Last weekend, I was browsing around trying to find a recipe to make so I can have lunch for the week and came across this recipe in my Bon Appetit magazine. I know, BA again, but I can’t help it and since they have such great recipes :-) Despite being a little labor intensive, I picked this recipe because it asked for guajillo chiles, which I’ve had in my cupboard since this summer! I was planning to make Cook’s Illustrated’s pork tacos, but the weather got bad and didn’t get a chance to make them before grilling season ended in my building (they also required quite a bit of work so I kept postponing them). Also, I magically had exactly 4 chiles, which is actually how many the recipe calls for. I considered this to be a second sign of why I had to make it :-)
My regular grocery store failed at carrying the ingredients so the dish got postponed by a week. This weekend I finally found time to go to the Asian store and pick up reasonably priced coconut milk (almost half the price, ridiculous!) and egg noodles. The coconut milk was all in Thai with either a “for cooking” or “for dessert” label so I picked the “for cooking” one which I assumed was the unsweetened one. I spent quite a bit of time looking for egg noodles as in the noodle aisle (yes, there is an entire aisle for noodles!) they only had imitation egg noodles. Apparently, the real egg noodles are hidden in the refrigerated section next to the veggies. Thankfully, the store manager likes helping me out though so he found them for me :-) After I picked up the noodles I went into the flour/starch area and picked up a glutinous rice bag and alarmed he explained to me that that is “sticky rice flour” not regular rice flour. I told him that’s the one I needed and I earned a “you cook good food” compliment from him :-) Now, I feel some pressure to make something good with the sticky rice flour ;-)
Making this took me quite a bit of time, so I advise either making it in two-parts (curry paste then the full dish) or making it over the weekend. For a more weeknight suitable coconut curry soup, you can check out this recipe from Dinners for Winners.
Ingredients (serves 6+):
- Khao soi paste: 4 seeded guajilo chiles, 4 small shallots, 8 garlic cloves, 2 Tb ginger paste (or fresh ginger), 1/4 – 1/3 cup cilantro stems, 1 Tb coriander (toasted, then ground), 1 Tb ground turmeric, 1 tsp curry powder, chiles soaking water
- 2 Tb vegetable oil
- 2 cans coconut milk (28 oz)
- 1 lb skinless boneless chicken breast, quartered
- 1 vegetable broth concentrate + 2 cups water (or 2 cup chicken broth)
- a few cups broccoli florets or other veggie
- 1 lb Chinese egg noodles
- 2 Tb fish sauce
- 1 Tb light brown sugar
- salt to taste (1-2 tsp)
- lime wedges/juice (optional, but highly recommended)
- sriracha, bean sprouts, cilantro, etc to serve
Soak chiles in boiling water for 20-30 minutes or until softened. Make sure they fully submerge. Drain chiles and keep some of the soaking water for the paste. Make Khao Soi paste by placing all the ingredients plus ~ 3 Tb of the chiles soaking water. Process until a smooth paste is formed. You can add more chiles water if it is too dry.
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet/pot that can be covered. Add the paste and cook for a few minutes until it gets darker in color. This is when your kitchen will start smelling deliciously and the recipe will test your patience to wait for the final result :-)
Add coconut milk, broth concentrate and water.
Bring to a boil and add the chicken pieces. Cover pot and simmer until chicken is tender, 25-30 min. Remove chicken from the broth and shred. Add chicken back, add the broccoli and bring to a boil, cover and simmer until the broccoli is tender (~ 7 min). Finish by adding the fish sauce, sugar and salt to taste.
Cook noodles according to directions. My 1 lb bag came with 6 rolls so I decided to start with one roll and cook more as needed (you can get ~ 2 servings from 1 roll so I used 1/2 to eat for dinner and 1/2 to pack a one-portion lunch). Bring 1 quart of water to boil, add the egg noodles and leave in for ~ 10 seconds. Drain and wash with water. Place in a bowl.
Ladle in some soup over the noodles.
Squeeze some lime and sriracha in. Serve topped with bean sprouts and cilantro.
This a very flavorful and warming soup that reheats very nicely. I like mine a little spicy so I added quite a bit of sriracha to it :-) While it took some planning/time to make, now I have lunch for an entire week so overall definitely worth the effort!