This Khao Soi recipe is rich, fragrant and delicious! It’s a Coconut Curry Noodle Soup that hails from Northern Thailand and can be made with chicken, shrimp, tofu, or our crispy tofu. Vegan-adaptable, GF.  Watch the Video!

Khao Soi in a black bowl with crispy noodles and pickled mustard greens.

No Matter how hard the past, you can always begin again. ~Buddha

This Thai Coconut Curry Noodle Soup recipe (called Khao Soi) and hails from the Northern part of Thailand (Chiang Mai) where the weather stays a bit cooler.  It’s a godsend when time is short, or you are feeling a bit lazy, yet you crave something warm, rich and spicy.

The coconut broth is fragrant and rich, coating the noodles well.  And once the flavorful coconut soup base is made, what you put in the soup is up to you!

This Khao Soi recipe is rich, fragrant and delicious! It's a Coconut Curry Noodle Soup that hails from Northern Thailand and can be made with chicken, shrimp, tofu, or our crispy tofu.  Vegan-adaptable, GF.  Watch the Video!

Why this recipe works!

  • It is fast and easy! This simple recipe comes together in under 30 minutes!
  • Adaptable. Use chicken, shrimp or tofu, or a a combo. Vegan adaptable!
  • Cozy and warming! A rich soup, perfect for chilly nights.

Ingredients in Khao Soi

This simple version of Khao Soi is made even easier with store-bought red curry paste.

How to make Khao Soi! A Thai Coconut Curry Noodle Soup with a rich fragrant coconut broth w/ either shrimp, tofu or chicken and rice noodles.

How to make Khao Soi

  1. Place rice noodles in a large baking dish, pour boiling water over the noodles and let them sit until they are softened, drain. Toss with a little oil to prevent sticking.
  2. In a large dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat, saute shallot, garlic and lemongrass. until golden, about 3-4 minutes, then add the red curry paste,  turmeric, curry powder, and cardamom, stirring for one minute.
  3. Add the coconut milk, chicken broth and kaffir lime leaves and bring to a simmer, stirring. Once gently simmering add the bell pepper, fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce and chili garlic paste.
  4. Add the prawns (or chicken or crispy tofu)  and gently simmer until cooked.
  5. Give a generous squeeze of lime. Taste, adding more lime/salt/ red curry paste if necessary. Find the balance between salty, sweet, acid and heat.
  6. Divide the rice noodles into the bowls and ladle the flavorful soup over top- a bit easier to handle. Garnish with fresh basil, pickled mustard greens, crispy noodles, bean sprouts, thinly sliced red onion, lime wedges, or chopped scallions.

Variations of Khao Soi

Serve Khao Soi with These Toppings!

How to make Khao Soi! A Thai Coconut Curry Noodle Soup with a rich fragrant coconut broth w/ either shrimp, tofu or chicken and rice noodles.

More Thai recipes you may like: 

Khao Soi recipe in a black bowl with a lime and cripsy noodles.

How to Make Khao Soi! | 30-sec video

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Khao Soi recipe in a black bowl.

Khao Soi (Thai Coconut Noodle Soup)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 115 reviews

Description

A flavorful and very addicting Northern Style Thai Coconut Curry Noodle Soup, called Khao Soi. Easy and fast, and so yummy. This simplified version uses store-bought red chili paste. Watch the video.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 46 ounces dry rice noodles
  • 1 tablespoon coconut, peanut or olive oil
  • 1 large shallot finely diced ( or sub half an onion)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped lemongrass
  • 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Thai Red Curry Paste (store-bought, I like this brand), more for spicier
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric (or use grated turmeric)
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 14-ounce can coconut milk, full-fat
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or veggie broth, or use water and one chicken bouillon cube)
  • 46 kaffir lime leaves (optional, but delicious!)
  • 1 thinly sliced red bell pepper (optional- sub other veggies)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce- or vegan fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce ( perhaps reduce if using vegan fish sauce, or use to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, palm sugar or an alternative substitute
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (Sambal Olek)
  • 812 ounces protein: raw, peeled prawns, or crispy tofu, or raw, thinly sliced chicken breast- or leftover baked chicken or rotisserie chicken)
  • salt and pepper to taste,
  • 1 lime

Garnish with fresh basil (Thai basil is best!), pickled mustard greens (traditional), cilantro, bean sprouts, lime wedge, crispy noodles, thinly sliced red onions or scallions.


