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Austin

Battle of the Khao Soi

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SP what did you think taste wise? I didn't do Kosma's recipe because I thought it was wierd that it had dark soy sauce in it. I'd be interested in what you thought? Did anyone else try it? If so did they like it too? Will you be trying it again? Good job on making it your first time! :)

I loved it, tastewise. It tasted just like the many bowls I had in Thailand. (My husband ate it, too... he said the same thing. :smile: ) The dark soy is the carmelized kind, but not the thick-sweet soy, so it actually worked quite well. It wasn't really a perceptible flavor on its own.

I'm definitely going to make it again -- I love it too much not to eat it often, and there aren't any places around here that sell it. I may go for Pim's version next time, just to compare.


Anita Crotty travel writer & mexican-food addictwww.marriedwithdinner.com

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Scorched Palate: Good stuff, and welcome to the world of khao soi!

I was going to include a report on a brand new khao soi restaurant/stall near my house, but it seems to have folded... Guess people in Bangkok don't just understand good eats?

Austin

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Kao Soi for dinner here tonight. I wrote about it here.

gallery_6263_35_23543.jpg


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Very nice!!!!! Looks yummy! I haven't had beef in awhile... maybe thats the next one i'll do. I loved the ba mi you did too. One thing though it's a northern thai dish... ya said it was in phuket which is south. :)

Thanks. Fixed my mistake.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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I was making something else from Madhur Jaffrey's "From Curries to Kebabs: Recipes from the Indian Spice Trail" (one of the house favorites, I love her writing style and this book is fun, it's also been a great lesson in not being toooo dogmatic and judgemental about dish "purity", if Madhur can chuckle about Japanese curry, we can about "Singapore-style" rice noodles) and noticed that she has a Burmese sourced recipe for khao soi, it was just spelled so differently (khoaw sewy or something like that) then I was used to that I hadn't recognized it as such. I think we might try that one next, it involves roasted chilli powdered sprinkled on top and hard boiled duck eggs, and stories of eating in Burma and going to trendy khao soi parties in India.

I got the flu 2 weeks ago and the best part about it was that the partner made me khao soi with homemade mein and hum choy and a nice skinny free-range chicken. How spoiled am I? And no, he didn't use Pim or Kasma's recipe, but Sompon Nabnian's instead (sorry Rona). It was delicious, and I really liked how toasting the tumeric first changed its character. Sadly, we took no photos.

regards,

trillium

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I wrote an article about khao soi that is available at my site (download the PDF titled "Dish in a Bowl"). In it I mention the fact that the Thai word khao soi almost certainly comes from the Burmese word khauk hswe, which simply means "noodles". There is a Burmese dish (possibly of Shan origin) called ohn oh khauk hswe, "coconut noodles", which is very similar to the Thai version of khao soi, but without the spices. I reckon that ohn oh khauk hswe was introduced to northern Thailand by Muslim traders, who probably made the dish using the dried spices they traded and were so fond of.

Austin

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Austin, after reading your article, I'm thinking that the venison I foraged was not so far from the origins of the dish as seemed originally.

Let'e not mention that it was extremely satisfying.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Trillium, I'm pretty amazed that anyone with the flu could manage a bowl of kao soi! A nice plain congee yes, but .... rich coconut milk and chili paste?? :blink:

Here's two different kao sois we sampled in Chiang Mai. We found a really nice, but a more soupy, version in Phayao too. Northern Thailand is a kao soi lover's heaven!

The yellow noodles in kao soi suggest a Chinese influence ... the Muslim traders that plied the Golden Triangle were Chinese Hui, from Yunnan province. Anyone travelled in Xishuangbanna (Sipsong panna) who can weigh in on whether or not a kao soi-like dish made it north as well as east, from Burma?

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I was on the mend, actually, and in the sleeping 18 hours a day stage. And the first soup was tom yum, the khao soi was after I got my smell back. When I'm ill, I crave chilli paste, and added extra sambal to my bowl of khao soi. And you know, coconut milk is good for you and your immune system!

