Chiang Mai Curry Noodles, “Khao Soi”

This is a noodle dish, prepared in a rich creamy curry sauce, that is traditional in Northern Thailand. A popular lunchtime meal in northern Thailand. The flavor is not only distinctly “Thai” but it also goes very well with the American palate. A harmony of tastes and herbal flavours are essential. Major tastes are sour, sweet and salty. Spiciness comes in different degrees according to meat textures and occasions.


Ingredients for making the chile paste.

  • 5 whole dried chile peppers
  • 1 tbsp chopped shallots
  • 2 tsp sliced ginger
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Next are ingredients for the gravy

  • 6 cups coconut milk
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced
  • 7 tbsp thin soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark thick soy sauce
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Juice of 1 1/2 limes
  • 500 gm fresh egg noodles
  • Peanut oil for frying


  • Soak the whole dried chiles in cold water for 10 minutes, then drain on colander using a spoon to press the chiles against the side to squeeze out the excess water. Use aluminum foil and wrap the whole chiles, shallot, sliced ginger, corriander seed and turmeric powder into a little package. Place this directly on the stove burner for about 2 minutes on each side or until fragrant. Then empty this into a mortar & pestle and pound it into a paste.
  • Heat 1 cup of coconut milk, add the chile paste, and cook until aromatic (about 2 minutes). Add chicken, salt, and soy sauces. Stir fry until chicken is no longer pink, then add the rest of the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add lime juice. Stir well and remove from heat.
  • Fry 5 ounces of noodles in hot oil until crisp. Remove and drain well.
  • Boil the rest of the noodles, cooking as directed on the package. Place a serving of boiled noodles on a plate, and pour the gravy mixture over it. Top with crispy fried noodles. Accompany with a small bowl of chopped shallots, pickled mustard green, and lime. (Hint: add a touch of Thai chile oil for great flavor and aroma). Enjoy

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