Hot Soup: Chicken Khao Soi

PUBLISHED ON: 03.16.2013

This soup graced the cover of Bon Appetit magazine and then graced our family table.

Boneless chicken thigh meat, chiles grounded into a paste with curry, garlic, cilantro, ginger and coriander, then simmered all together in coconut milk and broth are the highlights in this Thai inspired soup.

Topped off with fresh red onion, lime, cilantro and bean sprouts and this soup becomes soulful and comforting.

Chicken Khao Soi
Serves 6-8
Recipe from Bon Appetit

Kaho Soi Paste
4 large dried new Mexico or guajillo chiles, stemmed, halved, seeded
2 medium shallots, halved
8 garlic cloves
1 2″ piece ginger, peeled, sliced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro stems
1 Tbsp. ground coriander
1 Tbsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. curry powder

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 14-oz. cans unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1-1/2 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, halved lengthwise
1 lb. Chinese egg noodles
3 Tbsp (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)
Ingredient Info: Dried chiles are available at Latin markets; Chinese noodles and chili oil are available at Asian markets.  All can be found at many supermarkets.

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.  Puree 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.

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