November 22, 2011

Love at first bite: Khao Soi

Despite being a popular street dish in northern Thailand, Khaoi Soi is not frequently served in Thai restaurants abroad. Hence I had never tried it before our stay in Chiang Mai last week. Well, what a welcome surprise! Khao Soi - sometimes also called Chiang Mai Curry Noodles - consists of a mild thin coconut-based soup featuring hand cut egg noodles, pickled cabbage, shallots, lime and chicken, and topped with deep-fried crispy egg noodles.

Having read about it while preparing our trip, I was curious to give it a try as soon as we would reach the northern part of Thailand, and was glad to quickly come across it at Chiang Mai's weekend market. I did not hesitate a second, and ordered a couple of bowls from a mother and daughter preparing the dish I had been longing for. The combination of flavours and textures enthused me so much I could not imagine leaving the city without repeating the experience. Fortunately we found a delicious Khao Soi at a cafe nearby the train station to satisfy our tastebuds with the newly discovered dish one more time before jumping on the night train to Bangkok.

On leaving Thailand, at Bangkok airport I flicked through the Jim Thompson Thai cookery book I had bought on a previous visit. What a pleasant surprise it was to see Khao Soi as one of the recipes! I will surely be very eager to try and reproduce it at home after our trip.

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