Instructions

  1. Place noodles in a large baking dish, pour boiling water over the noodles and let them sit, stirring occasionally until they are al dente. Drain. Toss with little oil to coat to prevent sticking.
  2. While the water is boiling, prep the protein, shallot, garlic, lemongrass, and red bell pepper, then get all other ingredients ready by the stove.
  3. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic and lemongrass. Saute until fragrant and golden, about 3-4 minutes.  Add red curry paste,  turmeric, yellow curry powder and cardamom. Saute for 1 minute.
  4. Add the coconut milk, chicken broth and kaffir lime leaves and bring to a simmer, stirring. Once gently simmering add the bell pepper, fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce and chili garlic paste.
  5. Add the prawns (or chicken or crispy tofu)  and gently simmer until cooked. Give a generous squeeze of lime. Taste, adding more lime/salt/pepper/ red curry paste if necessary. Find the balance between salty, sweet, acid and heat.
  6. Divide noodles into the bowls and ladle the flavorful soup over top- a bit easier to handle.
  7. Garnish with fresh basil, pickled mustard greens, crispy noodles, bean sprouts, thinly sliced red onion, lime wedges, or chopped scallions.

Notes

The quality of the red chili paste makes all the difference here. I like Mae ploy or Masseri! “Thai kitchen” brand will be lacking in flavor!

To bump up the flavorful coconut broth even more, add  few slices of galangal!

Feel free to make the soup broth  the day before and keep in the fridge, keeping the noodles separate ( they will swell in the soup) and simply reheat.

To bump up the heat, add more red chili paste or  chili sauce, or a few thinly sliced fresh chilies ( as a garnish)

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4 bowls
  • Calories: 348
  • Sugar: 10.3 g
  • Sodium: 1345 mg
  • Fat: 16.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 13.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 39.4 g
  • Fiber: 1.9 g
  • Protein: 12.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 71.4 mg

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Comments

  1. This dish is crazy tasty and flavorful!!! Not to mention the color is out of this world!! I will make this again and again. Do you throw the yellow curry powder in with the turmeric and cardamom? I did that but I didn’t see it in the recipe card 😇 thank you for another amazing recipe!!!






  2. Very good and very adjustable, when this was running out, I added more coconut milk and lime juice softened and made it richer and added tons of veggies and rice for balance in nutrients. This dish actually evolved for me. Great meal(s)! We just didn’t want it to end lol

  3. I didn’t have the lemon grass or lime leaves but still loved the flavor of this soup. I only use a fraction of the chili paste in recipes because otherwise it’s just too hot for my tastes. (Can’t figure out how others tolerate it 2 tablespoons. Lol). This broth is delicious and so versatile. I also added edamame at the end. Yummy! Thanks so much for this easy and tasty soup.






  4. So delicious and easy! To make it even easier on for a weeknight meal, I plan to prep in advance and keep measured ingredients in the fridge. I used the fresh Thai basil and cilantro and fresh bean sprouts to garnish, and left out the chili garlic sauce to keep the spice level in check. I love the regional flavors!






  5. This was both easy (and I’m not a natural chef) and absolutely delicious so it definitely gets my vote! Thank you!






  6. So gooooood. Tasty, flavorful, not too spicy, yuuuum.

    Phenomenal pairing with a Viñàtigo wine from the canary Islands






  7. Great to see Mae Ploy red curry paste in play here. My fave by a mile, just remembering to “bloom” the paste in some oil as you would doing the recipe to release the aromatics, especially the fermented shrimp paste and cook the raw heat out just a touch. I use this red [and the green] in all my Thai dishes with excellent results.

    Tip for the larger MP “tub”— after opening—cut the bag inside evenly across the top [or a corner cut], take what you need, twist the bag and seal with a bread tie, and replace bag upside down into the container, preventing any level of air getting to the paste or having the strong odor in fridge. Storage for the large tub is important because it has a high yield and don’t need it drying out or spoling before you can use it all.






  8. “A” rated recipes but confusing language: “and swapping out veggie stock for the chicken stock”. I suspect that you want to swap ‘in’ veggie stock and swap ‘out’ chicken stock?

  9. This Khao Soi recipe is my new comfort food and will be making it all year round! What a great recipe, easy instructions and loved how adaptable it is! Thank you for being so thoughtful with different diet preference! You’re simply the best!






  10. I’ve always been intimidated by the thought of making my onw Kao Soi, but your recipe made it so easy to follow! And the flavors are incredible! thank you!!






  11. The flavors of your Khao Soi are so deep and rich, just mouthwatering. So easy to make too, thank you for sharing!!

  12. The perfect Khao Soi right here. Loved it so much, it was perfect. Everyone was raving and it’s on the menu again for this coming week!






  13. Fun to make! Wonderful to smell!
    Beautiful to eat!
    I encourage a try, you will not be disappointed!!
    Thank you again. Your recipes are so dependable!

  14. Amazing flavor and pretty easy to make. Better than any Thai takeout I’ve had. Another wonderful recipe from FAH!






  15. This was delicious. And fairly easy! I had some kefir lime leaves and lemongrass in the freezer, used panang curry paste, added the cardamom. It came together quickly and was even more delicious the next day!






  16. Sylvia,
    This is delicious, really enjoyed, did not change a thing except omitted the cardamon. Thanks for another ‘to die for’ recipe. This will be enjoyed regularly in our house!
    Annette






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