Khao Suey (Burmese Style Curried Noodle Soup)

Photo by Alpha Smoot
Author Notes

Khao suey is a rich and indulgent curried bowl of coconut soup that is cooked with noodles and served with a delightful melange of garnishes. In fact, the garnishes remind me of the concept of deconstructed ramen. This dish was exported from Myanmar to Eastern India and I have fond memories of it from childhood. I never did have a clear recipe for those brimming bowls of goodness that my grandmother affectionately served up; however, over time I have created my own recipe using fresh rice noodles, which keeps the recipe gluten-free and also gives it a softer touch. It can be made with regular noodles if desired, and for a vegan version, you can use shitake mushrooms instead of the chicken. —Rinku Bhattacharya /Spice Chronicles

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Rinku Bhattacharya /Spice Chronicles is a spice-loving blogger who lives just outside of New York City.
WHAT: A spicy, coconutty soup to give everyday chicken soup a run for its money.
HOW: Chop up all the vegetables in your CSA share and simmer them with chicken and rice noodles in a rich coconut milk broth. Garnish with fresh vegetables and eggs, and slurp every last noodle.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The cozy, comforting nature of chicken noodle soup gets kicked up with spices, long rice noodles, and lots of vegetables—and gains creaminess and sweetness from coconut milk. We may never go back to the chicken broth-and-carrots stuff. —The Editors

  • Serves 6
  • For the curry base
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken, cubed
  • 2 teaspoons powdered coriander
  • 1 teaspoon powdered cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup puréed tomatoes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 3 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped cauliflower
  • 6 ounces rice noodles (medium thickness), preferably fresh
  • 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • To garnish
  • 1/4 cup oil for frying
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • Sliced jalapeno peppers
  • Sliced scallions
  • Thinly sliced carrots
In This Recipe
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil, add the red onion, and cook for about five minutes, until soft and wilted. Keep stirring until the onion begins to turn pale golden at the edges.
  2. Add the finely grated ginger and the garlic and mix well.
  3. Add the chicken, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and red cayenne pepper and mix well.
  4. Cook the chicken for about 2 minutes, until no longer pink.
  5. Add in the puréed tomatoes if using and the tamari or soy sauce. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Mix in the broth and the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the zucchini, red bell pepper, and the cauliflower and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
  8. Add in the noodles and cook until they're al dente (if using fresh rice noodles, this will only take a couple of minutes).
  9. While the soup is cooking, heat the oil and fry the garlic until crisp and golden. Lift out with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.
  10. Add the thinly sliced shallots to the hot oil and fry until crisp and place in a bowl.
  11. Arrange the remaining garnishes in individual bowls and serve with the noodle soup.
  12. Cut the lime, squeeze the juice into the soup, and add in the chopped cilantro. Serve with the garnishes.

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