Kao soi - one of my favorite dishes of all time. It’s the northern Thailand kitchen at it’s best. A sort of chicken in red curry and coconut milk with noodles, both cooked and deep fried, lime, shalottes, coriander and light soy.
First time I had Kao soi was in Chiang Mai at a friend’s place when I visited Thailand for the first time. We had backpacked all over the place and when my wife and I was invited to our friend, Yvonne’s, house we gladly accepted. It was like a luxury vacation, living in that big house with a cook of our own and everything. We were treated with a lot of northern specialities but Kao soi was the one that captured my heart. Simple, yet finely tuned with a lot of different accessories, fresh and still with that omph from chillies and coconut milk. Wonderful!
During the following years I’ve tried Kao soi in a number of places abroad but never been able to find it back home in Sweden. If anyone has a clue where I can get it in the Stockholm area you’re welcome to tell me. I promise to give a finder’s fee!
I had to learn how to make it myself, so I went to cooking school - The Baan Thai cooking school in Chang Mai. My teacher Meow (Like the cat sounds. Her name actually means cat!) taught me how to make the curry paste (even if you could go to the market to buy it fresh and ready made, it’s more fun to do it yourself and it’s a bit relaxing as you’re pounding away on it in the mortar...) and cook Kao soi. Many years later I had a great version of it at the Bangkok Hilton. Not the Bangkok Hilton of the movie with Nicole Kidman, but the actual Hilton hotel which, by the way, serves an excellent brunch with, among a thousand other dishes - Kao soi. I can really recommend it if you’re in the area.
- Fry the curry paste in a little oil on low heat to really bring out the taste in it.
- Add a cup of coconut milk, stir and add the meat.
- Cook until the meat is tender and cooked truough.
- Add another 3 cups of coconut milk and let it simmer on low heat.
- Cook the noodles and strain. Take a third of it to the side and deep fry them until they’re crispy and golden.
- Put some of the noodle in each bowl, pour the chicken and sauce on top and top with the crispy noodles, the shalottes, coriander leafes, lime, a few drops of soy and fish sauce. If you like - add crushed peanuts/cashew and chopped spring onions.
Enjoy with a cold Singha or Chang!