Wednesday, May 17, 2006


"Khao Soi" is a Thai speciality from the Chiang Mai area in the northwestern part of Thailand. This noodle curry shows how the Muslim Chin Haw traders from Yunnan (in southern China) had a big influence on the people in the Golden Triangle. Traditionally, it was always made with chicken or beef, but nowadays, the non-Muslims also use pork meat...

As with most if not all Thai recipes (I'm an addict you see...), this dish is magnificently tasty as the combination of different spices and herbs are perfectly blended together in order to offer a well-balanced bouquet of stunning aromas: "Khao Soi" associates various different flavors together: sweet and sour, round and spicy, strong and delicate...

"Khao Soi" is not a difficult dish to prepare, but it's making does require a certain patience as there are various things to do before you can actually put everything together in the bowl. But taking the time to cook such a dish is very rewarding as the result will blow you off your feet!

Those "Chiang Mai Noodles" are absolutely de-li-cious and really to die for; a real treat for your palate! So, why not cook Thai food at home instead of going out to eat such a meal?!?... Bring the restaurant to
you and be the chef, you'll not regret it one second!!!

This recipe is a medley of all the ones I had taken from the net; I have taken the best part of each in order to come up with this one...

Serves 2-3 people

2 Tbs Oil and more for the noodles
300g Chicken breast, chopped
400ml Coconut milk
240-360ml (1 -1 1/2 Cup) Chicken stock
2 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 Tbs Home made or bought Thai red curry paste
1 1/2 Tsp Curry powder
1/2 Tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 Tsp Palm sugar
Fish sauce, to taste (enough to make it salty to taste)
200g Flat or round egg noodles
1 Green/spring onion, thinly chopped
2 Shallots, very thinly sliced
Fresh coriander, chopped
Fried shallot flakes
Dried chilly flakes (optional)
1 Lime (or more), cut into 4 wedges

1. In a heavy pan, heat 1 Tbs oil, add the garlic. Saute until golden brown.
2. Add the curry paste, curry powder and turmeric powder and stir continuously for 1 minute, until fragrant.
3. Pour in 200ml of the coconut milk and let gently simmer until the oil starts to show.
4. Add another 100ml of the coconut milk and proceed as before.
5. Add the chopped chicken, the chicken stock and the leftover coconut milk. Stir.
6. Let it all gently simmer for 2 minutes.
7. Add the required fish sauce and brown sugar.
8. Over low heat, continue simmering (gentle boil) for about 10-15 minutes.
9. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
10. Drop the noodles into the boiling water and cook until ready (see the explanations on the packet).
11. Pour the noodles into a colander and rinse with cold water. Drain well.
12. Pat dry 1/4 of the noodles.

13. Pour oil into a pan (2 inches/5cm deep) and heat until hot enough to fry the noodles.
14. Add the noodles and fry until crisp.
15. Remove from the pan onto absorbant paper and drain well.
16. Place a quantity of wet noddles in the bowl, pour over the chicken curry, add a quantity of fried noodles and top with the green onions, shallots, coriander, fried shallot, chilly flakes and place a wedge of lime on top of each serving (which you will squeeze yourself)
17. Serve hot...

When frying the curry paste, don't kill it by burning it. Just fry over low heat to release the fragrances.
If the broth is salty, be very careful when adding the fish sauce.
When simmering, do it over low heat otherwise the coconut milk might curdle!
Use Thai "bah-mee" egg noodles, Chinese mien, or any kind of Asian egg noodle.
While frying the noodles, try to seperate the strands with the help of chopsticks so that they don't all stick together.
I recommend that you make your own "Red Curry" paste (recipes: 1, 2 & 3).
According to the fact that "Khao Soi" is quite spicy, I recommend you to have enough lime wedges to tame the heat of this dish!...

Serving suggestions:
If you enjoy a bit of alcohol, eat this dish accompanied by a very fresh bootle of Singha beer, otherwise just let your tastebuds do their work without the help of anything else... But, when eating hot food, it's best to avoid drinking as it makes it all the worse!!!

(Bah-Mee -Pic by
(Doi Suthep Temple -Pic Lionel Clavien


  1. Thanks for the recipe Rosa, I just love that kind of dish. And you describe it so well.

  2. Bon week end...KISS

  3. wow, rosa, I'm mighty impressed - all the way in Geneva and you can get hold of all those Asian ingredients for this dish! Kudos :)

  4. GRACIANNE: Thanks for the compliment!

    COLETTE: A toi, de même!

