Full disclosure: I have never truly eaten khao soi. That is, I have not have the pleasure of slurping down an authentic bowl of the Northern Thai curry noodle dish. This rendition is adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe, and altered based on menu descriptions, ingredient lists, and Instagram images I found while searching for more information about this sassy soup. I have zero clue whether this tastes like the *real deal*, but I can tell you that it's delicious and simple to make.
Curry. Ginger. Chili pepper. Cilantro and lime. If you're a fan of this flavor combo, it's worth a shot.
Vegetarian Khao Soi (kinda)
For the paste:
- 4 large dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, halved, and seeded
- 2 medium shallots, peeled and halved
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1, 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced
- 1/4 cup cilantro stems, chopped
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp curry powder
For the soup:
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1, 14 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
- 1 lb. Chinese egg noodles
- 3 tbsp veggie fish sauce
- 1 tbsp (packed) brown sugar
- Serve with: sliced red onion, bean sprouts, cilantro sprigs, chili oil, crispy noodles, and lime wedges
Boil water in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add dried chiles. Let soak until softened, 25–30 minutes. When soft, drain chiles, but save the soaking liquid. Purée chiles, shallots, garlic, ginger, cilantro stems, coriander, turmeric, curry powder, and 2 tbsp. soaking liquid in a food processor or blender, adding more soaking liquid a tablespoon at a time, if needed, until smooth.
Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add paste and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly darkened, ~10 minutes. Add coconut milk and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20–25 minutes. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions. Once soup has simmered, add 3 tbsp. of fish sauce and brown sugar to soup. Season with salt or more fish sauce, if needed. Divide soup and noodles among bowls and serve with toppings.