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chicken and noodles in a white bowl
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4.88 from 8 votes

Khao Soi (Chiang Mai) Noodles

Khao Soi Noodles (also known as Chiang Mai Noodles) are a creamy, rich, chicken and noodle dish that comes from the Northwestern region of Thailand. There’s a reason this dish was once named the most delicious dish in the world - try it once and you’ll inevitably crave it afterwards. This recipe includes instructions for using store-bought Khao Soi powder (super easy) or homemade curry paste (a bit more time consuming) and can be made on the stovetop, in the Instant Pot, or in the slow cooker.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: homemade Thai, instant pot, slow cooker recipe, Thai chicken curry, Thai recipe
Servings: 6
Calories: 409kcal
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $10.00

Equipment

  • Dutch oven, wok or saute pan
  • Instant Pot or Slow Cooker

Ingredients

For the Noodles:

  • 6 oz Chinese-Style Egg Noodles
  • Vegetable Oil, for frying

For the Curry:

  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil (use vegetable, peanut, coconut, or avocado oil)
  • 6 Chicken Drumsticks (sub bone-in chicken thighs, cubed boneless chicken breast, or a combination)
  • 1 3/4 cups Coconut Milk, divided (regular, not light)
  • 3 Tbsp Khao Soi Curry Paste or 1 (1.76-oz) packet Khao Soi Seasoning (see note)
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 4 oz Chinese-Style Egg Noodles

For Topping:

  • Pickled Mustard Greens (rinse well and finely chop)
  • Diced Shallots
  • Cilantro
  • Lime Wedges
  • Fish Sauce
  • Sugar

Instructions

Stovetop:

  • Heat a Dutch oven, wok, or saute pan over medium heat. Add 2 Tbsp oil. When the oil begins to simmer, sear chicken until golden brown on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes total. (It will finish cooking in the curry, so don't worry if it's not cooked through.) Set drumsticks aside, leaving pan over heat.
  • To heated pan, add 3/4 cup coconut milk (if using canned coconut milk that has separated, use the top, thicker portion of the milk) to the pan. Simmer coconut milk, stirring constantly, until it has reduced by half and you can see oil separating from the milk, 5 to 6 minutes. (Note: This step to “break” the coconut milk is part of the traditional process, but don’t worry if your coconut milk doesn’t show signs of separating after this initial cook time - just proceed with the recipe.)
  • To coconut milk, add Khao Soi curry paste or seasoning packet and simmer, stirring constantly, until thick and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add chicken pieces and stir to coat in curry paste.
  • Pour chicken stock and remaining 1 cup coconut milk over chicken.
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce temperature to maintain a low simmer. Cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through and very tender, 20 minutes for cubed chicken and 30 minutes for drumsticks.

Instant Pot:

  • Turn on the pressure cooker’s sauté function to normal / medium. When hot, add 2 Tbsp oil. When the oil begins to simmer, sear chicken until golden brown on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes total. (It will finish cooking in the curry, so don't worry if it's not cooked through.) Set drumsticks aside, leaving sauté function on.
  • To heated pot, add 3/4 cup coconut milk (if using canned coconut milk that has separated, use the top, thicker portion of the milk).
  • To coconut milk, add Khao Soi curry paste or seasoning packet and simmer, stirring constantly, until thick and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add chicken and stir to coat in curry paste.
  • Pour chicken stock and remaining 1 cup coconut milk over chicken.
  • Turn off saute function and let the mixture cool slightly. Scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan (this is a key step to prevent the burn error).
  • Close and lock the lid. Set steam valve to Sealing. Cook on manual / high for 15 minutes.
  • Let pressure naturally release for 5 minutes and then manually release any remaining pressure.

Slow Cooker:

  • Heat a Dutch oven, wok, or saute pan over medium heat. Add 2 Tbsp oil. When the oil begins to simmer, sear chicken until golden brown on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes total. (It will finish cooking in the curry, so don't worry if it's not cooked through.) Set drumsticks aside, leaving pan over heat.
  • To heated pan, add 3/4 cup coconut milk (if using canned coconut milk that has separated, use the top, thicker portion of the milk) to the pan. Simmer coconut milk, stirring constantly, until it has reduced by half and you can see oil separating from the milk, 5 to 6 minutes. (Note: This step to “break” the coconut milk is part of the traditional process, but don’t worry if your coconut milk doesn’t show signs of separating after this initial cook time - just proceed with the recipe.)
  • To coconut milk, add Khao Soi curry paste or seasoning packet and simmer, stirring constantly, until thick and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Transfer coconut and curry mixture to the bowl of a slow cooker. Add chicken stock, remaining 1 cup coconut milk and chicken.
  • Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 to 7 hours.

Prepare fried noodles:

  • When the curry is nearly finished, fill a wok, Dutch oven, or saucepan with about 4 inches of vegetable oil and place it over medium heat. Set a plate lined with paper towels nearby. When the oil is hot, fry 6 oz of noodles in batches until golden brown and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Make sure that each portion of noodles is roughly the right size to top each bowl of soup. Transfer fried noodles to paper towels and season immediately with some salt.

Prepare Boiled Noodles:

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and add 4 oz noodles. Boil until just tender (they should still have a bit of a chewy texture). Drain.

Season:

  • When the curry is finished, taste and season with some salt, fish sauce, or a pinch of sugar if you’d like. (This is a key step for a great Thai curry. Customizing to taste means you’ll get a curry that you love every time.)

Serve:

  • Divided boiled noodles between serving bowls. Ladle curry over top. Finish with fried noodles and toppings

Notes

Chinese-Style Egg Noodles: Note that the egg noodles are served two ways for this dish. 4 oz are cooked inside the curry itself. 6 oz of noodles are divided into little fried “nests” that are used to top each bowl. 

Nutrition

Calories: 409kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 282mg | Potassium: 398mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1218IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 4mg