Chiang Mai Curried Noodles and Chicken (Khao Soi Gai) traveled to Northern Thailand from South China via Muslim traders. Chicken and noodle soup is a comfort food throughout the world in many forms. Layered with textures, this one is sweet, salty, and spicy. The spices keep it lively, contrasting with the creamy coconut milk.
I’ve had to make a few changes to work with available ingredients. I substituted star anise for the black or brown cardamon, and a bay leaf for the pandanus leaves. Fresh egg noodles are preferable, but I made do with dried. Whichever you use, be sure to fry some for your topping.
We have a video of this recipe on our YouTube channel.
Adapted from Thai Street Food by David Thompson
Makes 4 servings
For the paste:
5 bamboo skewers
1 ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
4 red chilies
4 red shallots, unpeeled
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 tablespoons peeled ginger
1 tablespoon peeled fresh turmeric
For the chicken:
2 cups coconut cream
meat from 2 chicken legs and 2 thighs, chopped
1 teaspoon palm or light brown sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 teaspoons soy sauce
2 cups coconut milk
1 star anise
1 bay leaf
2 kaffir lime leaves
toasted chili flakes, to taste
For the toppings:
vegetable oil, for frying
25 g/ 1 oz dried flat egg noodles
12 dried chilies
3 green onions, sliced
4 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
For the noodles:
200 g/ 6 oz dried flat egg noodles
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Make the paste:
Soak the bamboo skewers for 30 minutes.
Toast coriander seeds. Grind with mortar and pestle.
Skewer chilies, shallots, garlic, ginger, and turmeric separately. Grill or broil until coloured and soft. Allow to cool. Peel shallots and garlic. Add to coriander seed and grind to paste.
Make the chicken:
Simmer 1 cup of the coconut cream. Add the paste and fry 5 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer. Add sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and coconut milk. Simmer until chicken is cooked, about 20 minutes. Add the other cup of coconut cream, star anise, bay leaf, and kaffir lime leaves. Simmer for another 30 minutes. Add roasted chili powder to taste.
Make the toppings:
Add vegetable oil to pan over high heat. Add 25 g/ 1 oz egg noodles. Fry until golden brown. Transfer to paper towel. In same oil fry dried chilies. Remove to paper towel.
Make the noodles:
Boil the noodles according to package directions. Drain. Rinse throughly with water to remove starchiness. Toss with soy sauce and vegetable oil.
Plate noodles. Top with curried chicken. Then add the fried chilies, sliced green onions, fried egg noodles, and chopped cilantro.