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Khao Soi Gai: Classic Thai Coconut Curry Noodles

The Delectable Khao Soi Gai: A Thai Culinary Delight

Key Takeaways

Takeaway
Learn how to make the authentic Thai dish Khao Soi Gai at home
Discover the origins and history behind this flavorful curry noodle soup
Get tips for achieving the perfect balance of flavors and textures
Explore variations and serving suggestions to customize the recipe
Khao soi gai thailand

Introduction

What is Khao Soi Gai?

Khao Soi Gai is a beloved Thai dish that combines the richness of a curry with the comforting slurp of noodles. 

This curry noodle soup originates from the northern region of Thailand and features tender chicken, egg noodles, and a creamy coconut milk-based broth infused with aromatic spices.

Why is Khao Soi Gai so popular?

The popularity of Khao Soi Gai lies in its harmonious blend of flavors and textures. 

The velvety curry broth, bursting with spices and herbs, envelops the tender chicken and slurp-worthy noodles, creating a symphony of taste sensations. 

Its balance of heat, creaminess, and tanginess has captured the hearts (and taste buds) of food enthusiasts worldwide.

What are the benefits of making Khao Soi Gai at home?

Crafting Khao Soi Gai at home allows you to control the ingredients, ensuring a fresh and authentic experience.

You can adjust the spice levels to suit your preferences and explore variations that cater to dietary needs or personal tastes.

Additionally, homemade versions often prove more cost-effective than restaurant servings, making it an economical indulgence.

Ingredients

Here’s how to make Classic Khao Soi Gai for four people:

IngredientAmount
Chicken (thigh fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces)600g (about 1.3 lbs)
Egg Noodles (some reserved for frying)400g (about 14 oz)
Coconut Milk800 ml (about 27 fl oz)
Chicken Broth4 cups
Curry Paste (red or Khao Soi specific)4 tablespoons
Shallots, finely sliced2
Garlic, minced4 cloves
Ginger, minced2-inch piece
Turmeric, ground (for color)1 teaspoon
Fish Sauce3 tablespoons
Brown Sugar2 tablespoons
Lime, cut into wedges for serving2
Cilantro, chopped for garnisha handful
Shallots, sliced for garnish2
Pickled Mustard Greens, for servingto taste
Red Onion, thinly sliced for garnishto taste
Chili Oil or Fried Chilies, for serving (optional)to taste

What Each Ingredient Adds to the Recipe

  • Chicken: Provides the protein base and tender texture.
  • Egg Noodles: Offer a chewy, slurp-worthy component that soaks up the flavorful broth.
  • Coconut Milk: Lends a rich, creamy base to the curry broth.
  • Curry Paste: Delivers the signature blend of spices and herbs that define the dish’s flavor profile.
  • Aromatics (Shallots, Garlic, Ginger): Contribute depth and fragrance to the curry base.
  • Turmeric: Imparts a vibrant golden hue to the broth.
  • Fish Sauce: Adds an umami punch and saltiness to balance the flavors.
  • Brown Sugar: Counteracts the heat with a touch of sweetness.
  • Lime: Offers a bright, citrusy note to cut through the richness.
  • Herbs and Garnishes: Provide freshness, crunch, and visual appeal.
bowl of Kho Soi Gai, featuring creamy coconut curry broth with bite-size chicken pieces and egg noodles

Preperation and Servings

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time 30 minutes

Servings: 4

Hints and Tips

  • Use fresh, high-quality ingredients for the best flavor.
  • Adjust the amount of curry paste to suit your desired spice level.
  • Simmer the soup longer or add a touch of coconut cream for a thicker broth.
  • Toasting the spices before adding them to the curry base can enhance their aroma.
  • Customize the garnishes, such as adding crispy fried shallots or chopped peanuts.

