Khao soi is a rich and comforting Northern Thailand coconut curry chicken noodle soup that is everything.
We crushed this bowl: just the right amount of spicy and creamy and full of the good stuff. The chicken is tender and hearty, the noodles chewy, the lime so bright and fresh.
Ever since I bought a little package of Thai red curry paste, I’ve been red currying all the things. I’ve done red curry potatoes, red curry chickpeas, and even red curry dipping sauce for fries. I’m surprised that Mike and I aren’t red from all the red curry paste we’ve been eating. I can’t get over how good it is. And really, it’s so much easier opening a package than getting out a mortar and pestle to make curry paste from scratch.
Thai red curry paste is the secret to how flavorful and rich this soup is while still somehow being done in 15 minutes whether you cook it on the stovetop or in an instant pot. One taste and I bet this will be a new weeknight staple. It’s that addictive.
While the egg ribbons and crunchy bits are completely optional, they add a lot of textural and taste contrast too. Maybe if you’re looking to do something new, give egg ribbons a try if you haven’t. They’re really simple but so satisfying.
Khao soi is a rich and comforting Northern Thailand coconut curry noodle soup. It’s also popular in neighboring countries Myanmar and Laos. The coconut curry soup base is creamy and packed with umami thanks to red curry paste, ginger, garlic, and fish sauce. Khao soi usually has chicken in it, but it can be found with beef as well.
Red curry paste is a seasoning paste made from dried chili, garlic, lemongrass, shallots, galangal, makrut lime, coriander, and cumin. It’s the base of many Thai dishes. You can make it at home by soaking the dried chilis then pounding everything together. Or, you can buy a tub of it from the grocery store. Red curry paste is incredibly flavorful and a super helpful back pocket ingredient that can level up your cooking game.
I love Aroy-D Thai red curry paste – it has a pretty simple ingredients list: chilis, garlic, lemongrass, shallots, salt, galangal, makrut lime, coriander, and cumin. Pretty much like what I would put into a curry paste if I were to be making it myself. Also incredibly popular is Mae Ploy brand.
Traditionally khao soi is made with fresh chewy Chinese egg noodles. You can find these egg noodles in the refrigerated aisle in the Asian grocery store. You can also use: chow mein noodles, dry egg noodles, instant ramen noodles, fresh ramen noodles, or even just spaghetti if that’s what you have.
You can totally make this without noodles. Technically it won’t be khao soi, but it will still be a very tasty coconut curry chicken soup. Add some root vegetables, leafy greens, or tofu to bulk it up and if you’re doing keto, use shirataki noodles for a keto khao soi.
Please don’t cook the noodles in the soup! Fresh egg noodles need to be cooked in a large amount of roiling boiling water to properly cook. If you’ve ever had slimy, soggy noodles, it’s probably because someone cooked them in soup. Egg noodles release a lot of starch into the water they’re cooking in so it will change the soup texture and flavor.
Instant pot khao soi isn’t actually much faster (if it is at all) but if you want the easy cleanup and no smells feature of the instant pot:
The best part of khao soi are the extra toppings. So if you want a vibe, be sure to include these on the side to top your bowl:
Khao soi is hearty enough to be eaten on its own but what is life without variety? Here are a few dishes to serve alongside your khao soi;
A rich and comforting Northern Thailand coconut curry noodle soup that’s done in 15 minutes!
In the Instant Pot insert, add the chicken stock, coconut milk, red curry paste, garlic, ginger, and chicken breast. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
While the Instant Pot is doing it’s thing, slice the shallots, cut the lime, and wash the cilantro. If you’re using any extra toppings, prep them now. Cook and drain your noodles and divide them between two deep bowls.
When the Instant Pot is done, quick release the pressure. Carefully remove the chicken and shred. Add the chicken to the bowls with the noodles.
Stir the fish sauce and brown sugar into the soup. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with fish sauce, sugar, and curry paste if needed, then divide evenly between the two bowls. Finish with lime and cilantro and enjoy!
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 482
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 43g269%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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