Chiang Mai Curried Noodles

Khao Soi Gai


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

My Asian Kitchen

My Asian Kitchen

By Jennifer Joyce

Published 2018

  • About

It’s up for debate as to whether this is a soup or a curry. The Thais consider it the former, but for me it’s a main meal. Khao soi gai is from Chiang Mai, in the north of Thailand, and what makes it superior to other curries is the addition of curry powder and the fried crispy noodles that adorn it. The extra trimmings of pickled shallots, chillies and heaps of fresh herbs don’t hurt either.

Prep 20 minutes
Cook 30 minutes


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 75 g ( oz) red curry paste
  • 2 tsp mild curry powder
  • 50 ml 2 fl oz) tamarind purée
  • 1 tbsp palm or soft brown sugar
  • 400 ml 14 fl oz) coconut milk
  • 100 ml ( fl oz) chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • juice 2 limes
  • 700 g (1 lb 9 oz) boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 300 g (10½ oz) egg noodles
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • Pickled red chilli and shallots and chilli sauce (nam prik, sriracha or sambal oelek) (optional), julienned spring onion (scallion), coriander (cilantro) or mint leaves and lime wedges, to serve


In a medium saucepan, heat the vegetable oil. Add the curry paste and cook for 5 minutes. Add the curry powder, tamarind and sugar. When the sugar is melted, add the coconut milk, stock, fish sauce, soy and lime juice. Bring to a gentle boil and then add the chicken. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the meat is tender.

Set aside 100 g ( oz) of the noodles and divide into four piles. Heat the oil in a wok or deep medium saucepan until it reaches 180–190°C (350–375°F) or when a small piece of bread instantly sizzles. Add one portion of the dry noodles. They will fry instantly so quickly remove them and drain on paper towels. Continue until you have fried all four portions.

Boil the other 200 g (7 oz) of noodles for about 4 minutes or until al dente. Drain and divide into four large bowls. Ladle the curry over and top and serve with the pickled red chillies and shallots, chilli sauce, the spring onion, fresh herbs, lime wedges and fried noodles.