Variations

  • Vegetarian/Vegan: Substitute the chicken with tofu or assorted vegetables. Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
  • Seafood: Replace the chicken with shrimp, squid, or a mix of seafood for a coastal twist.
  • Beef or Pork: Swap the chicken for thinly sliced beef or pork for a heartier version.
  • Gluten-Free: Use rice noodles or gluten-free egg noodles instead of regular egg noodles.
  • Spice it Up: Add more chili oil, sliced chilies, or a spicy condiment like sambal oelek for an extra kick.

Serving Suggestions

  • Offer Thai Red Curry or Thai Green Curry as an additional option for a curry feast.
  • Serve with Thai Beef Chili or Stir-Fried Beef for a complete Thai meal experience.
  • Pair with a refreshing Thai iced tea or coconut water to complement the flavors.
  • Provide steamed jasmine rice on the side for those who prefer a more substantial meal.

Nutrition Values

(Per Serving)

  • Calories: 680
  • Total Fat: 38g
  • Saturated Fat: 24g
  • Cholesterol: 115mg
  • Sodium: 1450mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 58g
  • Dietary Fiber: 4g
  • Total Sugars: 10g
  • Protein: 30g

Difficulty Level

While the ingredients list may seem extensive, the preparation process is relatively straightforward. 

The key lies in properly sautéing the aromatics and allowing the flavors to meld during the simmering stage.

Following the recipe closely and prepping the ingredients can make cooking smoother.

Storage

Khao Soi Gai is best enjoyed fresh, as the noodles and crispy garnishes can become soggy over time.

However, you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To reheat, gently warm the curry broth and chicken on the stovetop or in the microwave, and prepare fresh noodles, crispy garnishes, and toppings to accompany the reheated soup.

History of Khao Soi Gai

Khao Soi Gai’s origins can be traced back to the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai, where it is considered a regional specialty.

The dish is believed to have been influenced by the culinary traditions of the Chin Haw people, a Chinese Muslim community that settled in the region centuries ago.

The combination of coconut milk-based curry and egg noodles reflects the fusion of Thai and Chinese flavors, resulting in a unique and beloved dish.

Conclusion

Khao Soi Gai is a true testament to the rich culinary heritage of Thailand, blending the creamy indulgence of a curry with the comforting slurp of noodles.

This versatile dish offers a harmonious balance of flavors and textures, making it a beloved choice for both casual family meals and special occasions.

Whether you’re a seasoned Thai food enthusiast or a newcomer to the cuisine, mastering the art of Khao Soi Gai at home is a rewarding and delicious endeavor.

10 FAQs About Khao Soi Gai

  1. What makes Khao Soi Gai different from other Thai curries?
    Khao Soi Gai is unique in its incorporation of egg noodles and the use of a curry broth as the base, rather than just a curry sauce.

  2. Is Khao Soi Gai spicy?
    The level of spiciness can vary depending on the amount and type of curry paste used. Generally, it has a moderate level of heat, but you can adjust it to your preference.

  3. Can I use red or green curry paste instead of a specific Khao Soi curry paste?
    While authentic Khao Soi Gai calls for a specific curry paste, you can use red or green curry paste as a substitute if the Khao Soi paste is unavailable. However, the flavor profile may differ slightly.

  4. Can I make Khao Soi Gai ahead of time?
    It’s best to prepare and serve Khao Soi Gai fresh, as the noodles and crispy garnishes can become soggy when stored. However, you can prepare the curry broth and chicken in advance and reheat them when ready to serve.

  5. What type of noodles should I use for Khao Soi Gai?
    Traditionally, fresh or dried egg noodles are used for Khao Soi Gai. You can also use rice noodles for a gluten-free option.

  6. Can I substitute the chicken with another protein?
    Absolutely! While chicken is the traditional protein, you can substitute it with beef, pork, shrimp, or even tofu for a vegetarian/vegan version.

  7. How do I achieve a thicker broth for Khao Soi Gai?
    To thicken the broth, you can simmer it longer to reduce and concentrate the flavors, or add a touch of coconut cream towards the end of cooking.

