Khao Soy Gai (serves 4)
Recipe courtesy: Chef Hong Thaimee
For Khao Soy Paste:
2-3 shallots, peeled
2-inch piece ginger, peeled
7 dried long Thai chilies
1 teaspoon sea salt
1.5 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted
2 black cardamom pods, toasted
1 tablespoon chopped fresh turmeric
For chili oil:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons Thai red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
For the soup:
6 cups fresh egg noodles (available in the chiller section of Fairprice Finest and at Golden Mile complex)
4 cans coconut milk
1 liter plus 3 tablespoons coconut oil or vegetable oil
4 chicken thighs
1/2 cup Tiparos fish sauce
1/2 cup palm sugar
2-3 tablespoons pickled mustard
2-3 tablespoons thinly sliced shallots
To make Khao Soy Paste:
1. Preheat your oven to 200ºC. Wrap shallots and ginger together in foil and roast in the oven for 10 minutes, or until softened. Open the foil and let them cool.
2. Place dried chilies in a bowl full of warm water for 15 minutes. Using gloves, squeeze out excess water and place in a stone mortar. Add shallots, ginger, salt, coriander, cardamom and turmeric; bash with a pestle into a smooth paste. Alternatively, place all ingredients in a food processor with 1 cup coconut milk and process until smooth.
To make chili oil:
Over medium flame, heat oil in a small skillet. Add chili powder and salt and stir for about 2 minutes until salt dissolves. Place in a small serving bowl and set aside.
To make soup:
1. Place fresh egg noodles in a large baking tray and pull them apart so they don’t stick together in the pot. Divide the noodles into a 4-cup portion and a 2-cup portion.
2. In a large saucepan, bring 3 liters of water to a boil on high heat. Add 4 cups of noodles and cook for about 4 minutes until softened (or as per instructions on the pack). Drain noodles and rinse with cold water immediately. Drain well, then toss in 3 tablespoons oil to keep noodles from sticking. Set aside.
3. Open a can of coconut milk and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes. Once coconut cream rises, skim 2 tablespoons of cream from the top of the can and set aside.
4. In a medium saucepan, combine khao soy paste with 2 tablespoons coconut cream and stir for about 3 minutes on medium flame until the color intensifies to a bright yellow.
5. Place chicken thighs on the paste, skin side down and let the skin brown for about 3 minutes. Add the remaining coconut milk and bring to a boil. Add fish sauce and sugar, reduce heat and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes until chicken cooks through and sauce thickens.
6. While the chicken is cooking, split the remaining 2-cups of noodles to form 1/2 cup sized nests. Heat the remaining 1 liter oil in a sauce pan deep enough to cover the noodles completely when frying. Heat the oil on medium-high flame until it reaches 180ºC. Add the 4 nests of noodles separately in the pan and fry for 3-4 minutes until crispy golden. Remove on paper towels to drain excess oil.
Spoon some boiled noodles in each of the four serving bowls, top with a large ladleful of curry sauce followed by chicken. Garnish with a nest of fried noodles. Serve hot with chili oil, pickled mustard, lime wedges and thinly sliced shallots.