Chicken Khao Soi

Khao Soi recipe in a bowl

The Spruce / Cat Lau

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 50 mins
Total: 80 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
905 Calories
57g Fat
53g Carbs
51g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 905
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 57g 73%
Saturated Fat 37g 186%
Cholesterol 241mg 80%
Sodium 353mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 53g 19%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 51g
Vitamin C 15mg 74%
Calcium 130mg 10%
Iron 12mg 67%
Potassium 1269mg 27%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Khao soi is a northern Thai dish that can also be found in neighboring countries such as Myanmar and Laos. It's an indulgent noodle dish comprised of a coconut milk curry, tender stewed chicken, and delicious toppings.

Making the curry paste from scratch isn't hard; it just takes a little bit of preparation and it produces a more flavorful dish in the end. You can even make the curry paste ahead of time, such as the night before; just keep it covered in the fridge until you're ready to assemble the rest of the dish.

Feel free to make this khao soi recipe your own. Add more chili for a hotter curry or less for a milder one. Some people like their curry more brothy while others like it thick and creamy, so you can adjust the liquids in this recipe to your preference. Thick or thin egg noodles can be used. What usually stays the same are the garnishes: shallots, lime, fresh cilantro, and chile oil. It's also not uncommon to add a small pile of pickled greens on the top.

Ingredients

For the Curry Paste:

  • 3 dried Thai chile peppers

  • 5 small shallots

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled

  • 1/4 cup sliced lemongrass

  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder

  • 1 tablespoon curry powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted

  • 1 teaspoon makrut lime zest

For the Curry:

  • 3 cups coconut milk, divided

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken legs (drumsticks and thighs separated)

  • 12 ounces thick egg noodles

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • Salt (to taste)

  • 1 tablespoon chile oil

  • Sliced shallots, garnish

  • Fresh cilantro, garnish

  • Lime wedges, garnish

Steps to Make It

Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this curry is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Curry Paste

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Khao soi curry paste ingredients
    ​The Spruce / Cat Lau
  2. Place the dried chiles in a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water and let them soak until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain the chiles and reserve the soaking liquid.

    Dried chiles soaking in a bowl
    The Spruce / Cat Lau 
  3. In a food processor or blender, pulse the soaked chiles, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, turmeric, curry powder, coriander seeds, lime zest, and 2 to 4 tablespoons of the chile soaking liquid (as needed) to make a paste. You'll have about 1 1/4 cups.

    Khao soi curry paste in a blender
    The Spruce / Cat Lau

Make the Khao Soi Curry

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Khao soi curry ingredients
    The Spruce / Cat Lau
  2. In a large heavy pot, heat 1 cup of the coconut milk over medium-high heat. When the coconut milk begins to simmer, add the curry paste and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid has thickened and reduced, about 5 minutes.

    cooking khao soi curry
    The Spruce / Cat Lau 
  3. Add water and remaining 2 cups of coconut milk, and bring to a boil. Add the chicken, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and tender, 40 to 45 minutes.

    Chicken in khao soi curry
    The Spruce / Cat Lau 
  4. Meanwhile, cook the egg noodles according to the package directions until al dente. Rinse under cold water, drain, and set aside.

    Noodles in a colander for khao soi
    The Spruce / Cat Lau 
  5. Stir the sugar into the soup. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt. Divide the soup and noodles among four bowls and drizzle with chili oil. Serve garnished with shallots, cilantro, and lime wedges.

    condiments for khao soi
    The Spruce / Cat Lau
  6. Serve immediately and enjoy.

    Khao Soi Recipe in a dish with chopsticks and garnishes
    The Spruce / Cat Lau

Tip

Makrut is worth seeking out for its amazingly aromatic peel. Look for it at Asian markets; it's typically available frozen, fresh, and dried. If you can't find it, regular lime zest will do in a pinch.

How to Store Chicken Khao Soi

You can keep this chicken curry in the fridge, covered, for 3 to 4 days. Reheat it in covered saucepan with a little extra water or coconut milk if need be, to thin it out.