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Khao soi (soup)

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There are many different versions of this soup, but most of them can be divided into one of two main categories: Lao khao soi or Northern Thai khao soi.

Lao khao soi

Lao kaho soi is a soup made with rice noodles, coarsely chopped pork, tomatoes, fermented soy beans, chillies, shallots, and garlic. Before serving, the soap is topped with pork rind, bean sprouts, chopped scallions, and chopped cilantro.

Northern Thai khao soi

This is a soup-like dish frequently sold by street vendors in northern Thailand. Unlike Lao khao soi, it contains egg noodles – not rice noodles. It actually contains both ordinary boiled egg noodles and egg noodles that have been deep-fried until crisp. The dish also includes meat, pickled mustard greens, shallots, lime, and ground chillies fried in oil, and everything is simmering in a curry-like sauce rich in coconut milk.

In eastern northern Thailand, khao soi is sometimes prepared with rice noodles instead of egg noodles. There are also eastern recipes that omits the coconut milk.


The khao soi prepared by the Shan people, who chiefly live in Burma (Myanmar), contains pieces of curdles blood. This is also true for the khao soi eaten in the Chiang Rai Province of northernmost Thailand, which borders to the Shan state of Myanmar.

Simple khao soi recipe with egg noodles and coconut milk

This is an easy recipe that I rely on when I just don’t have the energy to pound my own spice mixes or visit three different Thai stores in search of certain hard-to-find ingredients. It utilizes dried noodles and ordinary Thai red curry paste and yellow curry powder, and you can use your favorite brands to suit your preferences.

I usually pick Asian-style egg noodles, but I’ve made this dish with Italian-style egg noodles as well and it still turned out great. Different, but still yummy.

Ingredients (2 big servings)

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons yellow curry powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 8 oz), cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt, to taste
  • 8 oz dried egg noodles

There are no exact rules regarding the quantity or proportions of the garnish. Don’t be afraid to experiment to find your own favourite combo.

  • Fried egg noodles
  • Shallots, thinly sliced
  • Green onion, chopped
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Roasted peanuts, chopped
  • Pickled mustard greens
  • Dried chillies
  • Lime, in wedges


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat up the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic and shallot to the oil, and fry for roughly 30 seconds.
  3. Add the red curry paste and the yellow curry powder. Fry for another 30 seconds while stirring.
  4. Pour coconut milk and chicken broth into the saucepan, and add chicken thighs, fish sauce and sugar. Stir together. If any curry paste has stuck to the bottom of the saucepan, scrape it up and stir it into the dish.
  5. Bring to a boil.
  6. Lower the heat and leave the curry-sauce to simmer under a lid for roughly half an hour.
  7. While the sauce is simmering, bring salted water to a boil in a big pot. Cook the egg noodles according to the instructions form the manufacturer. Time it well; you want the egg noodles and the curry-sauce to be ready at the same time.
  8. Taste the curry-sauce. Add more spices (and salt) if necessary.
  9. Drain the egg noodles and divide them into two bowls. Top the noodles with the curry-sauce. Decorate with the garnishes. Serve immediately.