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Khao Soi – Thai Curried Noodle Soup

The soup is a speciality of Chiang Mai, with the city’s Samoer Jai restaurant regularly judged the top place to enjoy it by gourmet travellers. Soft yellow egg noodles are heaped in shallow bowls and then a fragrant coconut curry of chicken or beef is poured over. The bowls are then topped with crisp fried noodles, onions and coriander that provide a satisfying contrast of textures and flavours.

Khao Soi – Thai Curried Noodle Soup

Preparation: 20 minutes

Cooking: 20 minutes

Serves 4

3 tbsp red Thai curry paste
1 tbsp mild curry powder
400ml chicken stock
25 g palm sugar
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
500 g boneless chicken thighs, skinned and cut into bite-size pieces
300 ml full fat coconut milk
50 g beansprouts
300 g dried egg noodles
Groundnut oil, for shallow frying

To garnish

2 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
Coriander leaves
Lime wedges

Heat a wok or large frying pan, add the curry paste and curry powder and fry for a couple of minutes until they become fragrant. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil.

Add the palm sugar, fish sauce, chicken, coconut milk and beansprouts. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.

Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to the boil, drop in the noodles and cook for 4-6 minutes or until tender.

Heat oil for shallow frying in another wok or frying pan. Drain the noodles thoroughly and divide three-quarters of them between four warmed soup bowls. Fry the remainder over a brisk heat until crisp and golden, stirring frequently. Drain onto a plate lined with kitchen paper towel and, when cool enough to handle, break into short lengths.

Ladle the curry into the soup bowls over the noodles and sprinkle with the spring onions, red onion and coriander leaves. Pile the crisp noodles on top and serve with lime wedges to squeeze over.

TIP – take care to pat dry the noodles being fried with kitchen paper to remove any water clinging to them. If they are still wet when you add them to the hot oil, it will spit and could burn you.

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