Chiang Mai Curry Noodles (Kao Soi)

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 15 mins

In Northern Thailand, kao soi is a meal for one, served up in an enormous bowl and garnished with a playful tangle of crunchy egg noodles fried crisp for a contrast in texture to the tender noodles and smooth, sunny-colored sauce. The standard condiments include Chinese-style ground chilies in oil, chopped pickled cabbage and wedges of lime. *** To make crispy noodle nests, you'll need about ½ lb thin fresh egg noodles. Heat about 2 cups vegetable oil in a wok or small, deep skillet to about 375 F. Carefully add a handful of noodles, let it sizzle and brown a few seconds, turn gently with tongs, and transfer the “nest” to a platter to cool. Serve in individual soup bowls with chopsticks or forks for the noodles, and big spoons for the delicious curry sauce. Recipe courtesy of Nancie McDermott.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and then add the garlic. Toss well and add the red curry paste, mashing and stirring to soften it in the oil, about 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook 1 to 2 minutes, tossing now and then to brown it evenly and mix it with the curry paste.
  2. Add the coconut milk, chicken broth, turmeric, soy sauce, sugar and salt and stir well. Bring to a gentle boil and adjust heat to maintain a lively simmer. Cook about 10 minutes until meat is cooked through.
  3. Stir in lime juice, remove from heat and cover to keep curry warm while you prepare the noodles.
  4. Cook the noodles in a large pot of rapidly boiling water until tender but still firm, as little as 2 minutes for fresh noodles and 7 minutes or more for dried. Drain, rinse well in cold water, drain again and divide the noodles among individual serving bowls. Ladle on hot curry, and sprinkle each serving with the shallots, cilantro and green onions. Serve hot and garnish with crunchy noodle nests as noted in description if using.


Most Helpful

I subbed yellow curry paste for the red curry paste, used Madras red curry instead of turmeric, added bamboo shoots, and garnished it with the noodle nest and chives, plus plenty of Sriracha hot sauce. It was INCREDIBLE.

malloryll February 02, 2011

Delicious! I substituted veggies for the meat and it turned out great. I think I might try using rice noodles next time. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Lucky in Bayview June 06, 2016

Absolutely incredible. Slightly salty for my taste, but it was so good. I sauteed the chicken in a separate pan after I marinated it in red curry paste and hoise and fish sauce for about 30 minutes. I also decreased the curry paste by 1 tablespoon, and would probably decrease it another tablespoon to 1 tablespoon. It was spicy for our guests, though my husband loved the kick. Overall, I will use this recipe again and again.

MoonValleyCrab July 07, 2013

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