Like Arby’s Big Beef n’ Cheddar or Flamin’ Hot Munchies, I discovered this amazing dish while drunk. It was a few summers ago when I first discovered the true meaning of ‘Sunday Funday.’
For those of you who are neither gay nor borderline alcoholics, SF is a tired, over-used phrase that describes an all day drink-a-thon usually in the Spring/Summer months. It almost always involves a gaggle of gays being bitchy on a patio somewhere in cutoff shorts and tank tops.
This particular afternoon had all the key elements of a hot mess: jello shots, a trip to the emergency room and amateur striptease. Yes, all of those things are DIRECTLY related. Anyway, anyone who’s been drunk for an extended period of time knows that it almost always ends with
a trip to the emergency room food. Crazy, greasy, guilt-free food.
Upon my friend’s recommendation, we walked to an Asian restaurant that had the most amazing soup I’ve ever eaten. I made a slurred mental note to go back. Unfortunately, in the harsh, sober light of day, it looked more 2 parts restaurant 3 parts meth lab. Thankfully, I found THIS recipe. It’s easy, doesn’t use crazy, elusive Asian-market ingredients and tastes pretty darn authentic.
chicken khao soi soup adapted from bon appetit March 2013
khao soi paste
- 4 large dried guijillo (or New Mexico) chiles, stemmed, halved and seeded
- 2 medium shallots, halved
- 8 cloves of garlic
- 1 2″ piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
- 1/4 cup cilantro stems, chopped (about 1 bunch)
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 tablespoons vegetable (or canola) oil
- 2 14-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 pounds skinless chicken thighs
- 1 pound Chinese noodles*
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar, lightly packed
- kosher salt
- sliced red onion, bean sprouts, cilantro, Sriracha sauce, chili paste, and lime wedges, for serving
*Found in the Asian section of most grocery stores. The key ingredients are wheat flour and salt. Since they already contain salt, do not add salt like when cooking normal pasta. Most Chinese noodles cook al dente very quickly, within 5 minutes.
First make the khao soi paste. Place chiles in a small, heatproof bowl. Add boiling water, cover and soak for 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare other paste ingredients.Carefully remove the chiles and reserve the liquid. In a food processor, purée all paste ingredients and 4 tablespoons of reserved chile liquid. If needed, add additional chile liquid by the tablespoon until you get a smooth consistency.
For the soup, in a large, heavy pot over medium heat, heat the vegetable oil. Add the khao soi paste, and cook until slightly darkened, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.Add the coconut milk and broth. Bring the soup to a boil, add the chicken thighs, reduce heat, cover and simmer until chicken is cooked, about 20-25 minutes. Remove chicken, set on a plate to cool and, using two forks, shred the meat. Meanwhile, prepare the noodles according to packaging instructions.Return meat to the soup along with the fish sauce, brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Taste soup and add more fish sauce and/or kosher salt if needed.
Serve soup over noodles with garnishes of your choice.