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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Does it have to be HOT??? .... Take Three: Thai Kao Soi Curry

This was the first dish I ate after arriving in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. I already had great expectations for this dish, having read it in every travel guide and on every food list prior to my arrival. Then, there it was... listed on the menu as Famous Chiang Mai Curry Noodles with Chicken. I had to try it. Mildly spicy, creamy, rich…since that moment, I have been dreaming of recreating this dish at home! So here is my version. Don’t be intimidated by all the ingredients. I assure you, it’s an effortless and crowd pleasing dish!

Kao Soi - Chiang Mai Style Curry Noodles
Makes 4 Servings

Drizzle of Vegetable oil
3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
3 Tbsp Thai Red Curry Paste (found in the grocery store)
500 grams of Boneless Chicken or 750 grams with bones (I prefer thighs because of the softer texture and more moist end product)
2 cups Chicken Stock (I like to use low sodium if available)
1 can (14 ounces) Coconut Milk, unsweetened
1/8 cup Soy Sauce
2 tsp Curry Powder
1 tsp Sugar
Juice of 1 Lime
500 grams of Fresh Egg Noodles, or any other noodles you like- cooked per manufacturer’s instructions
1/2 cup Red Onion, very thinly sliced

For Garnish:
Chopped Cilantro Leaves
Lime Wedges
Crispy Chow Mein Noodles

Heat a large pan with oil. Add chicken and brown on both sides (2 minutes). Add curry paste and garlic and toss together for a couple of minutes until the curry paste coats the chicken.

Add stock, coconut milk, soy sauce, curry powder, and sugar. Cover and let simmer until chicken is cooked (about 8 minutes). Squeeze in fresh lime juice.

Place the cooked egg noodles into the bottom of the 4 bowls and pour over the chicken and curry sauce. Serve with the thinly sliced red onions, cilantro, and crunchy noodles.

The Easy Way Out

Now, as easy as these recipes were (the Indian Fish curry in the previous post and the Kao Soi Curry), I also realize that sometimes, we don't even have time to make these! Especially if you need a quick lunch, or you arrive home late, or you just don't have enough time to grocery shop. So, I have devised a plan.... the easy way out. The throw together meal or snack when you are craving a curry but don't have the time or patience to do the full blown cooking thing.

All you have to do, is pick up a jar of Thai Red Curry Paste and/or Thai Green Curry Paste and some canned coconut milk the next time you head out to the grocery store. Then, at any given time, when you need a no fuss, satisfying dish, just add a couple of tablespoons of either of the pastes into a pan with a little oil and garlic. Add some chicken, frozen shrimp, veggies, or whatever you have around, and toss in the pan for a few minutes. Add a can of coconut milk, a little salt and pepper, and serve with noodles or rice. Yum!! Let’s eat!

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