  8. What are some common garnishes for Khao Soi Gai?
    Common garnishes include crispy fried noodles, sliced red onion, chopped cilantro, Shallots, pickled mustard greens, lime wedges, and chili oil or fried chilies.

  9. Can I freeze Khao Soi Gai?
    While it’s not recommended to freeze the entire dish, you can freeze the curry broth and chicken separately for later use. Thaw and reheat them, then prepare fresh noodles and garnishes when ready to serve.

  10. Is Khao Soi Gai a time-consuming dish to prepare?
    Khao Soi Gai requires some preparation time, but it’s not overly complicated. With proper planning and ingredient prepping, you can have this flavorful dish on the table in under an hour.

Khao Soi Gai: Classic Thai Coconut Curry Noodles

Recipe by Chris Cooper
5.0 from 2 votes
Course: MainCuisine: ThaiDifficulty: Medium
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Calories

680

kcal
Total time

50

minutes

Savor the flavors of northern Thailand with this authentic Khao Soi Gai recipe. This legendary curry noodle soup combines tender chicken, slurp-worthy egg noodles, and a rich, creamy coconut curry broth infused with aromatic spices.

Topped with crispy noodles, fresh herbs, and tantalizing garnishes, each spoonful delivers a harmonious balance of flavors and textures.

Easily customizable for various dietary needs, this comforting yet boldly flavorful dish offers a taste of Thailand's culinary heritage in your kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 600 grams 600 Chicken (thigh fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces)

  • 400 grams 400 Egg Noodles (some reserved for frying)

  • 800 ml 800 Coconut Milk

  • 4 cups 4 Chicken Broth

  • 4 tbsp 4 Curry Paste (red or Khao Soi specific)

  • 2 2 Shallots, finely sliced

  • 4 cloves 4 Garlic, minced

  • 2 inch piece 2 Ginger, minced

  • 1 tsp 1 Turmeric, ground (for color)

  • 1 tbsp 1 Fish Sauce

  • 3 tbsp 3 Brown Sugar

  • 2 tbsp 2 Lime, cut into wedges for serving

  • a handful a handful Cilantro, chopped for garnish

  • 2 2 Shallots, sliced for garnish

  • to taste to taste Pickled Mustard Greens for serving

  • to taste to taste Red Onion, thinly sliced for garnish

  • to taste to taste Chili Oil or Fried Chilies for serving (optional)

Directions

  • Prepare the Crispy Noodles: Heat enough oil in a pan. Fry a small portion of the egg noodles until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels.
  • Cook the Chicken: In a large pot, sauté shallots, garlic, and ginger until fragrant. Add the curry paste and turmeric, and cook for a minute. Add the chicken pieces and stir to coat with the curry mix.
  • Simmer the Soup: Pour in the coconut milk and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the chicken is tender, about 20 minutes—season with fish sauce and brown sugar.
  • Boil the Noodles: While the soup simmers, cook the remaining egg noodles according to package instructions, then drain.
  • Assemble the Bowls: Place a portion of cooked noodles in each bowl. Ladle the hot soup and chicken over the noodles. Top with crispy noodles, pickled mustard greens, sliced red onions, shallots, and cilantro.
  • Serve with Garnishes: Offer lime wedges, chili oil, and additional fish sauce on the side for guests to adjust their bowls to taste.

Equipment

  • Calphalon Signature Hard-Anodized Nonstick 12-Inch Flat Bottom Wok with CoverCalphalon Signature Hard-Anodized Nonstick 12-inch Flat Bottom Wok with CoverBuy Now!
  • Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Saute Pan 6 Quarts Deep Frying Pan

Notes

  • You can use whole thighs for this recipe. This is a traditional way of cooking the meal. Use one or two thighs per person

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Kho Soi Gai, with creamy coconut curry broth with bite-size chicken pieces

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