Kao Soi (Curry Noodle Soup)

Kao Soi (Curry Noodle Soup)

kao soi

This is my interpretation of kao soi, a spicy noodle soup found in northern Thailand.  This dish is also known as Chiang Mai Noodles and there are numerous variations.

In Thailand, kao soi is made with ba me, a type of egg noodle, but a Chinese lo-mein style egg noodle is a good substitute.  I could not find either kind of noodle locally, so I used linguine….it worked for me.  Rice noodles would also work.  I use Thai Kitchen brand red curry paste and 3 teaspoons makes makes for a really hot soup, so adjust to your tastes.  Some red curry pastes are hotter than others, so keep that in mind too.  The sugar snap peas are in no way traditional for this soup, I added those in there for crunch and color.  if you can find pickled cabbage (found in Asian markets) use it as a topping.  It’s delicious.

Kao Soi (Curry Noodle Soup)

1 lb. linguine, cooked (or lo-mein noodles or ba me)
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 – 3 tsp. Thai red curry paste (to taste)
1 T. Madras curry powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 can (13.5 oz.) unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups chicken stock
2 T. nam pla (Thai fish sauce) (found in Asian markets)
1 tsp. sugar
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2″ pieces
1/4 lb. sugar snap peas, strings removed and halved
2 shallots,  peeled and sliced
fresh cilantro leaves
limes, cut into wedges

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add curry paste, curry powder, and cumin and cook, stirring, until fragrant (about 40 seconds).  Whisk in coconut milk and stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium, add nam pla and sugar, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.  Stir in chicken and sugar snap peas and simmer until chicken is cooked through, 5 to 10 minutes. Add 1 cup of water if soup is too thick.

Divide noodles in soup bowls, ladle soup into bowls, and top with sliced shallots and cilantro leaves.  Serve with a wedge of lime.

Pickled cabbage (rinsed and drained), chile oil, and fried noodles are traditional toppings for kao soi, as well.

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One Comment on “Kao Soi (Curry Noodle Soup)”

  1. […] One of the things I like best about getting CSA boxes is that they often contain vegetables that I normally do not buy.  I rarely buy mustard greens. I am not sure why, because I actually like them a lot. They are just a vegetable I do not think to use often. I got such a large bunch of mustard greens this week that I will be able to make 2 or 3 different recipes with them.  I have never pickled greens before, but I know it is often done in Asian countries. Pickled greens are often accompaniments to spicy dishes, especially grilled meats. In Thailand, pickled mustard greens are often served with Khao Soi. I love Khao Soi and have two versions on this blog. Find a beef version here and a chicken version here. […]


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