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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


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.


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.


  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.


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)


  • 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