I mentioned this delicious dish in my restaurant review for You & Mee. Now a bit about the actual dish. There are several English variations of the name. Chiang Mai noodle soup. Chiang Mai Northern noodle soup. Chiang Mai chicken curry soup. You get the idea. In Thai, khao soi gai. It’s a specialty that hails from… <drum roooooooooooooll> the northern city of Chiang Mai.
Essentially, it’s a curry and a noodle soup dish all in one. Using red curry base and turmeric with generous portions of coconut milk, the soup is poured onto egg noddles. It’s not a fancy dish of any sort. Rather, it’s a lunchtime street corner dish. In fact, it was difficult to find a place that served it after 3pm.
It is the one dish I have not seen commonly served in Thai restaurants abroad. Heck, even in Thailand, it is rarely served in a proper dine-in restaurant, making it all the more precious. Khao soi also happens to be the one dish many visiting friends would tell me they still crave for long after leaving Thailand. Don’t blame them. I crave for it myself.
We decided on the fly one afternoon to try to create the dish at home. I tried before, but made some bad substitutions in lieu of going to the supermarket to pick up the needed ingredients. Bad mistake. This time, I followed the concepts.. as much as I could. I admit, I’m not very good at following cooking instructions precisely. And the end result was pretty darn good, if I may say so myself. While no entré from You & Mee, it’s better than just about all the other store/restaurant-bought khao soi I’ve had.
Photo courtesy of Tinger, also my kitchen partner in this venture.