This might have been our favorite discovery in Thailand. I had read about this soup, that was mostly found in Chiang Mai, before we even left the U.S. and I knew I had to try it. I’m a sucker for regionally specific foods and I love me some noodles. When we got to Chiang Mai a local friend we made at the hotel told us of a place around the corner where we had to go to get Khao Soi...funnily enough it was also in my guide book and the place that I had earmarked. So my choice being corroborated by a local, we headed to Huen Phen for dinner, our bellies growling with excitement.
Unfortunately we missed the memo...Khao Soi is a lunch time dish only, so we were out of luck for dinner. We ate there anyway and had a fabulous meal, but my mind was nervously churning. We only had one day left in Chiang Mai and we were in a cooking class from 9am until 1:30pm and Huen Phen was only open for lunch until 3 everyday. So our only chance was to force our already over-filled bellies coming from our cooking class to stretch a little bit more so we could try the famed Khao Soi from the best in the area. Were we up for the challenge? You bet! And we’re we ever so glad that we didn’t give up our quest for Khao Soi...it is now one of our absolute favorite Thai foods and I think it will be yours too!
So there are a few tricks to this soup that make it as good as it is:
- First is the broth...rich, deep curry flavors with a coconut creamy texture
- Double noodles...that’s right, there are noodles in the broth but also crispy fried noodles on top. The juxtaposition of soft and cruncy noodles is just perfect, especially for a noodle lover like me
- The “fixin’s” - the soup is served with pickled mustard greens, shallots and lime. The pickled mustard greens are a must...trust me.
- The chicken....cooked on the bone right in the delicious broth. It falls off the bone and is flavored perfectly.
Without further ado, the link to the recipe we used is below. We didn’t learn to make it in Thailand and had to find a recipe when we got home and this one is pretty darn good, but it’s the first one we’ve tried. The one change we made was to use a bit more curry paste...it should be deep in color as you can see Huen Phen’s was above picture vs. our homemade version shown below. So we'll likely keep looking for new recipes to try: