Khao Poon Recipe

This spicy, fragrant, celebratory Laotian noodle soup is a one-pot-wonder that can be made using familiar pantry ingredients.
May 3, 2021, 11:00am
khao-poon-recipe

Servings: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes (plus 1 hour to soak the noodles)
Total time: 1 hour 

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
6-7 makrut lime leaves, crushed by hand
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped 
1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 3-inch pieces and smashed
1 (3-inch) piece galangal or ginger, (peeled if using ginger) thinly sliced
3 tablespoons red curry paste
2 (13.5-ounce|400 ml) cans coconut milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons padeak (unfiltered fish sauce) or shrimp paste, optional (if not add 1-2 tablespoons fish sauce, to taste)
½ cup|125 ml fish sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce, plus more to taste
6 whole dried chilies
1 (8-ounce|227 gram) can bamboo shoots, drained and chopped
1 pack vermicelli noodles, soaked in cold water for at least 1 hour
1 (5-ounce|142-gram) can tuna in water, drained 
12 quail eggs, hard boiled (optional)
½ small white or red cabbage (or a little bit of both!), cored and thinly sliced, then rinsed
1 bunch mint, leaves picked
1 medium carrot, julienned
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 bunch cilantro, leaves picked

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Make the stock: Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add the onion and cook until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the makrut lime leaves, garlic, lemongrass, and galangal and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the curry paste and cook 2 minutes, then add 2 cups|500 ml water. Stir in half of the coconut milk, the sugar, and shrimp paste. Bring to a boil over high, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, then stir in the fish sauce, oyster sauce, chilies, and bamboo shoots. Simmer for 10 minutes more, then add the remaining coconut milk. Season to taste and stir in the tuna and quail eggs, if using. 
  2. Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook 2 to 3 minutes, then drain and rinse under cold water. Roll noodles into four little bundles and set aside.
  3. To serve, divide noodles among four bowls. Toss the cabbage with the mint and carrot in a medium bowl. Add the broth to the noodles and garnish each with the cabbage-herb mixture, some scallions and cilantro. Enjoy the hell out of it.

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