Curry noodle soups are pretty ubiquitous it seems, khao soi can seem awfully similar to some laksa versions too. Isn't kanom jiim supposed to have a Chinese trader connection too?

regards,

trillium

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What can I say ... you're a hardy soul. Hot and spicy is great when I've got a cold but when the stomach's involved ... I like congee best.

I think the Chinese connection for khanom jeen is because "jeen" sounds like the Thai word for Chinese -- but the tone is different for the two so it's really just a homonym. As far as I know the words kanom jeen come from the Mon words "khanawm jee" --- the first refers to threads of anything that are sticky and can clump together, and the second mean 'cooked'. So it may be that kanom jeen have a Mon origin.

Whatever, it's one of my favorite things to eat in Thailand! :rolleyes:

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ecr: I've been in Xishuangbanna and didn't notice any khao soi-like noodle dishes there, although of course that doesn't mean they don't exist!

And yes, you're right, despite what even many Thai people think, khanom jeen is Mon, not Chinese (incidentally though, the words are in fact pronounced with the same tone!). Although the noodles are made virtually everywhere in Thailand nowadays, the first time I ever witnessed it was in the predominately Mon town of Sangkhlaburi on the Thai-Burmese border. The fermented rice "mush" is squeezed through a seive (similar to a large garlic press) into boiling water. The noodles are then carefully removed from the water, gathered together, and stored in permeable baskets. Very interesting stuff...

Austin

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Ok, I've been lurking on this thread on and off, and yesterday I finally found some khao soi in Seattle. Yum! Oddly, it didn't come with shallots - it did have thin slices of chicken breast with the broth and noodles, then pickled mustard and crunchy noodles on top. Also possibly some peanuts, if I'm not mistaken. A little dish of lime, roasted chile paste, and a sprig of Thai basil came on the side. It was so rich that I thought I'd never eat it all, but lo and behold, the bowl was empty before I knew it.

Now I really want to make it, and am debating using a bought paste, or sucking it up and going looking for the fresh turmeric and galangal, which are the hard to find ingredients in my case. Anyway, thanks so much for introducing me to this treat!

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Now I really want to make it, and am debating using a bought paste, or sucking it up and going looking for the fresh turmeric and galangal, which are the hard to find ingredients in my case.

Make it fresh!! :)

Galangal you can find at Uwajimaya or Central Market, no sweat. Central Market sometimes has fresh turmeric; I don't think I ever saw it at Uwajimaya, but occasionally at the other asian markets up Jackson street.

Oh, and where did you find kao soi in Seattle??

~A


Anita Crotty travel writer & mexican-food addictwww.marriedwithdinner.com

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If you've got the time, make it fresh--it's fun. Otherwise the combination of red curry paste and plain old curry powder  is an "acceptable" substitute.

Austin

And if you are not living in an area where the ingredients to make fresh curry paste is it's more than "acceptable". :wink: Personally, it's a little more difficult for me to make curry paste from scratch in Iowa. I'm currently in San Francisco for spring break and I think if I lived here I would be more apt to do it. Great shopping in this area! If you do go the purchased curry paste route I suggest Mae Ploy brand in the plastic tubs. (It's more than you need but it does keep if well sealed in the fridge.) Like Snowangel I find the tubs have a better cleaner taste than the smaller tin can version. Either way I hope you make and enjoy your khao soi! Please let us know how it came out. :)

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Funny, the menu described it as yellow curry. If I used red and curry powder, would that be Indian or Japanese curry powder?

Uwajimaya does have fresh turmeric at times, and often galangal - it's just that it's a special trip to go there, so I'll have to wait a bit to make it fresh, and I already want more. I had it at Thaiku, Anita. I've never been there before, and landed yesterday because we didn't realize that Carta de Oaxaca wasn't open for lunch.

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Funny, the menu described it as yellow curry.  If I used red and curry powder, would that be Indian or Japanese curry powder?

Uwajimaya does have fresh turmeric at times, and often galangal - it's just that it's a special trip to go there, so I'll have to wait a bit to make it fresh, and I already want more.  I had it at Thaiku, Anita.  I've never been there before, and landed yesterday because we didn't realize that Carta de Oaxaca wasn't open for lunch.

indian curry powder.

