Chiang Mai Curry Noodle Soup

8 Comments 08 February 2013

It seems I’m going curry crazy lately. I can’t get enough! I found this recipe while searching around online a few weeks ago and pinned it to remind myself of how awesome it sounded. In other words, Must Make it Very Soon. So glad I did. So. Glad. I made it this past weekend and since hubby’s been out of town, it’s been my dinner almost the entire week. Curry heaven, I have feasted at your table!

Also, this coming Sunday will be the Chinese New Year, aka the Lunar New Year. Why not whip this up to get in on the celebration? (We totally didn’t plan that. Remember- we don’t plan around here!)

Curry Chicken Noodle Soup-1

There’s a couple of the garnishes that I opted not to do, one being frying some of the cooked egg noodles. I also couldn’t get good cilantro last weekend. Who wants limp cilantro, eh? The recipe below, though, is the original so you can choose what you do and don’t want to do as well.

Curry Chicken Noodle Soup-3

Personally, this is the star of the soup. I loooove red curry paste. I used extra in this soup, about another tablespoon. It’s a very forgiving spice and not actually that hot at all, so feel free to add more or less to taste.

Curry Chicken Noodle Soup-2

I also decided to cook the chicken a little differently. Instead of cubing it up to cook in the soup pot, I put the chicken breasts in an oven-safe pan, sprinkled each with lemon pepper and salt and then rubbed on a little of the red curry paste that will go in the soup.

Curry Chicken Noodle Soup-4

Into the oven it went at 375 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. I shredded the meat with a couple of forks. I liked this method when making Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Tortilla Soup a couple of weeks ago. (That soup is killer good, too, by the way.)

Curry Chicken Noodle Soup-5

The soup begins by melding together a half cup of the thick, creamy stuff that’s at the top of the canned coconut milk, the curry spices and lots of yummy minced garlic. I knew right away upon seeing and smelling this divine mixture that this soup would be insanely good.

Curry Chicken Noodle Soup-6

At this point the shredded chicken goes in, or your uncooked cubed pieces if that’s the way you’re going.

Curry Chicken Noodle Soup-7

Also included is, originally, 1/4 cup of shredded green cabbage. Now, this soup makes a lot of delicious broth, so I upped that portion to half a cup. Next time I’m putting in a full cup of shredded cabbage. It gets nice and soft after only about ten minutes of simmering and seems more like thin-sliced onions after a while. I’d have enjoyed more of it in this soup.

Curry Chicken Noodle Soup-11

I can see this soup getting made on many a Sunday. It makes a ton and is just as good if not better leftover. The noodles are a nice addition, but it’s also really yummy over rice – an option I chose the rest of the week while enjoying said leftovers. I’m sure the garnishes I didn’t choose to make or couldn’t get at the store only improve it, but it’s also great merely sprinkled with a few sliced green onions. If you’re a fan of curries and Thai food in general, I really hope you give this a try – it’s new favorite for sure!

Chiang Mai Curry Noodle Soup

from Far East Cafe by Joyce Jue via

Prep Time: 20 minutes    Cook Time: 30 minutes     Level: Easy    Serves: 4

For the soup:

  • 1 pound fresh thin or regular Chinese egg noodles
  • Peanut or corn oil for deep-frying
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cans coconut milk, unshaken
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3/4 pound chopped chicken meat
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup shredded green cabbage
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  • 2 tablespoons fried shallot flakes
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 green (spring) onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges

Bring a large pot three-fourths full of water to a boil. Gently pull the strands of noodles apart, then drop them into the boiling water, stirring to separate the strands. Bring to a second boil and cook for 1 minute longer. Pour the noodles into a colander and rinse thoroughly with cold running water. Drain well, shaking off excess water.

Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches in a small saucepan and heat to 375 degrees on a deep-frying thermometer. Meanwhile, pat dry 1 cup of the cooked noodles with paper towels. When the oil is hot, add the noodles. Using a pair of long chopsticks or tongs, stir gently to separate the strands and fry until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Lift out the noodles and place on paper towels to drain. Remove the pan from the heat. Crumble the noodles into small chunks and set aside.

Measure out 2 tablespoons of the oil used to fry the noodles and place in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until browned, about 1 minute. Do not shake the cans of coconut milk before opening. There should be a thick layer of cream on top of each. Spoon off 1/2 cup of the thick cream from the top of each can and add it to the garlic. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, until the cream boils gently. Add the red curry paste, curry powder and turmeric and stir until smooth. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the mixture is thick and the oil begins to separate around the edges and rises to the surface, about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken, breaking it up into small pieces. Cook until the chicken becomes white, about 2 minutes. Raise the heat to high. Add the remaining coconut milk, the chicken stock, fish sauce, palm or brown sugar and cabbage and stir well. When the mixture begins to boil, adjust the heat to maintain a gentle boil and continue cooking for 8 minutes longer.

Divide the boiled noodles evenly among 6 warmed deep soup bowls. Stir the lemon juice into the hot soup and ladle equal amounts of the soup over the noodles. Garnish with the crumbled fried noodles, fried shallots, cilantro and green onions. Place a lemon wedge on top of each serving and serve hot.


Don’t be turned off by the long list of ingredients. As long as you can get the chicken, red curry paste and other spices, coconut milk, broth and noodles or rice you’re still going to be able to make a really wonderful soup from this recipe. I pretty much just cooked the chicken as mentioned above and then started at the third paragraph in the recipe, where you’d begin cooking the garlic. I used olive oil since I had not fried up any of the noodles.

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- who has written 347 posts on Full Fork Ahead.

Wife, mom, indulgent reader and Day Job Do-er, who occasionally likes to think she can cook. Sometimes she's right, sometimes she's wrong.

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8 Comments so far

  1. Natasha A. says:

    OMG NOM! Making this tonight I think! I’m going to possibly see about maybe doing a ground chicken instead of the chicken breasts….
    I’m so drooling right now!

    • KMont says:

      Natasha, hope you enjoyed it! I’m so jealous cuz every time I look at this recipe now I want it. Immediately! 😀

      • Natasha A. says:

        I’m just waiting for my dishwasher to finish, then this and stew are being made for the week! NOM! I’ve been craving Thai food like crazy!

  2. Pat Brown says:

    Oh Susan, I think this soup looks incredible..I am not sure about red curry powder. I like Indian food, is it like that?
    I cannot get over how wonderful this soup looks.. i so enjoy your cooking blog and the photos are amazing. all the guess work is gone. To be able to see th images is great..You are our own Pioneer Woman..

    • KMont says:

      Pat, thank you for your compliments! That is so sweet of you, especially since I am forever in awe of Pioneer Woman’s step-by-step photos. There are sop many lol! I can’t imagine the patience it takes her to do those.

      As for the red curry paste, I suppose it depends on what way you’re wondering if it’s like Indian. Indian in my experience tends to be on the much spicier side, as in, my mouth’s gonna need ALL your water, thanks very much. I like spicy, but I prefer my tongue still want to be involved with me after. Red curry paste is not spicy. It’s more of a pleasant warmth, but I think I have a lower tolerance for spicy foods and people who love to be set on fire by their food probably feel it’s not at all spicy, not warm even. To me, it’s warm, though. Just enough. Hope that helps! If it does, and you want it spicier? Feel free to add more red curry. To be safe, though, maybe ease it in slowly, taste test and then add more if you want more.

  3. Natasha A. says:

    So…. making this AGAIN this week!! I already can’t wait to devour it!


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