Kao Soi (a.k.a. Thai comfort food)
Among the favorites on their menu is a dish called Provincial Chicken. The Thai name for the dish is Kao Soi (pronounced cow-soy). It’s in a word, soothing. Tender chunks of chicken simmered in a curry sauce laced with coconut milk and served over thin egg noodles. It’s then garnished with crispy fried egg noodles, chopped pickled cabbage and red peppers.
Combine our love of cooking and ethnic foods with my job as a librarian and you get an endless supply of cookbooks in my house at any given time. In addition to the ones I own, I’m constantly bringing home new ones from work to look through. Occasionally we’ve found one we like so much, we go out and buy our own copy. One such cookbook is Quick and Easy Thai: 70 everyday recipes by Nancie McDermott.
I got a copy from the library last Friday and was reading through it while we drove into DC for dinner. It looked promising. The beautiful color pictures throughout the cookbook can easily make one hungry. I read out several recipe titles to Biscuit Boy who agreed this was a nice cookbook. Then I saw it, a recipe for Kao Soi. Our beloved Provincial Chicken there in all it’s glory! A mental head slap when I realized the picture on the cover of the cookbook was the Kao Soi and dang it looked good.
On Sunday, we made it and it was delicious! Warm, soothing, and rich in flavor. This recipe’s definitely a keeper and will be one we will make many more times. Here’s how ours turned out. And with Nancie McDermott's permission (Thank you Nancie), here is the recipe:
2 tbsp. veg oil
1 tbsp. finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp red curry paste or panaeng curry paste
3/4 pounds boneless chicken, cut in big bite-sized chunks
or boneless beef, such as tri-tip or flank steak, thinly
sliced crosswise into 2-inch strips
2 Cups unsweetened coconut milk
1-3/4 cups chicken broth
2 tsp. ground tumeric or curry powder
2 Tbsp. dark soy sauce or soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 pounds fresh Chinese-style egg noodles,
or ½ pound dried Chinese-style egg noodles,
angel hair pasta, or spaghetti
1/2 Cup coarsely chopped shallots
1/2 Cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1/2 Cup thinly sliced green onions
Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and then add the garlic. Toss well and add the red curry paste, mashing and stirring to soften it in the oil, about 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook 1 to 2 minutes, tossing now and then to brown it evenly and mix it with the curry paste. Add the coconut milk, chicken broth, turmeric, soy sauce, sugar, and salt and stir well. Bring to a gentle boil and adjust heat to maintain a lively simmer. Cook about 10 minutes, until meat is cooked through. Stir in lime juice, remove from heat, and cover to keep curry warm while you prepare the noodles.
Cook the noodles in a large pot of rapidly boiling water, until tender but still firm, as little as 2 minutes for fresh noodles and 7 minutes or more for dried. Drain, rinse well in cold water, drain again, and divide the noodles among individual serving bowls. Ladle on hot curry, and sprinkle each serving with the shallots, cilantro, and green onions. Serve hot.