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Funny, the menu described it as yellow curry.  If I used red and curry powder, would that be Indian or Japanese curry powder?

Uwajimaya does have fresh turmeric at times, and often galangal - it's just that it's a special trip to go there, so I'll have to wait a bit to make it fresh, and I already want more.  I had it at Thaiku, Anita.  I've never been there before, and landed yesterday because we didn't realize that Carta de Oaxaca wasn't open for lunch.

If you're at the store buying curry paste, OnigiriFB is right, buy the tubs, and if you're worried store them in the fridge, if you're not, a cool, dark place like a cupboard works fine. Anyway, when you're buying the paste, mien and pickled choy you might buy some SE Asian "Indian" curry powder, (there are brands from Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore etc., sometimes labelled "Madras" curry powder).

If you do make a paste, make more then you need, fry the leftover in coconut oil (I use the Spectrum brand from a health food store) and freeze it. Money in the bank and pre-frying it helps it stay fragrant and not bitter!

ecr, kanom jiin was one of my favorite things also, and I was partial to the green (really hot) versions. I like the regions where you soured it with lime more then the ones were you use green mango, but it's all good. And the communal eating was fun too.

regards,

trillium

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Now I really want to make it, and am debating using a bought paste, or sucking it up and going looking for the fresh turmeric and galangal, which are the hard to find ingredients in my case.

Make it fresh!! :)

Galangal you can find at Uwajimaya or Central Market, no sweat. Central Market sometimes has fresh turmeric; I don't think I ever saw it at Uwajimaya, but occasionally at the other asian markets up Jackson street.

Oh, and where did you find kao soi in Seattle??

~A

My husband and I made Khao Soi this past weekend - and we found almost everything we needed at Uwajimaya - including fresh tumeric and galangal.

Like Abra, we have had the Khao Soi at Thaiku. Except in our case, we go there specifically for Khao Soi and Mien Kham (feel free to correct my spelling...) and we go there fairly often. We made the curry paste in a mortar and pestle, and 3 days later our house still smells slightly of Khao Soi, which only makes me hungry for the stuff all over again.

As an aside, we had to go Viet Wah to get the leaves for the Mien Kham.


Robin Tyler McWaters

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trillium, IMO there's no better topping for kanom jeen than olive-green gaeng tai plaa (fish innards curry) -- super spicy, stinky, and delicious!

But probably not something I will attempt at home. :biggrin:

BTW I made kanom jeen nam ngiaw last week and found Japanese somen are a very acceptable substitute for kanom jeen noodles -- same diameter, and they clump in the same way after they cool down.


Edited by ecr (log)

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Thanks to becoming aware of khao soi in this thread, I tried a bowl at a local Thai restaurant in San Francisco (Marnee Thai, Irving St).

I loved it! What a combination of flavors. The served dish was inititally stingy on the condiments so we asked them for some more and they happily obliged. Thanks all, for opening my eyes to this dish; I will be making this at home sometime.


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Pulling this from the depths to ask a question... no pickled mustard greens available where I live, no luck finding a Canadian mail order source and fresh mustard greens to pickle myself aren't an option here either. Any suggestions for another green I can pickle that would make a viable, even if imperfect, substitute?


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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3 minutes ago, Tri2Cook said:

Pulling this from the depths to ask a question... no pickled mustard greens available where I live, no luck finding a Canadian mail order source and fresh mustard greens to pickle myself aren't an option here either. Any suggestions for another green I can pickle that would make a viable, even if imperfect, substitute?

Personally, I've always found that the overriding flavor of pickled mustard greens is the pickling itself... So maybe some type of cabbage?

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4 minutes ago, Tri2Cook said:

Pulling this from the depths to ask a question... no pickled mustard greens available where I live, no luck finding a Canadian mail order source and fresh mustard greens to pickle myself aren't an option here either. Any suggestions for another green I can pickle that would make a viable, even if imperfect, substitute?

 

I'd consider turnip greens or radish tops as both have a little bite. 

Collards or lacinato kale don't have the bite but have similar texture and should work.

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