Tuesday, August 6, 2013

say hello to Khao Soi

It's only been two weeks since we were in Thailand, and it feels like the longing for the food sets in a little more every day!  Really, every day!  We had a lot of really wonderful food in Thailand, and there is so much I want to try and recreate at home, to help keep the memory of our short holiday alive!

One of the most amazing things I tried in Thailand was Khao Soi.  It was a hot Sunday afternoon (really, every day was hot) and we had chosen a quaint "antique store come restaurant" for lunch after church.  We were nearing the end of our time in Chiang Mai, and one dish that I had been told to try was Khao Soi.  Khao Soi is a rich, tangy coconut curry, usually served with meat and noodles, and garnished with lime and other tasty toppings.  It was spicy hot, just how it should be.  I will admit to loving it, but not being able to finish the whole dish because my taste buds were trying to cry from the goodness and heat all at once... and I'll also admit to even being out eaten by a 10 year old girl, who downed every drop of her curry without batting an eyelid!

the rich golden colour courtesy of the red curry paste, and turmeric

I think it's going to take some time to recreate this dish just like we had it that day.  Firstly, I'm not Thai.  Secondly, I'm not in northern Thailand... but we do have to start somewhere, so here's my first go at Khao Soi.  If you want a "make your mouth dance and sing" kind of coconut curry, this is for you.

my Khao Soi

This is my adaptation of a recipe I found over at food.com.  The recipe serves 6, but if you want seconds, don't invite that many people over to eat it!  You can use beef or pork in place of the chicken if you like.  The lime is essential for cutting through the heat, which of course you can adjust by adding more or less of the paste.  I will say, don't be shy with the curry paste.  It's not a real curry if you can't taste the flavour!

Khao Soi

serves 6

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cloves of garlic, finally chopped
2 tablespoons red curry paste (adjust to liking)
500g chicken breast, sliced thinly
400ml coconut milk
400ml cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
juice from half a fresh lime
approx 250g noodles (works well with spaghetti)

Traditionally garnished with pickled cabbage, sliced spring onion, fish sauce, sugar, chilli and crispy fried egg noodles.  We chose fresh coriander, lime wedges, fried onion and peanuts.  Ultimately you want a fresh green and a nice crunch to go with the curry.


Put a large pot of water on the boil, to cook your noodles.

In a medium pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and curry paste, stirring the paste to release the flavours.  Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the chicken slices.  Cook, stirring for another couple of minutes to brown the chicken, and endure the chicken is well coated with the curry paste.

Next add the coconut milk, chicken stock, turmeric, soy sauce, sugar and salt.  Stir well, then bring to the boil.  Reduce to a rapid simmer for about 15 minutes, ensuring that the meat is cooked through.

Whilst the curry is simmering, prepare the garnishes, and cook the noodles.  Once cooked, the noodles can be drained and divided into individual serving bowls.

Remove the curry from the heat, and add the lime juice.  Ladle the curry over the noodles in the bowls, and take to the table to be garnished.

see the splash mark round the edge of the bowl? That's what happens when you drop your phone in your soup while trying to take the perfect picture!  Oops.  Thankfully the cover wore most it, and the phone is fine!

Let me know if you make it at home!  I'd love to know if it's a new found favourite for you too!


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