This popular Burmese chicken coconut soup features noodles doused in a mild curry sauce with a consistency that’s somewhere between soup and gravy. Topped with different accompaniments of contrasting textures and flavors, it’s a one-dish meal that’s perfect for everyday eating and when entertaining guests. Grandma Alvina Mangrai likes to eat it with egg noodles, but you can use rice vermicelli too.–Patricia Tanumihardja
LC Sipping and Slurping Decorum Note
Seeking some sipping and slurping decorum? Pass the soup spoon as well as the chopsticks.
Chicken Coconut Noodle Soup Recipe
Hands-On Time: 1 hour | Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes | Serves 6 to 8
- For the chicken noodle soup
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped (1 tablespoon)
- 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (2 tablespoons)
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped (2 cups)
- 2 teaspoons ground paprika
- Three 13 1/2-ounce cans coconut milk (5 cups)
- 7 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour, whisked into 1/2 cup warm water to make a smooth, runny paste
- 2 pounds fresh or 1 pound dried thin Chinese egg noodles (like chow mein noodles)
- 6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 4 tablespoons ground dried red chilies, pan-roasted until dark and fragrant
- 1 large sweet onion, halved, cut into thin crescents, and soaked in water
- 2 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
- 1 cup cilantro sprigs
- 3 limes, quartered
- Fish sauce
- Make the chicken noodle soup
- 1. In a medium bowl, combine the fish sauce, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and turmeric. Add the chicken and mix well with your hands (use gloves to prevent your nails from being stained ochre by the turmeric). Set aside.
- 2. In a medium heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it becomes runny and starts to shimmer. Stir in the onions and cook until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the paprika and mix until the onions are well coated.
- 3. Tumble in the chicken and raise the heat to medium-high. Stir and cook until the chicken is no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk and stock and bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from curdling. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer gently for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
- 4. Stir in the garbanzo bean flour paste and return to a boil. Simmer over medium-low heat until the sauce is thick like heavy cream, 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust the consistency with more stock for a thinner gravy or more garbanzo bean flour for a thicker gravy. Taste and add more fish or soy sauce if necessary. Reduce the heat to very low and keep warm until ready to serve.
- Serve the chicken coconut soup
- 5. Just before serving the soup, cook the noodles in a large pot of water according to package directions. Tip into a colander over the sink and rinse under cold running water. Drain and place in a bowl. Toss in a little oil to prevent sticking.
- 6. Divide the noodles among individual soup bowls and ladle about 1 1/2 cups sauce over them. Garnish with eggs, chilies, onions, cilantro, limes, and fish sauce as desired.
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Chicken Coconut Noodle Soup Recipe © 2009 Patricia Tanumihardja. Photo © 2009 Yue Edwards. All rights reserved.