Monday, March 11, 2013

Bon Appetit Cook the Cover: Chicken Khao Soi

Each month, Bon Appetit welcomes readers to Cook the Cover - prepare the dish featured on the magazine's current cover and submit a photo and review. The editors share the photos in a Cook the Cover Facebook album and feature their favorites on The Feed. This may be my new monthly challenge for myself. In the past, I've enjoyed participating in The Daring Kitchen's monthly Daring Bakers and Daring Cooks challenges, and French Fridays with Dorie, but I like new challenges - especially those that will help me improve my food styling and photography.

Bon Appetit's March cover features three bowls of Chicken Khao Soi, a northern Thai inspired soup. When craving Thai food, I usually go to a Thai restaurant rather than preparing it in my own kitchen. I have made variations of Thai chicken or shrimp curry at home, but don't think I've ever made my own curry paste. The Khao Soi paste in this recipe is simple to prepare and has wonderful depth of flavor. In the future, I will use this paste in chicken or shrimp curry recipes in place of a store-bought red curry paste. The toppings add more flavor and texture. I loved the crunch of the bean sprouts and tang of the lime juice (I might even add the juice of a lime directly to the soup when adding the fish sauce and brown sugar). For extra garnish and crunch, I threw on some chopped roasted peanuts. I didn't use chili oil, but that would have added some extra spice to the fairly mild soup. I also like the idea of crispy fried onions or shallots for next time.

Can't wait to see April's cover photo and recipe!

Cook the Cover!
Steelite Craft Collection Bowls and Platter

A simple curry paste gives this northern Thai-inspired soup surprising depth of flavor - Bon Appetit

Ingredients for the Khao Soi Paste

Chiles stemmed and seeded; softening in boiling water

Paste ingredients ready to puree

Vibrant chiles and spices

Khao Soi Paste

Garnishes - I also added some chopped peanuts.

Chicken Khao Soi
Bon Appetit, March 2013
Serves 6-8


Khao Soi Paste

4 large dried New Mexico or guajillo chiles, stemmed, halved, seeded
2 medium shallots, halved
8 garlic cloves
1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled, sliced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro stems
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon curry powder


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 14-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, halved lengthwise
1 pound Chinese egg noodles
3 tablespoons (or more) fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
1 tablespoon (packed) palm sugar or light brown sugar
Kosher salt
Sliced red onion, bean sprouts, cilantro sprigs, crispy fried onions or shallots, chili oil, and lime wedges (for serving)


Khao Soi Paste

Place chiles in a small heatproof bowl, add boiling water to cover, and let soak until softened, 25-30 minutes.

Drain chiles, reserving soaking liquid. Purée chiles, shallots, garlic, ginger, cilantro stems, coriander, turmeric, curry powder, and 2 tablespoons soaking liquid in a food processor (I used a Vita-Mix), adding more soaking liquid by tablespoonfuls, if needed (I needed about 6 tablespoons total), until smooth.


Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add khao soi paste; cook, stirring constantly, until slightly darkened, 4-6 minutes. Add coconut milk and broth. Bring to a boil; add chicken. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is fork-tender, 20-25 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Let cool slightly; shred meat.

Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions.

Add chicken, 3 tablespoons fish sauce, and sugar to soup. Season with salt or more fish sauce, if needed. Divide soup and noodles among bowls and serve with toppings.



HolliDe said...

How beautiful is this!?! I love the colors, the textures (those bowls are TDF!), and the almost step-by-step shots of your preparation. You can almost smell these shots! LOVE, Love, love this post and looking forward to seeing more from this new monthly challenge :)

Cher Rockwell said...

That is a beautiful looking soup - I did like this month's BA cover. It seemed very fresh.

Anonymous said...

That Soi paste looks great! I'd put that on everything! - Carmen

HolliDe said...

CONGRATS on the Bon Appétit feature! Your shot is truly the best :)