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Khao soi

Khao soi
Chicken khao soi in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Alternative names Khao soy
Type Noodle soup
Region or state Northern Thailand, Northern Laos and Shan State
Main ingredients Hand cut rice or egg noodles, coconut milk, curry soup base
Variations Northern Thai khao soi, Lao khao soi
16x16px Cookbook:Khao soi  16x16px Khao soi

Khao soi or khao soy (Thai: ข้าวซอย, pronounced [kʰâw sɔ̄ːj]; Lao: ເຂົ້າຊອຍ [kʰȁw sɔ́ːj]) is a Burmese-influenced dish (see ohn no khao swè) served widely in northern Laos and northern Thailand.[1] The name means "cut rice" in Thai, although it is possible that it is simply a corruption of the Burmese word for noodles which is just "khao swè" which may account for the variations. Traditionally, the dough for the rice noodles is spread out on a cloth stretched over boiling water. After steaming the large sheet noodle is then rolled and cut with scissors. Lao khao soi is still made with the traditional noodles and in some markets in Luang Namtha and Muang Sing you can still see the vendors cutting the noodles. These traditional cut noodles can also be found in several places in northern Thailand.


There are two common versions of khao soi:

  • Lao khao soi is a soup made with wide rice noodles, coarsely chopped pork, tomatoes, fermented soy beans, chillies, shallots, and garlic, then topped with pork rind, bean sprouts, chopped scallions, and chopped cilantro. Though northern Laotians have a special way of preparing this dish, different versions of it can be found at Lao restaurants.[2]
  • Northern Thai khao soi is closer to the present day Burmese ohn no khao swè, being a soup-like dish made with a mix of deep-fried crispy egg noodles and boiled egg noodles, pickled cabbage, shallots, lime, ground chillies fried in oil, and meat in a curry-like sauce containing coconut milk. The curry is somewhat similar to that of yellow or massaman curry but of a thinner consistency. It is popular as a street dish eaten by Thai people in northern Thailand, though not frequently served in Thai restaurants abroad.
    There is some reason to believe that the Thai version of khao soi was influenced by Chinese Muslim cuisine and was therefore likely served with chicken or beef.[3]
    Different variants of khao soi that are made without any coconut milk and with rice noodles instead of egg noodles are mainly eaten in the eastern half of northern Thailand.

Khao soi is featured in the cuisine of the Shan people who primarily live in Burma. This version of khao soi, as well as the version in Chiang Rai Province, can contain pieces of curdled blood (see khow suey)[4]


See also

Notes and references

  1. Agha, Shafia (3 February 2013). "Recipe: Burmese Khao Suey". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  2. "Kao Soi". Lao Food Recipes. The Boat Landing Guest House and Restaurant. 26 March 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  3. "Khao Soi". Lanna Food. Chiang Mai University. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  4. "Khao Soy Tai or Shan Kao Soi by Sao Tern Moeng". 2006-03-26. Retrieved 2013-09-19. 

External links

16x16px Media related to Khao soi at Wikimedia Commons