Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Kao Soi Recipe

This a Northern Lao Noodles soup familiar to the popular Vietnamese pho noodles soup. Give this recipe a try, and you will enjoy it as much as I enjoy it.


Pork sauce (enough for 5 servings):

10 large dried red chillies
2 cups water
3 medium (or 5 small) cloves garlic, peeled
10 small brown shallots (onion type) thumb-joint sized, peeled
Generous pinch salt
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons fermented bean paste (with chilli), or substitute miso or yellow bean sauce squashed to a paste)
200 gr. (8 oz.) pork, chopped very finely to a coarse mince texture (about 1 cup)
1- 1½ cups water
1 chicken bouillon cube
½ teaspoon salt

For serving 5 bowls of noodles:

Fresh or 375 g (12 oz) dried flat rice noodles (at least 6 mm (¼ in.) wide when dry)
2 litres (9 cups) water (for cooking noodles)
6 cups water (for stock)
Large handful of chicken pieces such as the chopped chicken back
1 teaspoon salt (or less to taste)
3 cups seasonal green vegetables, e.g: 3 yard-long beans (or 5 small French green beans), cut in 5 cm /2 in. lengths and a small bunch of watercress or water spinach, washed & trimmed of longer stalks and old leaves
5 small spring onions, including 8 cm /3 in. green tops, finely sliced
5 small sprigs of coriander leaves (cilantro) including stems, finely chopped


  1. Deseed and destem the dried chillies, place in saucepan with 2 cups of water, bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes or until chillies are soft and swollen.
  2. Cool, remove and drain chillies. Align on a chopping board. Chop chillies finely, starting from their tips, gradually working in more chilli up to their tops until a fine paste is made, about 5 minutes. (Or use a blender or food processor.) Set paste aside on a plate.
  3. Place garlic and shallots in a mortar, add salt and pound until a mixture of slightly opaque
  4. paste and pieces is formed (about 2 minutes).
  5. Heat wok, add oil. When hot, add shallot and garlic mix, stir fry on high heat for 2 minutes then lower heat, stir frying continually until onion goes opaque, starts to brown and the oil starts returning. Add chilli paste, continue to stir fry, then add fermented bean paste, squashing the mixture down and scraping the sides and bottom of the wok where it sticks occasionally. This takes about 2 minutes.
  6. Add pork to mixture, and stir fry 2- 3 minutes, then add 1- 1½ cups of water. Continue to cook on low heat until the mixture reduces and thickens. Add crumbled bouillon cube and ½ teaspoon of salt.
  7. Bring 2 litres of water to the boil in a saucepan. Add noodles, and boil until al dente (soft but still firm to bite). Time will vary depending on whether fresh or dried flat rice noodles are used (see Note). Drain the noodles and set aside.
  8. In a separate pan, bring 6 cups of water to the boil, add chicken pieces and salt, and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Add all the vegetables except spring onions and chopped coriander. Simmer for 2 minutes more.
  9. Divide noodles into 5 noodle bowls (each half full). Add 2- 3 heaped Chinese soup spoons full of meat sauce mixture (about ½ cup) to each bowl. Top this with a generous sprinkling of sliced spring onion and chopped coriander (cilantro). Place one third of the vegetables on top of the noodles to one side of each bowl. Discard the chicken pieces, and carefully pour the chicken stock over the noodles in each bowl.
  10. Serve with table accompaniments of soy sauce, chilli flakes, sugar and wedges of lime, to personal taste.

1 comment:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...