‘Khao Soi’ The flavors of Chiangmai noodles

Egg noodles with chicken curry and condiments or ‘Khao Soi Gai’ called in Thai ข้าวซอย

A Thai proverbs says “If you are arrived in Chiangmai and did not taste ‘Khao Soi’ or go up to ‘Doi Suthep you have  not arrived yet.

Our presentation for this week is ‘Khao Soi’, A popular dish of Northern Thailand.  There is more things to learn about ‘Khao Soi’ history and how to cook it so that it tastes like eating in Chiangmai.

Fresh egg noodles became a main part of this dish from it’s name, good quality of fresh egg noodles be part of delicious in ‘Khao Soi’. The Pasta machine created great noodles. For the curry I used 2 whole coconuts to make fresh coconut cream and milk.

Our three parts of home-made ‘Khao Soi’ included with home-made fresh egg noodles, coconut milk and curry paste.

This traditional concoction is crowned with crunchy, deep-fried noodles and cilantro leaves, drizzled with rich coconut cream, and served with sliced shallots, lime, pickled mustard and a sweet-hot chili sauce called nam prik paow.

Khao soi is so closely identified with Chiang Mai that it sometimes appears on overseas Thai menus simply as “Chiang Mai noodle.” Yet the dish isn’t local at all, but a fusions creation abetted by migration and entrepreneurial ingenuity.

Coconut milk is a rare ingredient in northern Thailand, and its inclusion in khao soi has led to speculation that the dish is a local version of ohn-no kyaukswe, a Burmese coconut-milk and noodle soup. But other factors point to origins with the Shan, a people who live primarily in Myanmar. – Read more of ‘Khao Soi’ / The Dish / Wall Street Journal

Feature of ‘Khao Soi’ before add condiments

Egg noodle dough ingredients (serves 4)

500 grams All purpose flour sifted

5 Large fresh eggs  (65-70 g each)

1 Tbsp Olive oil

Fresh egg noodle Preparation

  • Place the flour in a mound on a work surface or in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, add the eggs and oil into the well. Use your fingertips to gradually work the flour from inside the well into the eggs, taking care not to allow the liquid to run out. Continue mixing the egg and flour together until the mixture is quire thick. Then knead the dough for 10-15 minutes until smooth.(This step I finally used KitchenAid to help because my kneading is not that good)
  • Wrap the dough in kitchen film and leave to rest for about 20 minutes. Unwrap the dough and knead again for 1-2 minutes. Roll the dough out manually or pass it through a pasta machine to make sheets of desired thickness.
  • Let the sheets dry for a while, then roll them up and cut with a knife or cut them using the machine.

If you don’t have a pasta machine but would still like to make your own noodles, you can roll out the dough by hand using a heavy wooden or stone rolling pin. when using this method, make sure that both the rolling pin and the work surface you are using are lightly floured at all times to prevent the dough from sticking.
Note: I set machine no.1 for thinnest and cut by knife.

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Khao soi gai (chicken) ingrédients  (Serve 4)

1,300 ml Coconut cream and milk (use 2 whole coconut to make)

200 ml Chicken stock or water, my presentation today use water

350 grams Chicken thigh meat, skinned, slices in bite size

2 tbsp Light soy sauce

3-4 Tbsp Fish sauce (Nam Pla)

350 grams Finely cut fresh egg noodles 


100 grams  Pickled chinese cabbage cut into cubes

5-6 pieces Green lime wedge

5 shallots, peeled and cut into medium size cubes

10 Fried red chilies, finely chopped and mixed with one tablespoon of cooking oil

Garnish: Coriander sprig, coconut cream, red chili strips

Seasoning: Granulated sugar, fish sauce

Curry paste (Yield about 130 grams)

4-5 Large dried red chilies or totally 20-25 grams dried red chili any size, seeded

3 Shallots, peeled and finely sliced

80-100 grams Galangal, peeled and finely sliced

4 Fresh coriander roots, finely chopped, today I use coriander stems because roots in not available

1 tsp Ground cumin, toast before

1 tsp curry powder

2 tsp Coriander seeds, toast before

2 tsp Ground turmeric

1 Tsp seasalt

2 cm Fresh yellow turmeric, finely sliced, is not available in our presentation today

0.5 Tsp Palm sugar

Curry Paste Preparation

1. Make curry paste, Toast all the curry paste ingredients in a pan, except the palm sugar over medium heat until fragrant.

