Laos Chicken Khao Poun Soup

Khao Poun Soup

I can't say that I have one favorite food because I LOVE soooo many. But one of my favorite types of food is without a doubt anything Asian, like Thai, Vietnamese, Laotian, Chinese, Japanese and probably more I've yet to discover.  So when I was introduced to Sticky Rice Cafe in Knoxville, TN I was instantly hooked. 

Sticky Rice is a Laotian family owned restaurant.  All the recipes are made from scratch and created by the grandmother who also grows her own secret, hybrid red chili peppers (yeah, it's the real deal).  I am not, nor would I ever try to compete with that but this soup recipe is really, really, really, really close. :)  On the menu, it's called Kow Poon and I highly recommend you try it.  If you're not in Knoxville, this recipe will give your taste buds a good sampling of what you're missing. 

Khao Poun can be made many different ways using a multitude of ingredient combinations. This version would fall under the "quick and easy" category, but I promise you it doesn't sacrifice flavor.  

*Note* It's spicy. Like very spicy. You can tone it down with less red curry paste or by adding more coconut milk but then you lose the flavor. I recommend just keep eating, yes, it's hot but after you take a few bites it levels out. 

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 40 Minutes
Important - ingredients matter, especially the curry paste since that's where most of the flavor comes from. If you have an international market look there first. That's where I got most of my ingredients (other than the chicken broth, b/c I already have a pantry full of it) if not there I found the curry paste on Amazon (because they really do have everything).

Stuff you'll need:

Khao Poun

1 large chicken breast - sliced very thin
1 (5oz) can sliced bamboo shoots - well drained
2-3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, grated
2.5 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
1 tablespoon ginger grated
4 cups (or 1  32oz carton) chicken broth
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1 cup water
1 lime sliced into wedges
1 (16oz package) fresh rice noodles

Optional garnish combinations: Fresh chopped cilantro, julienne carrot, sliced green onion, finely sliced cabbage and/or sliced red or green chilies

How to make it:

In a large pot, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add thinly sliced chicken and cook until there is no pink. Add drained bamboo shoots and stir to combine. Add garlic, ginger and curry paste, stir well and sauté for a couple minutes until fragrant. Pour in the broth, coconut milk, and water. Bring to a boil.

Rice Noodles: In a separate pot bring about 4 cups of water to boil. Add fresh rice noodles, stir to loosen up and remove after 2-3 minutes. 

Serving: Place a portion of noodles in the bottom of a deep bowl. Pour soup over the noodles. Serve lime wedges on the side to squeeze on top. Add optional garnishes and serve immediately. 

 

Process Pix:

Thin sliced chicken

Thin sliced chicken

Chicken mixed with curry paste, garlic and ginger

Chicken mixed with curry paste, garlic and ginger

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