I have often written about my love for Oriental and South Asian cuisine. But I find most of the fare offered at Chinese or Thai restaurants here to be similar in taste and texture. I think this may be because they are catering to a foreign palate. Similar to how most curries in some Indian restaurants can tend to taste the same.
So, I was pleasantly surprised when I came across this recipe in Epicurious. It looked delicious and sounded like a cross between a typical Thai dish and South Indian curry. I had to give it a try.
As always, the recipe was tweaked to make use of the items I already had on hand. I substituted the fish sauce with soy sauce since I didn’t have any, but please try to add it for a more authentic flavor. I should definitely stock up on some as I can’t seem to get enough of Thai dishes! I also added some fresh cilantro to give the curry paste some flavor. It looked and tasted like a close cousin of my South Indian Chicken Korma. And lastly, I had to use the noodles I already had in my pantry – Japanese Yokogiri Udon. While Udon is a good vehicle for any noodle soup, Chinese egg noodles work well in Khao Soi.
Vary the spices as per your preference. I found Khao Soi to vary anywhere from a light yellow to red to a deep brown color. Read on to find out how mine turned out.
You will need:
For Khao Soi paste
Note: You need a couple more ingredients added to the red curry paste used in my Red Chicken Curry. Some recipes use cilantro leaves or stems or both, some do not. Since I love cilantro, I have used it, which gives the fresh paste a greenish tinge. Feel free to leave it out.
You will also need curry powder, which is nothing but a mix of red chili, coriander, turmeric, black pepper, cardamom, clove, cinnamon and other spices. I have replaced it with red chili flakes, turmeric, red chili, coriander, black pepper powders and a little bit of garam masala powder.
- Shallots – 2 large, roughly chopped
- Ginger – 2-in piece, roughly sliced
- Garlic – 4 large cloves
- Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
- Red chili powder – 1 tsp
- Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
- Red chili flakes – 1 – 2 tsp (as per heat level desired)
- Black pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
- Garam masala powder – 1/4 tsp
- Cilantro – a small handful (optional)
- Fish sauce or dark soy sauce – 1-2 tsp
For the curry soup/sauce
- Oil – 1 tbsp
- Coconut milk – 1 cup
- Low-sodium chicken stock/broth – 2 cups
- Brown sugar – 1 tbsp
- Salt – as per taste
- Chicken – 1 1/2 lbs (around 650-700 gm), boneless and cut into bite-size pieces
- Noodles – 1 lb (I used Udon, try to use Chinese egg noodles for more authenticity)
- Grind all the ingredients for the Khao Soi Paste with just a little bit of water.
- Heat oil in a pan. Add the paste and cook till the raw smell is gone and it is darker in color. Keep stirring constantly, it should take no more than 4-5 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk, chicken stock/broth, brown sugar and salt. Bring to a boil.
- Add the chicken pieces and cook till the chicken is tender and the soup is reduced to desired consistency. For added flavor, you can also use the leftover chicken bones (if any) and scoop them out once the soup is done.
- Prepare the noodles as per package instructions.
- Serve the prepared chicken curry soup over hot noodles, garnish with spring onions or some crispy fried noodles and enjoy.
Use as much or as little of the sauce as you like. I personally prefer a nice, big helping of the curry soup over my noodles.
The chicken curry can be had with rice or other Indian flat breads too.
You might also like to try out this fiery Red Chicken Curry, another Thai inspired dish.
I am linking this up at these awesome blogs.
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- By Stephanie Lynn