, right now, you’re partaking in the dull monotony of reality. Bleh!
Don’t get me wrong life is good and I have no complaints but when, during my commute to work at 4am, Facebook decides to (happily I may add) remind me that exactly 12 months ago the Paramedic and I were tripping around Thailand….
I can’t even…
Because if I had to choose between a 4am commute in Sydney, Australia, or a holiday in Thailand…
I would choose Thailand. Every. Single. Time.
And that is exactly what Facebook did to me a few weeks ago, and continued to do so for three weeks – reminding me every day of the Paramedic and I’s 3 week long trip to Thailand.
It reminded us of our stopover in Singapore en-route to Thailand; of the strange hotel we stayed at in Changi and sipping champagne? (read: cheap sparkling wine) in the lobby.
It reminded us of eating out at the lively street market during Chinese New Year celebrations in Chiang Mai;
It reminded us of the two days we spent in the jungle looking after elephants
It reminded us of the crazy and hectic time we spent in Bangkok; we had to visit the Grand Palace twice because, after the first time, the Paramedic deleted our photos from the camera without saving to a computer first…
And it also reminded us of the ten days spent on the Island of Koh Tao; of sipping beer on our balcony, scuba diving whilst desperately hoping to spot a whale shark (we didn’t) and relaxing in one of the many bars along the beach.
It also reminded me that it has been a year since I discovered and, of course, wanted to make my own Khao Soi. Yes, my “to cook” list of food is sooooo long (which translates as: sooooooo unorganised) that it has taken a year to finally get round to making this awesome dish.
But, finally, it is here. And I have a quick and easy version of it for you, adapted from this recipe here, to take away the hassle, time and fear of making a Thai curry from scratch.
Because we all want delicious Thai-flavoured comfort food and we all want it now!
Like any Thai curry it all begins with the spice paste. To make things easier this recipe is made using Thai yellow curry paste which you can buy in a jar or (→the preferred method←) you could whip together this Quick and Easy Thai Style Yellow Curry Paste which is guaranteed to be ready – with easy to find ingredients – in 10 minutes or less.
And from there it is a simple case of adding coconut milk and chicken before simmering for half an hour and serving over noodles.
Simple, quick and delicious.
So it may be a bit of a cheater’s version of Khao Soi, and not the most authentic of Thai dishes, but it certainly tastes good enough (although, seriously, spice paste + coconut milk, how could you go wrong!?)
Then again, considering that Khao Soi is consumed across Burma, Northern Thailand, and Laos – and that there are so many different recipes and meals out there that fall under the title of Khao Soi – perhaps I have unwittingly made an authentic Khao Soi recipe from some small village in Northern Thailand
Perhaps I need to go back to Thailand and find out – I’d better visit Burma and Laos just to be sure…
Quick and Easy Khao Soi Recipe – (Thai Noodle Soup with Chicken)
Prep Time: 10 mins || Cook Time: 40 mins || Serves 4 to 6
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- 880g (give or take 20g grams) of fresh, Chinese style egg noodles
- 250ml Cup of cooking oil (coconut preferred but whatever you have on hand will be suitable)
- 800ml Coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp Thai yellow curry paste
- 250ml Chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamon (optional)
- 4 Chicken legs separated into thighs and drumsticks
- Lime wedges, shallots and cilantro to serve
- Place the cooking oil into a large pan or wok and place over high heat. In batches cook 80 – 100 grams of the Chinese noodles until browned and crispy. Remove from the wok and transfer to a kitchen paper lined plate. Set aside.
- Remove all but a tablespoon or two of the oil from the pan and add 100ml of the coconut milk. Cook on high heat until it bubbles and begins to break, with oil starting to smoke. Add the spice paste and cook, stirring constantly, for another minute until fragrant and combined with the coconut milk.
- Add the rest of the coconut milk in a slow but stead stream, stirring constantly to combine. Add the chicken and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to barely simmering and cook for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the rest of the Chinese noodles in boiling water for a few minutes. Strain and divide between bowls. Remove the chicken from the soup and place on top of the cooked noodles. Pour the soup into the bowls and top with the crispy noodles. Garnish with shallots and lime wedges.
- If you would like this to be a little more authentic, you can add 2 Tbsp of palm sugar and 1 tbsp of fish sauce along with the chicken and stock.