I vividly remember the first time I had chicken khao soi…I was in L.A. visiting My Cheese and after a long (chilly, as I recall) day out we decided to order in Thai food.
She added khao soi to our order, and while it was quite spicy for me, I fell in love. It was just so warm and comforting, completely hit the spot.
But weirdly for years after that I couldn’t find it on Thai menus in Atlanta! Now in Louisville I actually can find it though we only have a few Thai restaurants.
But I can’t always drive an hour round-trip to get my khao soi fix, so I decided it was time to find a good homemade version. After a few different tries, I think this chicken khao soi is a winner.
What is khao soi? Also sometimes spelled khao soy or kow soi, it’s a dish served in Laos and northern Thailand. It’s a spicy broth (with noodles in it) that melds coconut milk and red curry paste. I add chicken to mine, some people add shrimp, and it could easily be made without meat or with tofu.
It actually reminds me a bit of my beloved massaman curry in terms of the comforting aspect.
The only thing about this recipe that I wish were a little different is that it only makes two (quite large) servings, but after trying multiple recipes it’s definitely my favorite…the flavor is much more intense and the sauce thicker. Because of that it’s higher-calorie, though.
There are a number of garnishes you’ll see on khao soi, but I tend not to overthink it. I just use whatever I have on hand, which is usually fresh lime, chopped peanuts, and green onions (and occasionally shallots).