Khao Soi, a crossroad of culinary culture.
The Khao Soi is a recipe probably rooted in the 19th century. At the time, there were many trade caravans crossing the lands that today are Northern Thailand and Myanmar, following the trade routes between India and China. Those caravans were carrying herbs and spices from both countries.
Many of these traders were Yunnan or Ho Muslim Chinese, and some of them decided to settle in Chiang Mai and other cities in Northern Thailand.
The Khao Soi was probably introduced to Thai cuisine by these new settlers. A great mix of roasted spices, coconut cream, and noodles. Here we will use the traditional recipe, swapping the chicken for some meat substitute or tofu. Let’s start!
The Khao Soi is a fat-rich recipe, mainly due to the coconut cream and milk. It is highly nutritious and filling, but could miss some micronutrients since there are not too many fresh vegetables in it. It is still one of the most delicious dishes I ever had, and you could customize it to include more greens. The recipe is for 2 servings.
|Khao Soi – 1 serving|
For the curry paste
- 5 dried chilies
- 1 tbsp of cardamom pods
- 1 tbsp of coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp of fresh ginger
- 5 shallots
- 2-3 coriander roots
- 1 tbsp of fresh turmeric
- 1/2 tbsp of salt
- 1/4 tbsp of curry powder
- 200gr of soy chicken or other meat substitute (firm tofu will also work)
- 1 cup of coconut milk
- 1 cup of coconut cream
- 1 tbsp of light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp of dark soy sauce
- 150gr of Chinese yellow noodles (Be sure to check that they are not egg noodles)
- 1-2 tbsp of vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp of sour pickled green mustard
- 2 shallots
- 1 lime
- Clean all the paste ingredients, by peeling them and removing the seeds for the chilies.
- Roast them separately on low heat until charred.
- Once you roasted them all, put them in a mortar or food processor, together with salt and curry powder.
- Pound or process until you have a thick and homogenous paste. Do not add any water.
- In a pot bring to boil the coconut cream and milk.
- Once it is boiling, add the soy chicken and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
- In a pan add a tbsp of oil (you can also use the oil released by the coconut cream. It should float on the top.) and fry the curry paste.
- Stir it constantly. Once you can smell the khao soi curry paste releasing its fragrance, add it to the coconut cream.
- Stir well and cover with a lid. Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Then add the light and dark soy sauces, and 1 cup of water to lighten the curry if it is too thick. Set aside.
- Boil the noodles and fry some of them to use them as topping.
- Fry the garlic cloves and add them to the Khao Soi. Stir well.
- Transfer the noodles to two serving bowls and pour the Khao Soi curry on them.
- Top with pickled mustard, chopped shallot, fried noodles, and lime wedge.
The Khao Soi is one of my absolute favorite Thai recipes of all time, with its silkiness and mix of herbs and spices. It is definitely something you should try at least once. Enjoy!
Other Thai Recipes here