Chiang Mai Curried Noodle and Chicken Soup (Kao Soi Gai)

Recipe by Leggy Peggy

Haw Muslim traders from the south of China probably brought this dish to Chiang Mai (in northern Thailand). This version is based on one in David Thompson's authoritative book, Thai Food, and is posted in response to a request in the Asian Forum. Thompson says, 'The best noodles to use are the somewhat flat egg noodles, about 1/2-centimetre (1/4-inch) wide. Deep fry a few of them in very hot, clean oil to use as a garnish, but be careful -- they splatter as they expand and become crisp.' He also says that beef can be used in place of chicken. Preparation and cooking times are guesses. Roast Chilli Sauce (Prik Bon Pat) is supposed to be a nice complement to this.

Top Review by Rinshinomori

This is simply the best! I just love this soup. It is somewhat similar to very good quality Japanese curry udon, but with more heat. It really does not take a long time to roast the aromatics, more like 12 minutes since you don't want to burn the garlic or they get hard - you just want the garlic soft enough to use the mortar and pestle to grind with other ingredients. I also used the gyoza wrappers for the noodles and cut that into 1/4 inch pieces. 2/3 of the pieces were boiled very quickly in hot water and drained. Washed well in cold water for 3-4 minutes just like udon - this prevents the noodles from becoming gooey and holds up better with tooth feel ie al dente. The other 1/3 of the pieces were quickly fried much like making Chinese chicken salad. I also used one roasted Japanese eggplant in the soup and I really liked this addition a lot. This will be a regular soup in my household. Thank you Leggy Peggy for posting this fabulous soup.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Pre-heat oven to 200°C.
  2. To make the paste:.
  3. Roast the chillies, shallots, garlic, turmeric and ginger until softened. Remove from oven. When cool enough to handle, peel the shallots and garlic. Then pound the roasted ingredients together (using a mortar and pestle) until smooth.
  4. To make the soup:.
  5. Simmer the coconut cream until it is thick and beginning to separate. Then add the paste and fry until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the chicken, reduce the heat and simmer for several minutes.
  7. Add the palm sugar, the two soy sauces and finally the stock. Stir well and then keep simmering until the chicken is cooked, about 20 minutes.
  8. While soup is simmering, fry one-quarter of the egg noodles in hot oil, drain.
  9. Check the seasoning: the soup should taste salty and slightly sweet from the coconut cream.
  10. Blanch three-quarters of the egg noodles in boiling water, drain.
  11. Put blanched noodles in a bowl, pour over the soup and add garnishes.
  12. Can also serve with sliced red shallots. wedges of lime, pickled mustard greens and Recipe #269411.

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