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Sunday, July 5, 2015

[Thailand Recipes] Khao Soi - Northern Thai Curry Noodles

In the fall of last year, I introduced a little sidebar poll where you can vote for which recipe you’d like to see featured on this blog next. You guys made a great choice in voting for Thai-style chicken and rice (khao man gai) on the inaugural poll. And I have to say, you did it again with another fantastic choice of Northern Thai curry noodles (khao soi) this time!

Khao Soi - Northern Thai Curry Noodles | Thailand Recipes

Khao soi is a dish that both the boyfriend and I get super excited about.

Khao Soi - Northern Thai Curry Noodles 2 | Thailand Recipes

As you can imagine, growing up in Chiang Mai, the boyfriend basically grew up on this dish. Since he was still a child when he left Thailand and came to the States, he doesn’t remember everything about his childhood in Chiang Mai. However, eating khao soi is one of the memories that still stands out vividly in his mind. He tells me stories of ordering khao soi and other noodle soup dishes for lunch basically whenever he wanted because there was a noodle stand within the Prince Royal’s College school grounds where he went to elementary school.

Unfortunately, khao soi hasn’t been quite so easy for us to find here in San Francisco. That isn’t to say we haven’t tried! We’ve visited a large majority of the Thai restaurants in the greater Bay Area on our search for khao soi, comparing each bowl we find to the ones the boyfriend grew up eating. And we’ve found a few that have come close, including Toomie’s Thai Cuisine in Alameda, DaNang Krungthep Thai Restaurant in Albany, and Dusita Thai in Santa Clara.

Khao Soi - Northern Thai Curry Noodles 3 | Thailand Recipes

All of these restaurants are a bit of a trek from where we are, so I was really happy when you guys suggested that khao soi be included on the sidebar poll and then again when it was chosen as the next recipe to be featured! I had never attempted to make it at home before — I think because it seemed like it would be hard to get “just right” — but your votes helped me get over that hurdle and try it.

I started with a fairly simple recipe for the curry soup base, but quickly realized that it needed more flavor as well as more complexity of flavor. So in my second attempt, I upped the amount of curry paste and added in fresh tumeric, ginger, coriander seeds, and black cardamom seeds to really boost the flavors and turn it from a simple curry paste into something much more complex. Another attempt was necessary to get the condiments, noodles, and chili sauce just right.

Khao Soi - Northern Thai Curry Noodles 4 | Thailand Recipes

But I have to say that all of these attempts were well worth it! We wound up with an absolutely delicious bowl of khao soi. And although it wasn’t exactly what the boyfriend remembered from his childhood days, it was close enough to bring back all of those wonderful memories.

Northern Thai Curry Noodles | Khao Soi | ข้าวซอย

Makes 4 servings


Curry Paste:

4 Tablespoons red curry paste
4 Tablespoons ginger
1 Tablespoon tumeric
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon black cardamom seeds

Curry Soup:

Khao soi curry paste
4 chicken drumsticks
2 and 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 Tablespoon palm sugar
1 Tablespoon thin soy sauce
1 Tablespoon dark soy sauce
16 ounces fresh egg noodles

Roast Chili Sauce:

1/4 cup oil
2 Tablespoons shallots
1 Tablespoon garlic
12 dried red Thai chilis
1/4 cup shallots, finely sliced
1/4 cup preserved sour mustard green, sliced
1-2 limes, sliced
Roast chili sauce
A few stalks cilantro

Khao Soi - Northern Thai Curry Noodles 5 | Thailand Recipes


To Make Your Curry Paste:

1. Dry roast the coriander and hulled black cardamom seeds, then grind them together in a spice/coffee grinder.

2. Peel and slice the ginger and tumeric. Pound together in the mortar and pestle.

3. Add the red curry paste and pound until the ginger and tumeric are fully incorporated. Then add the curry powder and ground coriander and black cardamom seeds. Again, pound until the curry paste is smooth and everything is incorporated.

To Make the Curry Soup:

1. Open a can of coconut milk and gently scoop the top layer of cream (~1/2 cup) into a large pot. Heat over medium high heat until you start to see an oily sheen. Add the khao soi curry paste and stir into the coconut cream. Cook until the curry paste has completely absorbed the coconut milk.

2. Then add the chicken drumsticks and coat in the curry paste.

3. Add the rest of the coconut milk, chicken broth, and water. Let boil gently (uncovered) for 45 minutes to an hour until the chicken is cooked through. The sauce will condense down and become rich during this time.

4. Season with palm sugar, light soy sauce, and dark soy sauce to taste.

To Make the Roast Chili Sauce:

1. Slice the garlic and shallots finely.

2. Heat a small pot of oil over medium heat.

3. Fry the garlic, shallots, and dried red chilis separately in this oil. Remove and save the oil.

4. Pound the fried garlic, shallots, and chilis together in the mortar and pestle. Add back 2 Tablespoons of the frying oil to form the chili sauce.

To Serve the Khao Soi:

1. Boil 12 ounces of egg noodles until they are al dente.

2. Fry the remaining 4 ounces of egg noodles in oil until golden brown.

3. Place the boiled noodles in the bottom of the bowl and scoop a chicken drumstick and the curry soup over the top. Top with a handful of fried noodles.

4. Serve with shallots, preserved mustard greens, lime slices, roast chili sauce, and a stalk or two of cilantro.

This recipe and image sources are referred in website: Thanks so much!

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