Thai-Burmese Curry Noodles (Khao Soi). Thailand part 3.

by Sala @ Veggie Belly on June 23, 2010

Before I tell you about this amazing noodle dish I learned to make in northern Thailand, here are more pictures from my recent trip. (And in case you missed my previous Thailand posts, they are here and here).

A Thai Market Outside Bangkok

I visited several markets in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. The format seems to be pretty much the same everywhere – vegetable section, fruit section, then there are some bug vendors (yes, insects), rice vendors, fresh noodle vendors, dessert section and prepared foods section. Every single market I went to was extremely clean and organized.

This one was outside Bangkok, in the suburbs where I was staying with my uncle. So this market wasnt touristy, which is always a bonus.

Left: Sapodilla vendor. Right: My uncles wife Da, on her phone & buying guavas. Da showed me around here and so patiently explained everything and translated for me so I could communicate with the vendors 

Left: bugs and insects; I was feeling very Andrew Zimmern-ish.  Right: lime, red and green chillies

 

Pink preserved eggs (Chinese thousand year old eggs or century eggs) and pink noodles

Khao Soi Curry Noodles from Chiang Mai (Kow Swear or Khauk Swear in Burma)

Now lets travel up north to the cool mountains of Chiang Mai, Thailand. Chinese Muslim traders have greatly influenced this region’s cuisine. Their delicious, spicy noodle dish, influenced by Burmese cuisine, called Khao Soi was everywhere in this city. My favorite vegetarian Khao Soi is from Aum Vegetarian Restaurant. in Chiang Mai.

Left: Chiang Mai Aum restaurant’s Khao Soi topped with coconut cream. In the background, chilli paste, lemon iced tea, and British kid.    

Right: My home made version

When I took a Thai Vegetarian cooking class at May Kaidee’s, Duan the owner and instructor was kind enough to show me how to make Khao Soi, even though it wasnt on the class schedule. See this post  for more on Duan and the cooking class.

Khao Soi, also spelled Khao Suey or Khao Soy, is also eaten in Myanmar or Burma and Laos. The Burmese version of Khao Soi is called Kow Swear or Khauk Swear. From what I understand, the Burmese curry noodles, are also in a coconut milk broth, but use more Indian influenced spices like coriander and do not have the crispy noodle topping. Since both the the Thai and Burmese versions are quite similar, I’m sending this post off to AWED Burma, hosted by Kitchen Swathi 

Other Khao Soi recipes:

Khao Soi by the amazing Chez Pim
A Khao Soi battle between an American guy in Bangkok and a Thai girl in Iowa
A Khao Soi recipe from Rosas Yummy Yums
And then there is this whole blog dedicated to the quest for the perfect Khao Soi in New York city!
A recipe for the Burmese version – Kow Swear on We Are Never Full blog

The version I learned to make at the cooking class had shredded chinese cabbage, cauliflower, and tofu. Ive used shiitake mushrooms, baby corn, carrot, zucchini and beansprouts. But I highly recommend adding some pan fried or deep fried firm tofu to this.

If there is an Asian store where you live, that is best place to buy the specialty ingredients for this recipe. But you may be able to find fresh chinese noodles (not the dry stuff) at the regular grocery store. For the pickled mustard greens, you may have to make a trip to the Asian store (if you want to make your own, here is a good recipe).

All the amazing Khao Sois I had in Chiangmai were topped with crispy fried noodles – the best part! I didnt feel like deep frying, so I used store bought La Choy brand crispy Asian noodles.

Curry Noodles in Coconut Milk Broth or Khao Soi or Khao Soy Recipe

serves 2-3

1 tablespoon oil
1 cup chopped shiitake mushroom
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
1/2 cup chopped baby corn
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1 teaspoon curry powder or according to taste
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
2 cups fresh Chinese wheat based noodles or about 3 oz dried thin wheat based noodles
1 cup bean sprouts

Toppings and garnishes
1 cup store bought crispy noodles (I used La Choy brand)
2 shallots, chopped
1/4 cup chopped pickled mustard greens (available at Asian stores)
3-4 lime wedges
Chopped cilantro
Chopped green onion

Heat a large wok with oil. Add shitake mushroom, zucchini, baby corn and carrot and cook on high for about 2 minutes. Then add curry paste and curry powder. Toss to coat the vegetables. Add light soy sauce and cook about 30 seconds so the vegetables absorb the liquid. Then add dark soy sauce, brown sugar, and coconut milk. Let the curry simmer for about 2 minutes.

Then pour in water and bring back to a simmer. Taste curry and adjust soy sauce, and sugar to taste. 

Bring a large pot full of water to boil noodles. If using dried noodles, cook in boiling water till noodles are very al dente. If using fresh noodles, boil for about 1 minute. No matter what noodles you use, make sure not to over cook them. Drain well.

Add cooked noodles and bean sprouts to the curry broth. 

Serve Khao Soi in individual bowls, topped with crispy noodles. If you dont have store bought crispy noodles, increase the fresh or dry wheat noodles quantity in this recipe by 1/2 cup. If using dried noodles — deep fry this extra half cup of boiled, drained noodles in oil, till golden. If using fresh noodles, deep fry them as is. Then top Khao Soi with the fried noodles.

Serve with chopped shallots, pickled mustard greens, lime wedges and cilantro on the side.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Comments

comments

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rosa June 23, 2010 at 1:38 pm

That is such a delicious dish! Thai food rules and your shots too!

