Thai cooking lesson – Khao Soi (ข้าวซอย)

Khao soi is a traditional Thai dish that originates from the northern region of Thailand, specifically from the city of Chiang Mai. It is a type of curry noodle soup made with egg noodles, a rich coconut milk-based broth, and a variety of meats such as chicken or beef. The dish is typically garnished with deep-fried noodles, cilantro, green onions, lime wedges, and pickled mustard greens.

The dish has a unique blend of flavors, with a balance of sweet, salty, and spicy notes. The base of the broth is made from a blend of spices, including cumin, turmeric, and coriander, which gives the dish its yellow color. The dish is usually served with a side of chili paste, allowing the diner to adjust the spiciness level to their preference.

The history of Khao soi is quite interesting, it is believed to have been brought to Northern Thailand by Chinese traders and has been influenced by the Burmese and Laotian cuisine. Some historians believe that Khao soi is a descendant of the Burmese dish “Ohn no khao swè” which is a noodle curry dish.

Khao soi has been a staple dish in Northern Thailand for centuries, and it has become increasingly popular in the rest of the country and around the world in recent years. It is often served at street food stalls and small restaurants, but it can also be found on the menus of more upscale restaurants.

This dish is a representation of the melting pot of cultures and influences that have shaped Thai cuisine over the centuries.

The version of the dish shown here is with egg noodles and coconut milk like eaten in the western half of Northern Thailand and very similar in the cuisine of the Shan People who primarily live in Myanmar.

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Print Recipe
Khao Soi
Khao Soi Curry Paste
  1. Ingredients for Khao Soi Curry paste in about the right amounts for a badge which lasts for several times cooking Khao Soi. From the yellow curry powder shown in the glass you will need about 2 table spoons. The dried red chilis are soaked in water.
    Khao Soi Curry Paste Ingredients
  2. Roast the dry spices (coriander, cumin and cardamon seeds, black pepper) in a pan / wok.
    starting preperation of Khao Soi Curry Paste
  3. Grind up the roasted dry spices with pestle and mortar or a blender and put aside.
    grind up roasted dry spices
  4. Grind up the rest of the ingredients (garlic, soaked red chilis, ginger, onions, galangal, lemon grass, tumeric, salt) with pestle and mortar or in a blender.
    grinding spices with pestle and mortar
  5. Add the ground up dry spices and grind it up all together
    adding the roasted spices to the mortar
  6. Add a good amount of oil to a pan and fry the contents of the mortar or blender until the color changes to a darker hue and a fragrant smell develops. Turn off the heat and put it aside. The paste is ready.
    preparing Khao Soi Curry Paste
Khao Soi
  1. Put water in a pan or pot and bring to boil. Add the chicken legs and boil them for about 5 minutes and turn them around during the process. This is done to keep the skin intact in the further cooking process. Keep the water you boiled the chicken in.
    quick boil the chicken legs
  2. Here the ingredients with the quick boiled chicken
    Ingredients for Khao Soi
  3. Add curry paste to your liking (depending on how spicy you like the Khao Soi to be) to a pan big enough for all ingredients. Heat it up and add 4 tea spoons of yellow curry powder.
    Adding yellow curry powder to the paste
  4. The next step is adding the chicken to the pan
    adding chicken
  5. Fry the curry paste together with th chicken. In this case we added some onions, which is a variation of the dish. You can as well leave them away.
    fry the curry paste together with the chicken pieces
  6. Add about 150ml of coconut milk and add some of the water from boiling the chicken until the chicken in the pan is just covered. Add salt.
    adding coconut milk
  7. Boil it on medium heat until the chicken is cooked (about 15 to 20 minutes). During that time you can prepare the egg noodles like described in the following 2 steps.
    boiling on medium heat
  8. Meanwhile boil the main part of the egg noodles in a different pot until cooked.
  9. Deep the smaller part of the egg noodles
    frying egg noodles
  10. ...and remove them and let the oil drip off.
    take out the fried noodles
  11. Add sugar, another 250ml of coconut milk and taste it. If it's not spicy enough for you, add some more curry paste. Season it to your taste. Originally it should be a balance between sweet, salty and spicy. At the end a tea spoon of fish sauce.
    add sugar
  12. Serve: Put the boiled noodles first in the bowl, followed by the chicken with the curry sauce. Add the red onions and spring onions, coriander and lime.
    Khao Soi Recipe

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