Discover the magic of authentic Kao Soi paste by making your own homemade version! This easy recipe will take your dishes to the next level, giving you the true taste of Chiang Mai right in your own kitchen.
Use this homemade curry paste to make my authentic Khao Soi curry chicken here!
Check out other homemade Thai curry pastes with the following recipes. Thai red curry paste, green curry paste, yellow curry paste, Massaman curry paste, Penang curry paste, Choo Chee paste, and Prik Khing paste.
Why make your own curry paste
- It's fresh! Homemade curry paste gives your khao soi recipe a fresh and elevated taste compared to store-bought pastes.
- Extra flavorful. The unique blend of aromatic Thai herbs and spices in khao soi adds an extra flavor to your curry, creating a fragrant aroma.
- No preservatives and chemicals added!
- The paste freezes very well! Keep your fresh paste in the freezer for up to 4 months!
What is Khao Soi (Chiang Mai Noodles)
Khao Soi is a delicious noodle dish that originates from northern Thailand, specifically from the city of Chiang Mai. It is a popular Thai dish known for its unique flavors and textures.
This spicy Thai coconut curry soup dish consists of soft egg noodles garnished with flavorful herbs that you can customize to your taste buds.
Khao Soi can be made with different types of proteins, but one of the most common variations is Khao Soi Gai, which uses chicken as the main ingredient.
The chicken is usually cooked in a flavorful chicken stock and creamy coconut milk and seasoned with soy sauce and fish sauce to enhance the taste.
Ingredients for Khao Soi Curry Paste
Visit your local Asian market to find these Khao soi curry paste ingredients.
- Dried red chilies. Use Thai red chilis. Remove the seeds for less heat. They must be soaked in water to soften up a bit before use.
- Salt. It will help season and preserve your paste.
- Garlic. Adds aroma and intense flavors to the paste.
- Shallot. Red onion is not recommended as a substitute.
- Fresh turmeric. Fresh turmeric can be hard to find. Use turmeric powder at half the amount of the fresh turmeric. Learn more about fresh Thai herbs here.
- Fresh ginger. Ginger is an essential ingredient in Khao Soi. It gives the recipe its unique flavor compared to other Thai curry pastes.
- Black cardamom pods. Crush the pods first and use only the seeds. Learn more about Thai spice here.
- Coriander seeds. Most Asian markets sell these as whole seeds. If unable to find it, use powder.
- Curry powder. Use a Japanese brand if possible, or use my yellow curry powder recipe here.
- Shrimp paste. Shrimp paste will add extra umami flavors to your homemade paste. Learn more about Thai ingredients here.
- Water. Water is used in the food processor to blend the ingredients. Oil can be used, but neural oil like avocado, canola, or vegetable oil can be used. Coconut oil is not recommended.
How to Make Khao Soi Curry Paste
1. Easy Method Using a food processor
If using this method, water is needed to help turn the blades.
1. Deseed and soak the dry noodles in warm water until soft.
2. Toast the turmeric, ginger, and shallot until fragrant. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
3. Toast the dry spices, remove from heat, and let cool.
4. In a small food processor, combine all the ingredients together and blitz until smooth. Done.
2. Traditional Method
If using mortar and pestle to make Kao Soi paste, skip the water.
1. Remove the seeds from the dried chili peppers. Soak in hot or warm water until soft. Chop them into 1-inch pieces.
2. Toast the fresh ginger, turmeric, and shallot in a pan. No oil is needed for this dry roasting. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
3. If using whole spices, also toast them in a pan. Once cooled, grind to powder using the mortar and pestle.
4. Start pounding 2-3 ingredients using the mortar and pestle. Starting with the peppers, salt, and garlic.
5. Add the toasted herbs (ginger, turmeric, and shallot) to the mortar. Pound until smooth.
6. Add the ground-up spices and curry powder, and blend the ingredients together with the pestle.
7. Add the shrimp paste and mesh into the paste until it is pestled. That's it!
Use your freshly made Kao Soi paste in my delicious Chicken Kao Soi curry!
Helpful Kitchen Tips
- Use kitchen gloves when handling the peppers.
- Use fresh ingredients for an authentic taste.
- Using powdered spices or herbs, use only half the amount required for the recipe as stated in the recipe card.
- Experiment with spice levels by adjusting the amount of chilis. Remove the seeds for less heat and vice versa.
Keep your homemade Kao Soi paste in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days and in the freezer for 3-4 months.
Helpful Kitchen Tools for This Recipe
Equip your kitchen with essentials like a food processor for smooth blending and a heavy-bottomed pot for crafting various Thai dishes.
More Thai Recipes to Try Now
- Thai red curry paste from scratch
- Learn about kaffir lime and find its substitutes.
- Thai chili garlic oil
- Homemade mustard greens
Frequently Asked Questions
Khao Soi Paste is typically made of dried red chilis, shallots, garlic, ginger, turmeric, shrimp paste, and other aromatic spices.
You can find ingredients to make Khao Soi Paste at Asian grocery stores or specialty food stores with Thai ingredients. You may also be able to find some of the ingredients online.
Use red curry, but add ground ginger and turmeric to replicate the unique flavor of khao soi. Adjust the quantities based on your taste preferences.
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