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Author Notes: Khau Swe, as these noodles are called, originate from the Golden Triangle area that encompasses Myanmar and Thailand. I slurped a bowlful in Chiang Mai, but Myanmar is
still a mystery to me. I hope you enjoy my hearty spoon and fork soup. —nykavi
Food52 Review: Nykavi's brilliant "fork and spoon" soup is genuine cold winter Sunday fare. It was also quite an education for me: I've never prepared a soup's vegetable base in this way before (I didn't have shrimp paste, so I used shrimp powder instead) . The flavor changes remarkably as a result, and nothing interferes, texture-wise, with the tender chunks of chicken, bits of boiled egg, and silken rice noodles. The brazen 2 tablespoons of chili powder first caught my eye; I even added a few drops of Sambal Olek, too. In short, I love this soup, and I am so glad to have precious leftovers in the freezer. Thank you, nykavi, for taking me outside my comfort zone into a brand new one. —boulangere
Serves 4 hungry people
- 2 medium yellow onions
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
- 1 teaspoon shrimp paste (belachan)
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 14 oz can coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 packet rice noodles
- 1/2 cup shallots, thinly sliced and fried to a crisp
- 3 eggs, boiled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped fine
- 2 limes, quartered
- Peel and chop the onions and garlic cloves into chunks. The size doesn't matter as they are to be ground.
- Place the onions, garlic, ginger, shrimp paste, and water in a blender or food processor. Pulse well till you have a smooth paste.
- Clean and chop the chicken into bite size pieces. Wash well and drain.
- Heat canola and sesame oils in a Dutch oven.
- Add the onion paste and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes to get the rawness out of the onions.
- Add turmeric and chili powder . Stir to incorporate them into onion mix.
- The chicken goes in next. Sauté the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring well to coat with spice mixture.
- Add coconut milk and 1 cup of water . Stir well and bring the soup to a boil.
- Lower the flame, and let the soup come to a simmer .
- Cover the saucepan and let the soup simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Fill a large, deep saucepan with water and bring to a boil on a high flame.
- Add rice noodles to the boiling water. Take the saucepan off the heat and let rice noodles steep in water for 20 minutes. Drain well and keep aside.
- Assemble the soup with a large helping of rice noodles in a soup bowl. Top with ladlefuls of soup. The noodles should swim in coconut broth. Add pieces of chicken. Garnish with fried shallots, chopped egg, a sprinkling of chili powder, some cilantro, and a large squirt of lime juice.
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