    EATZYCATH: Thanks for the kind remark! Well, I love spices and Asian food, so I regularly pay a visit to my favorite Asian supermarkets and buy what I need in order to be able to make my curry pastes, stir-fries, etc... Here in Geneva, we have many Asian supermarkets (Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Indian, etc...), so it's not really difficult to find authentic products!

  5. Rosa, I had this dish in Chaing Mai last year, and have been dreaming about it ever since. I followed your recipe and was instantly transported back to the little cafe where I tried this first. Absolutely beautiful - thank you!

  6. SUHAIL: Thanks for the kind comment and for passing by! I'm really happy to hear that my recipe was to your taste and authentic tasting ;-)!...

  7. I just started a blog on Khao Soi, and where to find it served in New York City, that references this blog. It currently includes Pam Real Thai, Ozen Asian Fusion, Lemongrass Grill, Kin Khao, Galanga Thai, Nooch all in Manhattan and Em Thai (Carroll Gardens):

    I'd love your comments and other places in NYC that serve this dish. Thanks in advance.

  8. Hi Rosa, Just got back from Thailand and never thought I would be able to taste Khoa Soi again until the next trip; until your recipe. Bought the ingredients, cooked it, ate it and bingo! Well done and thanks a lot for the recipe.
    Best wishes,

  9. NAT: Thanks for your comment and for passing by! Unfortunately, I don't live in the US, so I will not be able to help you much...

    GEOFF: Thanks for visiting my blog and for the kind comment! I am ever so pleased to hear that you liked my "Khao Soi" and that it tasted like the ones you ate in Thailand!!! Cheers, Rosa.

  10. Rosa...

    My husband and I just returned from our 3rd trip to Thailand and one of the reasons we go to the North is for the Khao Soi. Your recipe is amazing! We tried it tonight and it is spot on! Thank you so much for posting it. We never thought we'd be able to sort out the ingredients but, thanks to you, we didn't have to! A & R

  11. A & R: Thanks for passing by and for the kind comment! I'm glad you liked that dish and that it tasted just like in Thailand! I'm happy to have been helpful...

  12. What's the difference between a shallot and a spring onion? I thought they were the same thing??

  13. PHIL: Thanks for passing by!

    They are not the same. A shallot looks like this:
    andn here's a spring onion/scallion:

  14. Hmm interesting. I can excuse my confusion by citing Wikipedia: "This ambiguity is further confused with scallions, also known as spring or green onions. In some countries, green onions are called shallots, and shallots are referred to by alternative names such as eschallot or eschalotte."

    Tried the recipe tonight (although I had no shallots!): absolutely delicious!! :-)

  15. PHIL: Yes, it is quite confusing indeed! All those different names...

    I'm glad to hear that you liked my recipe! With shallots, it tastes even better ;-P...

  16. just tried recipe, great basis but amounts of curry powder, and using store bought red curry paste was very challenging. I added 4-5 tbls of store bought red curry paste and as many tbls of curry powder, in the end it was very good.

  17. ANONYMOUS: Thanks for passing by and for the comment! I used homemade Thai red curry paste therefore things might be a little challenging if you used bought paste (not the same flavors)... I am am glad it turned out well at the end. Cheers.

  18. Hi Rosa,
    I ate chaing mai noodles sometime back and was searching for its recipe- stumbled to your brilliant blog :)
    One question: When you say curry powder, which curry powder do you mean? (I am an Indian and we use far too many different curry powders. Confusing for me. Also I am a novice cook :P)


  19. SAMY: Thanks for passing by, for the comment and kind words! I'm really happy that you like my blog.

    Well, it is very difficult for me to say which curry powder it is as here, in Europe, we buy it in supermarkets under that name (no specification/it is curry powder for the non-Indians ;-P)... I guess it is Madras curry powder (yellow, mild and round). Confusing indeed.
    I hope that helps...



  20. Thanks Rosa. More intense googling shows it is Madras Curry powder indeed! That helps.

  21. SAMY: You are welcome, Samy! I thought it might be Madras powder... :-)

  22. Oh my Gad!!! You're my saviour! I came back from Thailand and couldn't find this recipe anywhere!!!

    I LOVED this dish when I was in Chiang Mai! Followed up with some Mango sticky rice and I'm the happiest boy in the world!

  23. TAY: Thanks for passing ba and for the kind comment! I hope you'll like my recipe and that this dish will taste as good as in thailand. cheers. :-)

  24. Hi! In Chiang Mai now and love this dish. We write for a charity-based travel website and would like to post a link to your blog if that's okay? There's nothing written for Chaing Mai yet (hence why we're here). Our site is and as I mentioned it's all about promoting charity in Asia.

    Let me know if it's ok?
    Elli xx