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The perfect khao soi crispy noodles


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6 replies to this topic

#1 seabream

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 10:22 PM

I am searching to make the perfect khao soi crispy noodles at home.

Today I made my first attempt, where I deep-fried uncooked dried Chinese-style thin egg noodles (the thickness of spaghetti). It wasn't great - the noodles were too hard, like raw dried spaghetti but even harder.

Here in Seattle there's a restaurant (called "Little Uncle") that makes a fabulous khao soi where the crispy noodles on top are light and airy, crispy and puffed-up. They are amazing. I would like to achieve something similar at home, and I'm looking for any suggestions of things to try.

I am wondering if I'm supposed to boil the pasta before deep-frying. Or maybe par-boil it?
I am also wondering if I should be using thicker noodles if I want them to puff up, maybe similar to linguine thickness?

Any ideas are welcome!

#2 seabream

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 10:35 PM

Or should I be using fresh noodles?

#3 KennethT

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 05:50 AM

Use fresh wheat noodles (like fresh linguine) - fry in 375-380F oil... this is the traditional method and works great. If you want more of a puffed noodle (not traditional, but still tasty) you have to go through a bunch of steps...

1) Boil the noodles until it is way overdone and almost falling apart.
2) Gently transfer to a rack and dehydrate until plastic-y - like a shrinky-dink
3) Fry a few at a time in 375-380F oil - should puff very quickly after hitting the oil

Edited by KennethT, 25 October 2012 - 05:54 AM.


#4 mkayahara

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 07:21 AM

Or should I be using fresh noodles?

Yes.
Matthew Kayahara
Kayahara.ca
@mtkayahara

#5 seabream

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 11:21 AM

Thank you for the great replies! I am intrigued by the puffed noodles - step 2 requires a dehydrator, rigth?

What should I be looking for in the package when I buy these noodles?
Are they distintly Asian, or could I make fresh Italian-style pasta (eggs, all purpose flour, water) at home and fry it? I don't have a pasta cutter for linguine, but could make spaghetti.

#6 KennethT

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 02:28 PM

Step 2 can be done in a dehydrator, but definitely doesn't require one. You can use a very low oven instead. Since I don't have a dehydrator, and I only have a crappy gas oven, I set it to the lowest it will go, then prop the door open a bit with the handle of a wooden spoon - this keeps it about 140-150F which is good.

When I make it at home, I just buy the prepackaged Italian fresh pasta in the grocery store. I took a cooking class in Chiang Mai and specifically asked to do Khao Soi, and my teacher used fresh noodles that looked like it had some kind of italian label on it... but the writing was in Thai... but there was an Italian flag... go figure... in the end, I don't think it matters that much, she just said to use a fresh wheat noodle. It's not like a Chinese lo mein noodle though... more like the Italian.

BTW - if you want to make your own fresh pasta, you can definitely do that... don't worry about having the proper cutter - once you roll it to the proper thickness, you can cut the linguine or whatever you want to call it with a knife rather than using the cutter.

Edited by KennethT, 25 October 2012 - 02:29 PM.


#7 seabream

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 09:41 PM

Great info. Thanks so much!
Have lots to try, now I need to plan another khao soi dinner.