Discover the Ultimate Khao Soi Curry Noodles in Thailand!

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As a Thai food enthusiast, I have always been on the lookout for the ultimate Khao Soi curry noodles in my country. Khao Soi is a traditional northern Thai dish that originated from Chiang Mai, and it has a distinct flavor that perfectly encapsulates the essence of Thai cuisine. Over the years, I have explored countless restaurants and street vendors to find the most delicious Khao Soi that is worth the trip to Thailand just to savor it.

From its picturesque presentation of creamy yellow curry with crispy egg noodles on top, to its decadent layers of flavor that embody the northern region's ethnic roots, Khao Soi is a must-try dish for any food lover traveling to Thailand. It is a perfect representation of the rich cultural diversity and complex mix of flavors that make Thai cuisine such a unique experience.

In this blog post, I will share my personal journey of discovering the ultimate Khao Soi curry noodles in Thailand. I will take you through my experiences of exploring various cities and regions, tasting different types of Khao Soi, and meeting the passionate cooks behind this iconic dish. Whether you are a seasoned Thai food enthusiast or a curious traveler, this post will guide you through a culinary adventure that will make you fall in love with Khao Soi and Thailand all over again.

The History of Khao Soi

If you're planning a trip to Thailand, you may have heard of a delicious noodle dish called Khao Soi. This Northern Thai delicacy is a must-try for anyone who loves spicy, savory, and creamy flavors. But what is Khao Soi, and where did it come from?

The history of Khao Soi is a bit shrouded in mystery, but some experts believe that it originated in the mountainous regions of Northern Thailand, where Burmese and Chinese influences are strong. The word "Khao Soi" actually means "cut rice" in Thai, which refers to the way the noodles are made. They're cut into shorter pieces than usual to make them easier to eat with a spoon.

Traditionally, Khao Soi is made with egg noodles that are boiled and then deep-fried until crispy. This creates a delightful contrast of textures when combined with the rich and spicy curry broth. The curry itself is made with a paste of chilies, shallots, garlic, and lemongrass, which is then simmered with coconut milk, chicken or beef, and spices like turmeric and coriander. The result is a dish that's both sweet and savory, with a kick of heat that lingers on your tongue.

Where to Find the Best Khao Soi in Chiang Mai

Now that you know a bit about the history and ingredients of Khao Soi, you might be wondering where to find the best version of this dish in Thailand. While Khao Soi is popular all over the country, it's especially beloved in the city of Chiang Mai, where many top restaurants and street vendors specialize in this dish.

One of the best places to try Khao Soi in Chiang Mai is at a street side restaurant called Khao Soi Khun Yai. This humble eatery has been serving up delicious bowls of Khao Soi for generations, using a secret family recipe that's been passed down through the years. The broth is thick and rich, with just the right amount of heat, while the chicken or beef is tender and flavorful. The crispy egg noodles on top give a satisfying crunch, and you can add extra chilies or lime juice to suit your taste.

Another great option for Khao Soi in Chiang Mai is Huen Phen, a restaurant that's been around since the 1950s. Here, you'll find a slightly sweeter version of Khao Soi that's still packed with smoky, earthy flavors. The portion sizes are generous, so you might want to share a bowl if you're not too hungry. Huen Phen is also known for its crispy pork belly and other Northern Thai specialties, so it's a great spot to try multiple dishes.

For a more upscale take on Khao Soi, head to Dash! Teak House, a stylish restaurant that combines traditional Thai design elements with modern touches. Here, the Khao Soi is served with plump prawns rather than chicken or beef, and the curry broth is thickened with macadamia nuts for extra creaminess. The dish is presented beautifully, with bright green herb oil drizzled on top, and you can wash it down with a craft beer or creative cocktail.

How to Make Khao Soi at Home

If you're feeling adventurous, you might want to try making your own Khao Soi at home. While it can be a bit labor-intensive, the end result is well worth it. Here's a basic recipe to get you started:


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or beef stew meat
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
  • 2 cups chicken or beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces egg noodles
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Optional toppings: Fried shallots, cilantro, lime wedges, sliced red onion, sliced pickled cabbage, Thai chili sauce


  1. Begin by deep-frying the egg noodles until crispy. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.
  2. In a large pot or dutch oven, brown the chicken or beef over medium heat. Remove from pot and set aside.
  3. In the same pot, add the curry paste and curry powder, and stir until fragrant.
  4. Add the coconut milk, broth, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, tamarind, and lime juice, and bring to a simmer.
  5. Return the chicken or beef to the pot and let simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the meat is tender and the flavors are well combined.
  6. Cook the egg noodles according to package instructions, then portion them into bowls.
  7. Ladle the curry over the noodles, and top with the crispy egg noodles, fried shallots, cilantro, lime wedges, red onions, pickled cabbage, or chili sauce as desired.

Tips for Ordering Khao Soi like a Local

If you're dining out in Thailand and want to order Khao Soi like a local, here are a few tips:

  • Specify whether you want chicken or beef in your Khao Soi. Both are delicious, so it's up to your personal taste.
  • Ask for extra chilies if you like your food spicy. Most places will provide a small dish on the side with sliced chilies in vinegar.
  • Try adding lime juice to your Khao Soi. This helps balance out the sweetness and richness of the curry.
  • Use a spoon and a fork to eat your Khao Soi. The fork is for twirling the noodles, while the spoon is for catching the broth.
  • Don't be afraid to slurp! It's considered polite in Thailand to slurp your noodles, as it shows that you're enjoying the dish.

Conclusion: Why Khao Soi should be on your must-try list in Thailand

In conclusion, Khao Soi is a delicious and distinctive dish that embodies the bold flavors and cultural mix of Northern Thailand. Whether you try it at a street food stall or a fancy restaurant, you'll be blown away by the depth of flavors and textures. If you have the chance to visit Thailand, make sure to put Khao Soi on your list of must-try foods!

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