Strike gold with this ex­otic Thai soup

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - Weekend Life - LAURA ROBIN

This golden soup is rich with chicken and co­conut milk, lively with chilies, gar­lic, gin­ger and lime juice, and of­fers the fresh crunch of the bean sprouts, sliced red onion, cilantro and fried onions you sprin­kle on top.

It’s a Thai recipe that comes by way of a restau­rant run by Ravin Nak­jaroen in Cam­den, Maine, one of my favourite sea­side towns. A year ago, it was pub­lished in Bon Ap­petit mag­a­zine. Khao Soi orig­i­nates in north­ern Thai­land and Laos.

Chicken Khao Soi

Makes: 6 to 8 serv­ings Prepa­ra­tion time: About 1 hour 4 large dried New Mex­ico or gua­jillo chilies, stemmed, halved, seeded

2 medium shal­lots, halved

8 gar­lic cloves 2-inch (5-cm) piece gin­ger, peeled, sliced ¼ cup (60 mL) chopped cilantro stems 1 tbsp (15 mL) ground co­rian­der 1 tbsp (15 mL) ground turmeric

1 tsp (5 mL) curry pow­der

2 tbsp (30 mL) veg­etable oil Two 14-oz (414-mL) cans unsweet­ened co­conut milk 2 cups (500 mL) low-sodium chicken broth

1 ½ lb (726 g) skin­less, bone­less chicken thighs, halved length­wise 1 lb (500 g) Chi­nese egg noo­dles 3 tbsp (45 mL) or more fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam) 1 tbsp (15 mL) (packed) palm su­gar or light brown su­gar

Kosher salt Sliced red onion, bean sprouts, cilantro sprigs, crispy fried onions or shal­lots, chili oil and lime wedges (for serv­ing) Place chilies in a small heat­proof bowl, add boil­ing wa­ter to cover, and let soak un­til soft­ened, 25 to 30 min­utes. Drain chilies, re­serv­ing liq­uid.

Puree chilies, shal­lots, gar­lic, gin­ger, cilantro stems, co­rian­der, turmeric, curry pow­der and 2 tbsp (30 mL) soak­ing liq­uid in a food pro­ces­sor, adding more soak­ing liq­uid by ta­ble­spoon­fuls, if needed, un­til smooth.

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add khao soi paste; cook, stir­ring con­stantly, un­til slightly dark­ened, 4 to 6 min­utes. Add co­conut milk and broth. Bring to a boil; add chicken. Re­duce heat and sim­mer un­til chicken is fork­ten­der, 20 to 25 min­utes. Trans­fer chicken to a plate. Let cool slightly; shred meat.

Cook noo­dles ac­cord­ing to pack­age di­rec­tions. Add chicken, 3 tbsp (45 mL) fish sauce and su­gar to soup. Sea­son with salt or more fish sauce, if needed. Di­vide soup and noo­dles among bowls and serve with top­pings.

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