Coconut noodle soup

Coconut noodle soup

Leanne Kitchen

Called ohn-no-khakswe by the Burmese – ohn-no being coconut and khakswe meaning noodles – this dish is worthy of the title Asian fusion. Fusion cooking can – to us anyway– seem contrived, but here the ingredients are a nod to Burma’s geography, neighbours and history. There’s ginger, turmeric and besan from India, coconut milk from Thailand and the Chinese influence of wok cooking.


Quantity Ingredient
900g boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons fish sauce, plus extra to taste
4 garlic cloves, crushed
4 small dried red chillies, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes, drained
2.5 cm piece fresh ginger, chopped
2 large onions, thinly sliced
60ml vegetable oil
2 teaspoons hot paprika
1.25 litres Chicken stock
30g besan
400ml coconut milk

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
500g cooked fresh egg noodles
lime wedges
4 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and cut into wedges
dried chilli flakes
1 small onion, very thinly sliced
fried noodles
coriander leaves


  1. Combine the chicken, salt, turmeric and fish sauce in a bowl and use your hands to combine well. Stand for 30 minutes at cool room temperature.
  2. Combine the garlic, dried chillies and ginger in a food processor and process until a smooth paste forms. Alternatively, use a mortar and pestle.
  3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the onion in half the oil, stirring often, for 15 minutes or until the onion is golden.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat, cook the chicken, paste and paprika in the remaining oil, stirring, for 5–7 minutes or until the chicken changes colour all over. Season well with freshly ground black pepper. Add to the onion in the pan with all but 60 ml of the chicken stock.
  5. Combine the reserved stock in a bowl with the besan, mixing to form a smooth paste.
  6. Bring the stock in the pan to a simmer then add the flour paste and stir until the mixture returns to a simmer. Cook for 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent lumps forming, or until the chicken is cooked through, adding a little extra fish sauce to taste if desired. Add the coconut milk and cook just until it is about to simmer, to heat it through.
  7. To serve, divide the cooked egg noodles among large bowls then ladle the curry mixture over. Serve with the lime wedges, eggs, chilli flakes, thinly sliced onion, fried noodles and coriander.
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