Cheers,

Rosa

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2 Cate June 23, 2010 at 1:38 pm

I’m so jealous! I should have asked how to make Kow Soy when I took that class…it’s one of my absolute favorites!
Those markets are one of the things I miss most about Thailand…beautiful pictures!

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

Don’t feel bad, you have the recipe now!

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3 Swathi June 23, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Sala,

Thai Burmese curry noodles looks absolutely delicious. Thanks for the entry. Nice post too.

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4 delicieux June 23, 2010 at 3:33 pm

This looks so delicious and fresh. I love that it uses cilantro and lime, which I absolutely love.

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5 Miryam June 23, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Amazing pictures as always. I wish I would have gone to some of the food markets Bangkok had to offer, maybe some other time. Love, love, love Thai food, cool eat it everyday. It is one of my favorites…

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6 Sharmilee June 24, 2010 at 5:18 am

Luv those pink eggs….and the noodles looks so tasty that I want to grab a spoonful

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7 Happy Cook June 24, 2010 at 5:19 am

I don’t think i have ever see such huge gauvs. This noodles is really new, love love dishes like this.

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8 Priti June 24, 2010 at 5:19 am

Beatiful pics dear and the curry noodles looks just yum

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9 Nithya June 24, 2010 at 5:19 am

Simply fantastic post. Your pics are taking me to a virtual tour :)

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10 Elaine June 24, 2010 at 5:20 am

I’m curious– pink eggs? Was this (along with the noodles) a coloring choice to complement a seasonal festival or holiday, a by-product of a particular treatment, a regular offering that has no other purpose than being pink…?

Inquiring minds want to know! Beautiful blog :)

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

Thee pink eggs are preserved eggs, also called thousand year old eggs or century eggs. They are greenish brown inside (due to preservation) and are dyed pink on the outside, possibly to distinguish them from regular, fresh eggs.

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

I updated the caption with more info :)

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11 arthi June 24, 2010 at 11:12 am

Sala…your pictures are amazing….will surely give this a try!

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12 Prerna June 24, 2010 at 11:35 am

Ahh! you brought back so many memories.. We went to Thailand for our honeymoon so you can guess that’s one of my most favorite places :-) & Thai food!! Can’t even say more abt it. We also were lucky enough to taste some Khao Soi in Bangkok.
Your’s looks much more beautiful than the restaurant!

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13 Kavitha June 24, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Pink noodles would be perfect for Anna’s princess party. Any chance I can get them here or is food coloring my only option?

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

Pink noodles for a princess party sounds great! I bet the kids will love it! I think you’ll have to use food coloring. If anybody else here has a recipe for this, do share!

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anu menon Reply:

or some natural colouring like beetroot! i got some beetroot juice and soaked a lil cooked noodles and they are a sucker for the colour

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

great idea!

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14 shankari June 24, 2010 at 1:38 pm

You make me want to go to Thailand, or maybe a trip to your house might just do it for me :)

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15 roxan June 25, 2010 at 10:46 am

Oh Sala, this looks delicious!!! And stunning photography, as always. I love those pink eggs!

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16 lisa June 25, 2010 at 12:53 pm

What an amazing dish — it looks fantastic. Look at those gorgeous eggs!

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17 pavithra June 26, 2010 at 1:01 am

Sala those pictures reminds our Thailand trip. And I can still remember the food court selling the century egg fried rice.. The pictures are wonderful as usual.

Pavithra
http://www.dishesfrommykitchen.com

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18 pavithra June 26, 2010 at 8:16 am

I really miss those guava’s in US which tastes awesome with prune powder… Yummy ones with seedless !!!!

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19 jo June 26, 2010 at 8:17 am

I fell in love with this dish 3 years ago when I visited Chiang Mai. I’m still dreaming about it and have vowed to make this one day. Thanks for posting the recipe and your pictures are absolutely brilliant.

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20 nandini.p June 27, 2010 at 3:55 am

Absolute favourite of mine… Had a neighbour from burma and we to devoured it when ever she made this one..

Pink eggs !!!!. So cute!.

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21 anudivya June 27, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Look at the size of those guavas! I am so envious…

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22 Xiaolu (6 Bittersweets) June 27, 2010 at 5:16 pm

This looks so delicious, Sala! I love the travel photos as well.

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23 shriya June 27, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Never seen pink eggs and noodles before. Nice post, very informative. Again awesome clicks.

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24 we are never ful July 15, 2010 at 2:38 pm

thank you for the link to our post. your pictures are beautiful!

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25 Anu Menon August 26, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Hey… I managed to get meself some crisco ;) but guess what hubby dearest -in his eagerness to help with the cleaning – threw out flour I had just bought with all the trash… Ahhh
On a tangent, you know those crispy rice noodles(they are usually white/transparent) would also look/taste lovely with this recipe… It’s the thing for this weekend…
I somehow have an issue with eating cooked coloured food… I can eat the purple cabbage raw but not cooked… I thk its psychological…

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26 BongMom January 27, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Thanks Sala. This soup was much loved in spite of my small variations.

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

its all about the variations! im happy to hear it went over well :)

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27 Anonymous March 3, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Which curry powder did you use?

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

I like S&B curry powder, available at Asian stores. But any curry powder that you have on hand is good.

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28 Anonymous January 11, 2014 at 2:42 pm

I had this dish in Chiang Mai 11 years ago at that restaurant, and I have longed for it every since. Thank you for posting this here!

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