2. Remove to a stone mortar, add palm sugar and 2-3 tsp cold water, pound into a fine paste. If your curry paste is not fine and smooth you can blend it again with food processor.

Note: In case of small mortar I normally pound each ingredients one at a time then combine all together.

The first below photo is the ratio of dry chili for make the curry paste, if you use dry big chili use about 4-5 chilis, if the chili is a medium size such as ‘Cayane’use about 16-20 chilis or if use a small size of chili will use about 36-45 chili. Chili that seeded will boots your curry’s color.

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Finished the curry paste

3. Make home-made coconut cream and coconut milk.  I use 2 coconuts for making 1,300 ml of coconut cream and milk. Open the cococonut with strong knife…get the meat and blend with food processor until fine then add water.

After you get coconut cream and coconut milk, keep 1/3 of coconut cream for drizzle ‘Khao Soi’ before serve

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4. Cooking the curry: Fry curry paste with half cup of coconut cream use medium-high heat, fry until fragrant and see bubble, continue to add small amount of coconut cream until done. (adjust the heat if necessary)  Add chicken and season with soy sauce and half the fish sauce and cook gently for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining coconut milk and water, bring it to the boil and simmer for up to 6 minutes.  Adjust seasoning with remaining fish sauce if necessary, remove and keep warm.

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Preparation for Crisp noodles. Deep-fry about 70 grams of the egg noodles until they are light brown and crispy. Transfer to paper towel. When it cold keep tight in bag to keep it crisp.

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Preparation for condiments in advance are lime wedge, red onion cube, pickled chinese mustard cube, chili fry  in oil.


Preparation shallot crisp (fried shallot until golden brown)


Preparation fried chili in oil (Fry dried chili use a low-medium heat until crisp) before chop and add a tbsp of cooking oil.


5. To serve: Boil fresh egg noodles in boiling water for 30 seconds, drain and divide into bowls. Then top noodles with curry and garnish with the crisp noodles and fried shallots, a spring of coriander and drizzle with coconut cream, chili strips. Serve hot with condiments are pickled chinese cabbage, lime wedge, shallots and fried red chili in oil.

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Presentation of ‘Khao soi’

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Reference recipe: The Oriental Hotel cook book




    1. Thank you James, I appreciated on your comment. It was one and a half day for preparing this ‘Khao Soi’ with photographs. Hope you can have some spicy. There are so many details when I made all home made style. I am impressed for your cuisine and culture too.

  1. Thanks for the recipe, the photos inspired me a lot. I especially like the design of those asian style bowls. I wonder where could I find those in US? I appreciate your help 🙂

    1. Hi Nhi P Ngo,
      Thank you for visiting my recipe. You can find these charming bowl from the Asian shop (store that sell goods and products) or Gift shop stylish. That they may import these kind of bowl from Japan or Asia. This ‘Khao Soi’ bowl I borrowed my neighbor to change the look sometimes. I am sure you can find it easy in florida or in US. If I get more information I will let you know. By the way do you have blog? XX

  2. Thanks for reply on me. I currently don’t create any blog yet but I’m really interested in following food bloggers that have very diversified field of foods like you. Although I’m not original from Thailand, I’m working as my part time job in Thai restaurant for now. I love Thai foods and very enjoy getting know more about Thai cuisine. I’m so glad to know your blog and would love to see more food entries from you 🙂

    1. Your comment made brighten my day! This is nice to know that you are working at Thai restaurant and love to learn more about the food. I bring up little culture history when I can, so you can feel more in deep get through the dish how it born. Well wish you the best on career. XX

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