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SAHD Recipe – Khoa Soi (Thai Curry Noodles)


Hey everyone! Welcome to another installment of the SAHD recipe. Today, we’ll make Khoa Soi, curry noodle. This dish is from northern Thailand (same as me) and it is one of my favorite noodles. Whenever we visit Chiangmai, we always try to eat a few bowls. The problem is the authentic recipe is somewhat difficult to make at home. You need to make your own curry paste. However, I’m making the easy version today. We’ll add some extra spice to a store brought red curry paste to make the flavor similar to khoa soi curry paste.

This works pretty well and it simplified the cooking process greatly. We made a video for this dish and RB40Jr is asking for 7 Likes. Please hit the Like button for him! πŸ˜‰

*See video at the end of the post.

khoa soi recipe

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes


This makes about 6 servings. You can make half a recipe by cutting everything in half.

  • 1 pound of chicken. Dark meat is better in this dish. I used thighs in the video, but drumsticks are good too. You just need to simmer a bit longer if you use drumsticks or bone-in thighs.
  • 1 package (1lb) of thick wonton noodles. You should be able to find these at your local Asian grocery store. I guess you can substitute fresh fettuccini or dry spaghetti if you can’t find them.
  • 1 box of (34 oz) Aroy-D coconut milk or cream. Mae Ploy or Chaokoh are good too. Don’t use the “lite” coconut milk.
  • 1/2 box of water or chicken stock. I use the coconut milk box.
  • 1 – 3 tablespoons of red curry paste. Maesri is the best brand. You can add more if you like spicy or less if you don’t.
  • 2 tablespoons of curry powder. I used a mix of cardamom, coriander, and turmeric powder in the video because we ran out of curry powder.
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • Optional – A dash of sweet black soy sauce for each bowl.
  • Optional – A teaspoon of Nam Prik Pao for each bowl.


  • Cilantro
  • Green onion
  • Scallion or red onion
  • Thai preserved mustard greens.
  • Salad greens
  • Pork rinds. Most people use fried noodles, but we don’t fry stuff at home so I use pork rinds instead. It works very well.
  • Lime


  • A large saute pan or wok. This should be large enough to fit everything above and have room for mixing.
  • A pot for cooking the noodles.

*I add these links to Amazon so you can see what the ingredients look like. These items should be much cheaper at your local grocery stores.

Cook it!

See video.

  1. Open the coconut milk/cream carefully. The coconut cream should be on top. Put 1/2 cup of the coconut cream in the pan. Turn up the heat to medium-high.
  2. Once the coconut cream starts bubbling, add the red curry paste and stir.
  3. You want to stir until the oil separates. It should take about a minute or so.
  4. Add chicken and cook until the outside is a little firm. It doesn’t have to be cooked completely at this point. We just want to coat it with flavor.
  5. Add the rest of the coconut milk and water/chicken stock.
  6. Wait until the broth starts to bubble, then turn it down to simmer. If you use bone-in chicken, simmer until it is cooked.
  7. Meanwhile, we’ll blanch the noodles. Take the noodles out of the package and loosen them up. You don’t want to throw the whole clump into the pot.
  8. Blanch the noodles for 2-3 minutes. Check often to see if it’s ready. We don’t want the noodles to be mushy. Drain and cool it down a bit with cold water.
  9. Back to the broth. Stir and flavor with fish sauce, sugar, and soy sauce. Taste to see if it’s good. I usually keep it a little bland at this point. You can always add more at the table.


This part is important. Khoa soi has a lot of garnishing. These make a big difference.

  1. Put one serving of noodles into a bowl.
  2. Add a dash of sweet black soy sauce.
  3. Add a little nam prik pao. More if you like spicy.
  4. Ladle meat and broth into the bowl.
  5. Add scallion, green onion, cilantro, preserved vegetables, and a little salad on top.
  6. Add a squeeze of lime.
  7. Bring some pork rinds to the table. We don’t want these to be soggy.

Eat Khoa Soi!

At the table, mix everything in the bowl up. Then put some pork rinds on top. Take a taste and see how you like it.Β This part is important. Restaurants in Thailand usually have condiments at the table. You need to customize the food to your taste. The khoa soi was perfect for my wife and kid, but it was a little bland for me. I added a little fish sauce (salty) and sriracha chili sauce and it was perfect. If you like it saltier, sweeter, or spicier, just add a bit of flavoring at the table.


Khoa Soi video from Eat by 40!

Please hit the Like button for RB40Jr.

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, the job became too stressful and Joe retired from his engineering career to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. Today, he blogs about financial independence, early retirement, investing, and living a frugal lifestyle.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is increasing his investment in real estate with CrowdStreet. He can invest in projects across the U.S. and diversify his real estate portfolio. There are many interesting projects available so sign up and check them out.

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Kessada May 11, 2020, 2:14 pm

    You really have perfected this recipe. Similar to how I cook it but yours is better. Keep up the good work. Much enjoyed by your aunt.

  • freddy smidlap May 11, 2020, 9:38 am

    these are really good cooking lessons. anything with coconut milk and count me in. we need to build up our ingredient list over time.

    • retirebyforty May 12, 2020, 8:48 am

      Thank you for the encouragement! We’ll keep making videos. πŸ˜‰

  • JasonInVancouver May 10, 2020, 9:42 pm

    Looks like a good simple home version, Joe.
    During our first visit to Thailand, the missus and I randomly ate at an open air corner restaurant in Chiang Mai and ordered their specialty, khao soi and it blew our minds away. It’s one of our favourite dishes in the world. We try to track down a place for khao soi every time we’re in Thailand, which is surprisingly somewhat hard for us outside of the north. Love all the elements: spicy curry, sweet coconut, egg noodles, crispy noodles, dark chicken meat, and all the fixin’s/toppings. We even ended up taking a cooking class in Chiang Mai so we could learn how to make it. While there’s a number of decent/good Thai restaurants in Vancouver, only a handful serve khao soi, and only one comes close to replicating the dish to our expectations, not to mention charging over $10 for it versus $2 in Thailand. We’ve only tried making it at home once and we used a soup base packet at that, that we bought from a grocery store in Bangkok. It was surprisingly passable for the soup. I’m not sure if we can do it justice from scratch but your video has inspired me to give it a go. The fried noodles are a pretty important part of the dish for me too but the pork rinds seem like an interesting sub for simplicity. You threw me off with the meatballs though. πŸ˜€

    • retirebyforty May 10, 2020, 10:04 pm

      Good luck! I think you’ll like it. It’s better to make at home because you can keep changing it until it works for you.
      Originally, I was going to make beef khoa soi. However, I couldn’t find the right beef. So I added the meatballs instead. πŸ™‚

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