This Khao Soi recipe tastes as close to the real deal and can rival your favourite Thai takeout spot. Make it with your desired protein – beef, tofu or chicken, either would go well with this dish! All you need is the khao soi paste, and a bunch of pre-fried noodles, and you can make this authentic curry within 30-minutes. There are a lot of notes to keep in mind, but after one try, it’s one of the easiest dishes that you’ll be making on repeat!
What is Khao Soi?
Khao soi is a thick, coconut-heavy soup from Northern Thailand, Myanmar & Laos. This rich broth is all ready to be slurped up with silky thick flat wonton noodles served with either chicken or beef. The rich broth is evenly balanced with sliced (pungent) shallot, a squeeze of lime citrus and pickled mustard stems. The variation that I’m most familiar with is the Northern Thailand one, which includes a soup as thick as gravy, crispy noodles and loads of toppings.
Notes to make the most authentic bowl of noodles
- Coriander seeds! If using whole coriander seeds, toast the coriander before use, then grind with a mortar and pestle.
- Curry powder comes in many types and can impart completely different flavour profiles. The Curry powder that I use is by the brand Pyramide and can be found at grocers with Vietnamese products. It’s perfectly spicy, smokey and full of flavour.
- Kaffir lime leaf has a citrus, spicy and floral undertone. I usually keep a bag of these in the freezer, but if you don’t have access to it, then lime zest from a whole lime works as well!
- Feel free to adjust the liquid level to your preference, if you like it more of a gravy consistency, add less water!
What you need to make the dish
- All toppings are a must, each garnish is iconic to the khao soi experience, don’t even think about skipping any of it!
- A mortar and pestle or even easier, use a food processor – both have the same outcome, but I highly recommend the food processor as it takes no time at all the blend into a paste!
Khao Soi (Northern Thai Coconut Curry Noodle)
- 1 shallot 65g
- 1 tbsp lemongrass frozen or fresh
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp coriander seed powder see note 1
- 1½ tbsp shrimp paste
- 1 tsp curry powder see note 2
- 2 tsp turmeric powder
- 2-3 kaffir lime leaf sub for zest of 1 lime, see note 3
- 10 whole dried chili
- 1 tbsp neutral oil
- 1 tsp chili flakes adjust depending on spice preference
- 1 tbsp neutral oil
- 3 tbsp khao soi curry mix
- 200 ml coconut cream
- 400 ml coconut milk
- 1 lb chicken (thigh or drumsticks) see note 4
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- ½ tbsp chicken powder seasoning optional
- 1 to 1 ½ cup water depends on how soupy you prefer
- 1 pack thick flat wonton noodles 400g pack
- ½ cup neutral oil for frying
- 1 shallot sliced
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- 1 packet pickled mustard stems or green mustard
- crispy noodles
- chopped cilantro
Khao Soi Curry Paste
- Either use mortar & pestle or food processor to blend ingredients. If using mortar & pestle, minced ingredients, and if using food processor, leave as chunks and blend.1 shallot, 1 tbsp lemongrass, 6 cloves garlic, 1 tsp ginger, 1 tsp coriander seed powder, 1½ tbsp shrimp paste, 1 tsp curry powder, 2 tsp turmeric, 2-3 kaffir lime leaf, 10 whole dried chili
Fried Noodle Garnish
- Heat ½ cup of oil in a wok on medium-high heat (1" depth). Reserve half a bundle of wonton noodles to fry. Loosen wonton noodles, and layout 5+ strands to fry at a time.½ cup neutral oil, 1 pack thick flat wonton noodles
- Once oil is hot (test with wooden chopstick, bubbles will immediately appear at contact). Gently place portioned noodles in hot oil. Allow it to fry for 1 minute, then flip and fry for another minute (or as soon as bubbling subsides).
- Remove fried noodles, and lay onto a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Make fried noodle bundles for whatever number of bowls you're serving (half a noodle bundle, is sufficient for 4 servings).
- Heat wok on medium-low. Add 1 tsp of chili flakes to 1 tablespoon of oil. Allow it to saute until it slightly darkens and becomes aromatic. Set aside.1 tbsp neutral oil, 1 tsp chili flakes
Khao Soi Curry
- Heat the same wok on medium-high heat. Use residual oil to sear chicken on all sides for 2-3 minutes, then set aside.1 lb chicken
- To the wok on medium-high, add in 1 tbsp of oil and 3 tbsp of Khao Soi Paste. Saute for 1-2 minutes until aromatic.
- Add in chicken, and cover well. Then add the following: coconut cream, coconut milk, sugar, water, fish sauce and curry powder.1 tbsp neutral oil, 3 tbsp khao soi curry mix, 200 ml coconut cream, 400 ml coconut milk, 1 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp fish sauce, 2 tbsp curry powder, ½ tbsp chicken powder seasoning, 1 to 1 ½ cup water
- Allow curry to simmer on low-medium to medium for 20 minutes (flip chicken at halfway point) partially covered with a lid. Don’t allow the curry to boil. Skim scum as needed. After 20 minutes, adjust to taste (if it needs more savoury, add another tbsp of Khao Soi Paste or chicken powder; if it needs more smokey/spice, add curry powder).
- Boil a pot of water, and loosen noodles. Once boiled, add noodles and cook for 1 minute or until done. Run cooked noodles under cold water to stop cooking.
- Arrange noodles in bowl, place chicken, ladle khao soi, arrange garnish (shallots, pickled mustard greens and crispy noodles), squeeze a wedge of lime and add a dollop of chili oil to taste.1 lime, 1 packet pickled mustard stems or green mustard, crispy noodles, chopped cilantro, 1 shallot