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Khao Soi | ข้าวซอย

Updated: Feb 21

Embark on a culinary expedition to the heart of Northern Thailand with my rendition of Khao Soi, a dish deeply rooted in the history and flavors of Chiang Mai. Khao Soi's story is one of cultural confluence, where ancient spice routes and the culinary traditions of neighboring Burma and local Thai communities intertwine.

This noodle soup, a beacon of Northern Thai cuisine, encapsulates the essence of its diverse influences, harmonizing them into a dish celebrated for its depth of flavor and comforting warmth.

In crafting my version of this beloved dish, I pay homage to the traditional methods that have been its cornerstone for generations. The heart of the recipe lies in the painstakingly hand-pounded spice paste, a labor of love that sets the foundation for its distinctive taste.

Eschewing the food processor for a mortar and pestle, I embrace the old ways, believing that the act of pounding the spices not only melds the flavors more intimately but also connects us to the dish's rich heritage. This method, though more time-consuming, imbues the dish with a soul and authenticity that modern shortcuts simply cannot replicate.

I invite you to join me in this culinary celebration, to savor a bowl of Khao Soi that respects its roots while inviting personal discovery. It's more than just a recipe; it's a journey through the lanes of Northern Thailand, a nod to the traditional kitchens where this dish first simmered.

By choosing to prepare the spices with a mortar and pestle, we honor the past and carry forward the essence of Khao Soi into our modern kitchens. Let this dish be a bridge between worlds, a delicious testament to the enduring power of tradition in bringing people together, one bowl at a time. I am using this gorgeous handmade dinnerware from KRA Sanctuary.



(Serve 2)

  • Chicken Wings:

  • Chicken Flats / Drumlets, 500g

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • White Pepper, Pinch

  • Mushroom Powder, Pinch

  • Milk Powder, 1 TBSP

  • Gravy:

  • Dried Chilies, 10g

  • Black Cardamoms, 2

  • Coriander Seeds, 1 TBSP

  • Ginger, 2"

  • Red Onion Coarsely Wedged, 1

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • Turmeric, 1/2 TSP

  • Gula Melaka, 1 TBSP

  • Coconut Oil, 2 TBSP

  • Coconut Milk, 125g + 125g

  • Soy Sauce, 2 TBSP

  • Dried Vermicelli / Noodles, 75g + 75g

  • Garnishes:

  • Red Onion Finely Sliced, 1

  • Granulated Sugar, Pinch

  • Grapeseed / Sunflower / Canola / Peanut Oil, For Frying

  • Dried Vermicelli / Noodles, 50g + 50g

  • Chili Flakes, 2 TBSP

  • Fresh Lime Zest, 1 Lime

  • Fresh Lime Juice, 1 Lime

  • Scallions Coarsely Sliced, A Handful



  • Oven

  • Heavy Pot

  • Sauce Pot

  • Spice Grinder

  • Mortar & Pestle

  • Cast Iron Skillet / Pan



  1. Prepare the wings.

  2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius or 400 fahrenheit.

  3. Transfer the chicken wings to a baking dish.

  4. Sprinkle salt, white pepper, mushroom powder and milk powder over the top.

  5. Mix to coat well.

  6. Wack into the oven and bake for 40 mins or until the wings are browned, flipping halfway thru'.

  7. In the meantime, prepare the gravy.

  8. Soak the dried chilies in a bowl of hot water.

  9. While the chilies are soaking, toast black cardamoms and coriander in a skillet until aromatic.

  10. Transfer to a spice grinder and blitz until powder forms.

  11. In the same skillet, toast ginger and onion until lightly charred.

  12. Once the chilies are hydrated, deseed and transfer to a mortar.

  13. *Drain and reserve the soaking liquid in a sauce pot.*

  14. Followed by the toasted ginger and onion.

  15. Pound with a pestle until a coarse paste forms.

  16. Season with salt, add turmeric, the spice blend and gula melaka.

  17. Continue pounding until well combined.

  18. The chicken wings should be done by now.

  19. Transfer the wings to a plate and set them aside.

  20. Add some hot water to the baking dish and deglaze.

  21. Take your time to deglaze as it is liquid gold.

  22. Transfer the deglazed liquid to the sauce pot.

  23. Add in 750ml of water and along with all the vegetable scraps.

  24. Mix to combine well.

  25. Bring it up to a simmer and cook for 8 to 10 mins.

  26. Cover and steep for 5 mins.

  27. Drain and discard all the residue.

  28. Set the stock aside until ready to use.

  29. Add coconut oil to a heavy pot over medium heat.

  30. Once the oil is heated up, add in the spice paste.

  31. Rinse the mortar with a splash of the stock and add to the pot as well.

  32. Followed by 125g of coconut milk.

  33. Saute until well combined.

  34. Continue cooking until it comes together into a paste.

  35. Add in the roasted chicken wings and all their juices.

  36. Saute to coat well.

  37. Deglaze with a splash of the stock.

  38. Add in the remaining 125g of coconut milk and stock.

  39. Stir to combine well.

  40. Cook for 20 to 30 mins or until the chicken is fall-off-the-bone tender.

  41. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

  42. Taste and adjust for seasonings with salt, mushroom powder and gula melaka.

  43. Add in the soy sauce and stir to combine well.

  44. Place the vermicelli in individual serving bowls.

  45. Add in the hot gravy and the wings.

  46. While the vermicelli is soaking, prepare the garnishes.

  47. Soak the onion in a bowl of hot water with sugar.

  48. Mix to combine well and set it aside until ready to use.

  49. Add about 2" of oil to a skillet over medium-high heat.

  50. Once the oil is heated up, add in 50g of vermicelli.

  51. It should start to puff up.

  52. Flip and continue cooking until crispy.

  53. Transfer and drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper.

  54. Repeat the process for the remaining vermicelli.

  55. While the oil is still hot, add 3 TBSP to the chili flakes.

  56. Stir to combine well. It should come together into a paste.

  57. The vermicelli should be al dente.

  58. Add the onion, fried vermicelli and chili paste to individual serving bowls.

  59. Garnish with lime zest, juice and scallions.

  60. Serve immediately.

Umami bomb...


Perfect harmony of tangy, spicy and savory...


Recipe Video:

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