Chicken Khao Soi Soup

6-8 servings  A simple curry paste gives this northern Thai-inspired soup surprising depth of flavor.


Khoa soi paste
4 large dried New Mexico or guajillo chiles* stemmed, halved and seeded
2 medium shallots, halved
8 garlic cloves,
1 (2″) piece of ginger, peeled, sliced
1/4 c. chopped cilantro stems
1 TBSP ground coriander
1 TBSP ground tumeric
1 tsp curry powder

2 TBSP vegetable oil
2 (14 oz) cans unsweetened coconut milk
2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, halved lengthwise
1 lb. Chinese egg noodles*
3 TBSP (or more) fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
1 TBSP (packed) palm sugar or light brown sugar
kosher salt
sliced red onion, bean spouts, cilantro sprigs, crispy fried onions or shallots, chili oil* and lime wedges

Directions for 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, tumeric, curry powder and 2 TBSP soaking liquid in food processor, adding more soaking liquid by TBPS if needed until smooth.
Directions for soup:
Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add Khao soi paste; cook, stirring constantly until slightly darkened., 4-6 min.
Add cocounut 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 to cool slightly and then shred.
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 noodles and soup among bowls and serve with toppings.

*Dried Chiles are availabel at Latin markets; Chinese egg noodles and chili oil are available at Asian Markets. All can be found at many supermarkets.
Recipe by Ravin Nakjaroen


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