Curried noodles

Curried noodles

Khao soi (North)

By
From
South East Asian Food
Serves
4-6

Khao Soi is a rich curry noodle dish found in Chiangmai and the north. A little reminiscent of Malaysia’s Laksa, it is Burmese in origin.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500g skinless chicken breast fillets
1kg fresh egg noodles
2 cups vegetable oil, for deep-frying
1 cup thin coconut milk
1 cup thick or 1 can coconut milk
2 tablespoons good curry powder
2 tablespoons sweet dark soya sauce or javanese soya sauce
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 large chicken stock cubes
2 litres water

Paste spices

Quantity Ingredient
7 large dried chillies, seeded, soaked in warm water until soft and then squeezed dry
1 stalk lemongrass, finely sliced
2.5cm piece fresh turmeric, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon shrimp paste, (optional)
8 medium-sized garlic cloves, sliced
6 shallots, sliced

Accompaniments

Quantity Ingredient
Chilli–garlic Mix, (see below)
Special nam pla phrik, (see below)
Thick coconut cream, (see below)
1/2 pickled mustard greens, sliced
3 limes, cut into wedges the thai way
9 shallots, peeled and cut into quarters
sweet dark soy sauce
chopped coriander leaves and green spring onion tops, mixed

Method

  1. It is best to make the accompaniments first so they are on the table when the Khao Soi is ready to serve.
  2. To make the spice paste, in a mortar pound the large dried chillies and lemongrass. Add the turmeric and pound, shrimp paste and pound, garlic and pound, and shallots and pound everything to a fine paste (or grind everything together in a food processor attachment).
  3. Slice the chicken breasts lengthwise into 5 cm strips and then across into 1 cm slices.
  4. Shake and loosen about 350 g of the fresh noodles. Heat the oil in a wok and deep-fry the noodles (about a quarter at a time) until brown, and drain them well. Place in a bowl and keep aside.
  5. Put the thin (second squeeze) coconut milk (or half a can) into a saucepan and bring it to the boil, boiling hard until it reduces and the oil starts to come out. (Add a little vegetable oil if this does not happen.) Add the curry paste and stir constantly, letting it ‘fry’ until it smells aromatic. Add curry powder and mix well, and then the chicken and stir-fry to mix and to seal the chicken. Now add the sweet dark soya sauce, the fish sauce and stock (made by dissolving the stock cubes in the water). Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and allow to simmer without a lid until the chicken is cooked. Just before serving take off the stove, stir in 1 cup thick coconut milk (or the rest of the can) and pour into a bowl.
  6. Meanwhile bring plenty of water to a high boil. Put in the rest of the noodles and boil for about 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly in a colander and run water from a hot tap over them to prevent them from sticking. Put them in a bowl and mix in 11⁄2 tablespoons of oil again to prevent them from sticking.
  7. Have the suggested accompaniments ready on the table in small bowls. Transport the large bowls of boiled noodles, fried noodles and chicken curry there also. Put about 1 cup of boiled noodles into each individual plate, ladle lots of curry sauce over this and top with some fried noodles. Diners help themselves to the other garnishes and accompaniments.

Chilli–garlic mix

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves
20 medium-sized dried chillies

Method

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok. Peel, slice and roughly chop the garlic and fry until light brown. Remove, drain and keep aside to cool. Now fry the whole chillies complete with seeds until dark brown. Drain and cool. Put the drained garlic and chillies (seeds intact) into a mortar or a food processor attachment and pound coarsely. Place in a bowl and mix with 2 tablespoons oil.

Special nam pla phrik

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons fish sauce
6 bird’s eye chillies, sliced into fine rounds
7 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 lime, juiced

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients together.

Thick coconut cream

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. Put 1 cup thick coconut milk into a small saucepan, bring to the boil and cook, stirring all the time until it thickens further. Pour into a bowl.
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