Khao Soi (Chiang Mai Noodle Soup)

Does it get much better than khao soi? This creamy and spicy Thai noodle soup hails from Chiang Mai, and wow. Vibrant. Rich. And THAT FLAVOUR. It’s definitely got a laksa vibe to it but truth be told, it’s in a class of its own. Top tip: if you make the paste from scratch, you’ll have double what you need, so pop the other half in the freezer.


Khao Soi (Chiang Mai Noodle Soup)

20 minutes
50 minutes

4 tbsp vegetable oil

½ quantity of spice paste (recipe below) or 4 tbsp Thai red curry paste

4 cups chicken stock

6 cups coconut milk

3 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp finely shaved palm sugar

800g (1.76 lb) cooked egg noodles

600g (1.3 lb) chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces

¼ cup roughly chopped coriander (cilantro)

lime wedges, to serve

2 red Asian shallots, cut into small wedges, to serve

chilli paste or sambal oelek, to serve (optional)

4 tbsp finely chopped Chinese pickled mustard greens, to serve (optional)


Spice paste:

10 dried long red chillies

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp salt

1 lemongrass stalk, white part bruised and finely chopped

4cm (1.57 inch) piece of galangal, peeled, roughly chopped

3 Asian red shallots, peeled, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

4 makrut lime leaves, de-stemmed, roughly chopped

1 tsp shrimp paste


Crispy wonton noodles

vegetable oil for deep frying

16 wonton wrappers, sliced into 3mm wide strips

  • Step 1

    For the spice paste, soak the chillies in hot water for 10 minutes until soft.  Blend chillies and remaining ingredients until smooth.

  • Step 2

    Heat vegetable oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the spice paste and cook for about two minutes. Add the chicken and cook for about 2 minutes or until the chicken starts to colour. Stir in the coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce and palm sugar. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Then taste and season again with fish sauce, salt and/or palm sugar to your taste.

  • Step 3

    For the crispy wonton noodles, pour vegetable oil into a wok or saucepan to a depth of about 10cm. Place over high heat. When the oil reaches 180°C (at this point a cube of bread will turn golden in 10 seconds), carefully add a small handful of wonton strips. Cook for about 30 seconds or until golden.  Drain the noodles on paper towel. Repeat until all wonton noodles are cooked.

  • Step 4

    When ready to serve, divide the cooked noodles between four large bowls.  Top with pieces of chicken and ladle over the soup. Top with coriander and the crispy wonton noodles. Serve with lime wedges, shallots, chilli paste and pickled mustard greens.

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What our customers say

5.0 out of 5 stars (based on 9 reviews)
Very good0%

Amazing !


THANKS !! This recipe is amazing!

Tested last night, carried out to the letter.

The dash of lime before tasting makes all the difference, and brings pep and freshness.

The shallot also brings freshness and crunch.

A combination of extraordinary flavors, between the roundness of coconut milk, the spiciness of chilli paste, the scent of spices and the freshness of fresh herbs and lime.

To make and redo, thank you again for this perfect recipe.

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Such an amazing job creating the best Thai noodle soup. The flavors are so on point and just warm, zesty, savory and bright! Lately I’ve been taking the second half of the paste and making sai oua with it.

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