Khao soi, a coconut curry-based noodle dish hailing from the north of Thailand, may not be the most popular dish on Thai takeaway menus across Australia, but it's a favourite among locals living in the mountainous region of Chiang Mai. We learned how to make an authentic khao soi from Thai chef Phubase Chuprakong, Executive Chef at Akyra Manor Chiang Mai. Chuprakong tells SBS that khao soi is actually of Chinese-Muslim influence: “khao soi is a dish that mixes the curry from Muslim [culture] with the noodles from the Chinese.” Read his tips here.
Mistakenly referred to by some as a ‘curry laksa’, an authentic khao soi is made with egg noodles and topped with a crispy noodle garnish.
- 80 g chicken breast
- 150 ml coconut milk
- vegetable oil, for cooking
- ½ tsp fish sauce, to taste
- ½ tsp soy sauce, to taste
- 1 tsp finely grated palm sugar
- 80 g khao soi egg noodles
- spring onion, coriander, to garnish
- chilli oil, pickled cabbage, lime wedge, to serve
Khao soi paste
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander root
- 1 tbsp chopped peeled ginger
- 2 tbsp chopped red shallot
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh turmeric
- ½ cardamom pod
- 2 tbsp medium dried chilli paste
- ½ tsp salt
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make the khao soi paste, in a small frying pan without any oil, toast the coriander root, ginger, shallot, turmeric and cardamom until lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove from the heat. Using a large mortar and pestle, pound the chili paste with the salt until blended together. Add the toasted ingredients and pound until a roughly smooth paste forms.
Gently poach the chicken with the coconut milk until tender and cooked. Remove from the heat.
Heat a little oil in a wok over medium heat, add the khao soi paste and stir-fry until it releases a nice spicy smell, making sure it doesn’t burn. Add the coconut milk (from the poached chicken) and bring to the boil. Season to taste with the fish sauce, soy sauce and palm sugar. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
Boil most of the egg noodles until cooked, drain well and place in a serving bowl.
Deep-fry the remaining noodles until crisp to garnish the soup.
Pour the khao soi curry over the noodles. Add the chicken on top and garnish with the crisp noodles, spring onion and coriander.
Serve with chili oil, pickled cabbage, and a lime wedge on the side.
• You can replace the khai soi paste with a ready-made red curry paste.