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Khao soi

This soup's combination of spices, chicken and crispy noodles is sure to pack a punch.

By Emma Knowles
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
  • Print
Khao soi traditionally uses meat cooked on the bone, but for this quicker version, we've opted for smaller pieces of chicken thigh fillet; we've also taken a shortcut and used ground spices instead of pounding our own - just be sure they're fresh for the best flavour. If you want to take the longer approach, use chicken Marylands cut through the joint, and simmer them slowly and gently until the meat is falling from the bone. Khao soi is all about the combination of tender boiled noodles and the crunch of the fried noodles that are scattered on top - it's textural bliss.


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for shallow-frying
  • 400 ml coconut cream
  • 300 ml coconut water
  • 50 ml soy sauce
  • 50 gm light palm sugar, coarsely grated
  • 8 skinless chicken thigh fillets, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 400 gm fresh egg noodles
  • Coarsely chopped pickled mustard greens (see note), thinly sliced red shallots, coriander sprigs, thinly sliced birdseye chillies and lime wedges, to serve
Curry paste
  • 8 dried long red chillies, seeds discarded, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes, drained
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 8 coriander roots, cleaned
  • 30 gm ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 30 gm turmeric, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 4 red shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground fennel
  • ½ tsp freshly ground white pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves


  • 1
    For curry paste, process chillies, garlic, coriander roots, ginger, turmeric and shallot in a food processor to a paste, add ground spices and 2 tsp sea salt and pulse to combine.
  • 2
    Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add curry paste and stir frequently until fragrant (2-3 minutes). Add coconut cream, coconut water, soy sauce and sugar, and simmer until well flavoured (10-12 minutes). Season to taste. Add chicken and simmer until just tender (4-5 minutes).
  • 3
    Meanwhile, heat 3cm oil in a deep-frying pan over medium-high heat until oil starts shimmering. Add 100gm noodles and fry until crisp and golden (2-3 minutes). Drain on paper towels.
  • 4
    Cook remaining noodles in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender (2-3 minutes), then drain well and divide among serving bowls. Ladle chicken and sauce over noodles, top with fried noodles, mustard greens, sliced shallot, coriander sprigs and chilli, and serve hot with lime wedges.


Pickled mustard greens are available from select Asian grocers.
Drink Suggestion: A can of Singha. Drink suggestion by Max Allen