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Khao soi

This soup, based on the Burmese noodle dish ohn no khao swè, is popular in Thailand's Chiang Mai region. The beauty is in the toppings - crunchy bean sprouts and fried noodles, and the unmistakable bite from pickled mustard greens. They're well worth seeking out in Asian grocers - they certainly earn their place.

You'll need

1 tbsp coriander seeds Seeds of 1 black cardamom pod 6 garlic cloves 5 red shallots 4 long red dried chillies, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, liquid reserved 40 gm ginger, finely chopped 3 cm piece turmeric, finely chopped 1 lemongrass stalk (about 7cm; white part only), thinly sliced 1 tbsp curry powder 60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil 650 ml coconut milk 600 ml chicken stock 3 kaffir lime leaves, coarsely torn 4 chicken thighs (about 250gm each), skin on, bone in 3 tbsp fish sauce 2 tbsp dark soy sauce 1 tsp sugar 150 gm egg noodles To serve: lime wedges, thinly shaved shallots, bean sprouts, pickled mustard greens, fried noodles, coriander (all optional)


  • 01
  • Dry-roast coriander and cardamom seeds, then coarsely crush with a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a food processor with garlic, shallots, chilli, ginger, turmeric, lemongrass, curry powder and 2-3 tbsp chilli soaking liquid, process to a smooth paste (add more liquid to loosen if necessary) and season to taste.
  • 02
  • Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add paste and cook, stirring, until thick and slightly darker in colour (3-4 minutes). Add coconut milk, stock and kaffir lime leaves, bring to the simmer, then add chicken, reduce heat to low and simmer until tender (about 1 hour). Add fish and soy sauces, and sugar, season to taste, and keep warm.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, cook noodles in a saucepan of boiling salted water until tender (1-2 minutes), then drain. Divide among serving bowls, ladle in broth and chicken and serve garnished with a choice of toppings to taste.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

Aromatic off-dry riesling.

Featured in

Aug 2014

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