RECIPE TITLE "Chiang Mai Noodle Curry (Khao Soi)" from
True Thai: The Modern Art of Thai Cooking
serves 8 ---
Khao soi may have originated in the Shan states of nearby Burma.
It is a very showy and even grand dish that's a favorite lunch in
Chiang Mai and other northern towns. Whether you buy it on the street
or in an upscale restaurant, it's always served with a wonderful
range of condiments.
Khao soi has its own curry paste, full of the citrus tang of Kaffir
lime leaves, plus fragrant star anise, turmeric, and curry powder.
It's a dish that requires some time to prepare. Though it's well
worth the effort, you'll certainly appreciate what a resource we
enjoy in having vendors throughout Thailand who make this complex,
Khao Soi Curry Paste
1 package (3 ounces) dried red California chili
1 teaspoon shrimp paste (kapi), neatly wrapped in a double layer
of aluminum foil
4 whole star anise
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh Kaffir lime peel or domestic lime
2 stalks lemon grass, tough outer leaves discarded, lower stalks
trimmed to 3 inches and finely sliced
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 can (14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
Curried Noodles 6 cups water
1 pound boneless stew beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 can (14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
7 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
1 1/2 pounds fresh Chinese-style egg noodles (ba mee)
Vegetable or peanut oil for frying
CondimentsThai chili powder (phrik pon) or other ground red chili
totaste, such as New Mexico chili powder or cayenne
Fried Garlic Chips
1 large red onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped pickled Chinese mustard (hua pak kad dong)
To make the curry paste: With kitchen shears or a chef's knife, stem the
chilies and shake out most of the seeds. Cut the chilies in half lengthwise
and remove any tough, dried ribs. Cut them crosswise into 3/4-inch
pieces and put them in a bowl. Add water to cover and soak for 30
Meanwhile, set a small skillet over medium heat. Place the foil-wrapped
shrimp paste in the skillet and roast it for about 5 minutes, until
aromatic, turning the packet once or twice. Remove the packet from
the skillet and set it aside to cool.
Put the star anise in a large heavy mortar and grind to a powder.
Transfer the ground star anise to the bowl of a food processor fitted
with a metal blade. Add the turmeric and curry powder.
Combine the minced lime peel and lemon grass in the mortar and
pound for a minute or so to break down the fibers. Transfer the
crushed mixture to the food processor.
Pound the garlic in the mortar just until crushed and transfer
it to the food processor.
Unwrap the shrimp paste and add it to the food processor.
Drain the chilies and add them to the food processor. Add the coconut
Process the ingredients until a smooth, sauce-like paste forms,
stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the work bowl.
Transfer the paste to an airtight container and store it in the
refrigerator (up to 24 hours) or freezer until ready to use.
To make the noodle curry: Bring the water to a boil in a medium
saucepan. Add the beef and boil gently for 10 to 15 minutes. With
a wire skimmer or slotted spoon, remove the beef to a small bowl
and set it aside. Reserve the beef broth.
Skim the thick cream from the top of the canned coconut milk into
a soup pot, reserving the milk. Set the pot over medium-high heat.
Stir in the reserved khao soi curry paste until blended, and bring
to a low boil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the
stewed beef and stir-fry to coat it evenly with the curry. Add the
reserved coconut milk, reserved beef broth, sugar, and fish sauce.
Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer while
you prepare the noodles.
Separate the egg noodles into 1/2-pound and 1-pound portions.
Pour the oil into a large wok or deep, heavy saucepan to a depth
of 3 inches. Set over medium heat until the oil is sizzling hot,
about 360 F. (To test the oil temperature, drop in a couple of strands
of noodles; if they sizzle and immediately begin to puff and crisp,
the oil is ready.) Add a handful of the egg noodles to the hot oil.
When puffed and crisped on one side, turn them to fry on the other
side, about 8 to 10 seconds total. Transfer the fried noodles to
a bowl lined with paper towels and drain them well. Continue frying
the noodles in batches until the 1/2- pound of egg noodles is all
cooked. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the remaining 1-pound
batch of egg noodles until tender, about 4 to 6 minutes. Drain,
then run under cold water to stop the cooking, and drain again.
Place a handful of cooked noodles into eight to ten large individual
serving bowls. Ladle some beef curry into each bowl and top with
handfuls of the crunchy fried noodles.
Serve at once with the full array of condiments.
|True Thai: The Modern Art of Thai Cooking
Surprisingly light preparations for meat include Fiery Grilled Beef Salad, a classic of Bangkok cafe cuisine, and mu kratiem phrik Thai, a simple stir-fry of pork medallions sizzling with garlic and black pepper. The Thai Vegetarian Cooking chapter is really a whole book unto itself, encompassing its own blend of curry pastes, soups, appetizers, entrees, and one-dish meals-all completely free of animal or fish products. The Thai Salads chapter showcases such recipes as Coconut, Lemon, and Ginger Salad or Grilled Lobster Salad with Green Mango that demonstrate the great variety and sensuousness of this branch of Thai cooking. Drinks and desserts include such ethereal treats as Rose-Petal Sorbet and the refreshingly herbaceous Lemon Grass Tea, wonderful either hot or cold. There's also a chapter that shows how to marry these newfound Thai tastes with classic American cooking, through such improvisations as Bangkok Burgers with Marinated, Grilled Onions and Spicy Thai Ketchup.
True Thai is more than a cookbook; it is a collection of grace notes exemplifying Thai cuisine's dedication to pleasing the senses. There's even a chapter on preparing Thai-style table decorations, many of them as edible as they are lovely.
True Thai's 250 recipes, each with helpful and fascinating notes, present Thai cuisine with simplicity and elegance. True That is the most authentic, authoritative, and accessible Thai cookbook ever printed in English. More info
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