Make Ahead

Burmese chicken khow suey

May  3, 2015
3 Ratings
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

If you’ve already skimmed through the list of ingredients, I know what you’re thinking. I won’t lie, this recipe does call for quite a few elements and steps, but I guarantee that you will not regret it.

Khow suey is essentially a Burmese noodle dish served with a subtly spiced coconut curry/soup that’s topped with an array of contrasting condiments. A bit like the Singaporean laksa. I know it sounds a little intimidating at first, but it didn’t take too long for this dish to sneak its way into my list of regulars.

I’ve made this recipe from time to time using store-bought coconut milk, but if you have access to making a fresh batch at home, there’s nothing like it. The chillies might seem like a lot, but once the seeds have been taken out, you get more flavour than heat from them. Also, the coconut milk really tones down the fieriness too. If you’d like it milder anyway, reduce the number.

Every time I make this, nostalgia sets in and takes me right back to family dinners at home. This recipe (like many others), is from my mom’s collection that I brought back with me when I got married and moved to Chennai. Honestly, mine tastes almost as good as hers. And that’s saying a lot. —Kirthana | Theblurrylime

What You'll Need
  • For the khowsuey:
  • 300 grams egg noodles, cooked and drained
  • 300 grams chicken thigh fillets, cubed
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables (potatoes, carrots, beans, cauliflower, broccoli, baby corn)
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 9 cloves of garlic
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 " piece of ginger
  • 10 dried red chillies
  • 2 tablespoons gram flour
  • 250 milliliters coconut milk
  • Salt, to taste
  • Condiments:
  • 1/4 cup Deep-fried onions
  • 1/4 cup raw onions, finely chopped
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
  • 4 sprigs coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • Lime wedges
  1. If you’re making your own coconut milk : add 1 cup of freshly grated coconut to 3 cups of water and let it sit for 10 minutes. Blend together and then strain. This is your first extract. Remove the strained coconut, add 1 more cup of water, and repeat once more. Mix the two extracts together, measure out 250 ml, and set aside.
  2. In a small pan, dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and dried red chillies for about a minute to intensify its flavours. Add these to a blender with garlic, ginger and a dash of water and blend to a smooth paste.
  3. In another wok/pot, heat the oil and sauté the onions until they soften and get a little colour. Add the aromatic paste mixture* and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Put in the tomatoes and stir together for a further 5 minutes until the tomatoes become pulpy and darken slightly.
  4. Add the chicken, boiled vegetables, salt, gram flour, and coconut milk along with 3 cups of water to the pot; bring to a boil, and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes to let the flavours emulsify (Note: add more water if it thickens up too much – you’re looking for a consistency that’s a little thicker than soup)
  5. To serve, add noodles to a bowl and top with a generous ladleful of soup. Garnish with the toppings and a good squeeze of lime and serve hot.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kirthana | Theblurrylime
    Kirthana | Theblurrylime
  • Richard

4 Reviews

Kirthana |. June 6, 2016
It makes me so happy to read that you enjoyed it, Richard! I cheat and use store-bought coconut milk sometimes too ;) Thanks for stopping by and letting me know!
Richard June 6, 2016
Thanks for the update. I made this a few days ago. I really enjoyed it. Big, bold flavors. I can see how the fresh coconut mike would improve the dish, unfortunately, they are not available in Northwest Florida. Just wanted to tell you thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe.
Richard May 25, 2016
Theblurryline, The recipe looks very interesting. I will try it soon. Can you clarify one point? In step 4, you added gram flour. What is that, or is it 1 gram of flour? Thanks for the help
Kirthana |. May 30, 2016
Hi Richard! Gram flour in India is a common ingredient and is basically a flour made from ground garbanzo beans. Thanks for bringing this to my notice - I skimmed through the list of ingredients and realized that some of them had been left out, eep. I hope you try this recipe!