January 17, 2014

Chicken Khao Soi

The minute I saw this soup featured on the cover of March's Bon Appetit I knew I was going to make it at some point.  That bowl had some damn fine curb appeal.  I've been saving this in my back pocket for just such an occasion.  Occasion being that Michelle and I decided to resurrect this here blog of ours.    It's not often that I get to use turmeric in recipes but there's something magical about that spice.  I know it has a ton of health benefits and when you smell it you really believe that.  Not to mention that it stains everything it touches a beautiful sunny yellow. 
I'm hesitant to say this recipe is easy but only because procuring the ingredients was a bit of a task.  Guajillo chiles and Chinese eggs noodles are a lot harder to find in this progressive town of ours.  But here's a tip from me to you - go straight to your local Mexican tienda for the chiles, do not pass Go, New Seasons, Fred Meyer, or Safeway.  I did end up finding the Chinese egg noodles at Safeway after two other fails, so thanks Safeway for throwing me that bone.  The good news is if you have ready access to those two ingredients the other items are pretty much pantry staples.  The other good news is that this recipe has minimal prep and comes together in a cinch so it's good for a weeknight meal. DP being the non-dairy eating asian food loving person that he is really dug this soup.  It definitely lived up to its curb appeal.

Chicken Khao Soi Soup

Khao Soi Paste
4 large dried New Mexico or guajillo chiles, stemmed, halved, seeded
2 medium shallots, halved
8 cloves garlic cloves
one 2" piece ginger, peeled, sliced
 ¼ cup chopped cilantro stems
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon curry powder

2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 14-oz. cans unsweetened coconut milk
3 cups chicken broth (we used homemade)
1½ lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs, halved lengthwise
2 10 oz. packages Chinese egg noodles (we used Lo Mein egg noodles)
3 tablespoons (or more) fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
1 tablespoon (packed) palm sugar or light brown sugar
Kosher salt
Sliced red onion, bean sprouts, cilantro sprigs, crispy fried onions or shallots, chili oil, and lime wedges ( for serving)

Khao Soi Paste

Place chiles in a small heatproof bowl, add boiling water to cover, and let soak until softened, 25–30 minutes.

Drain chiles, reserving soaking liquid. Purée chiles, shallots, garlic, ginger, cilantro stems, coriander, turmeric, curry powder, and 2 Tbsp. soaking liquid in a food processor, adding more soaking liquid by tablespoonfuls, if needed, until smooth. 


Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add khao soi paste; cook, stirring constantly, until slightly darkened, 4–6 minutes. Add coconut milk and broth. Bring to a boil; add chicken. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is fork-tender, 20–25 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Let cool slightly; shred meat.

Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions.

Add chicken, 3 Tbsp. fish sauce, and sugar to soup. Season with salt or more fish sauce, if needed. Divide soup and noodles among bowls and serve with toppings.


This video was cracking me up all last night because of the part where I forgot to turn it off and it caught me putting it in my sweater pocket and singing to Bonnie Raitt.

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