This Burmese Khao Suey Noodle Soup is filled with warm, rich flavors, plenty of spice, and noodles that go on forever. There’s nothing quite like a hearty bowl of Khao Suey. This is the kind of soup I like to come home to after a hard day. It’s rich, and delicious, and the best part is loading it with all the tasty garnishes. Also called Burmese Noodle Soup, this is comfort food at its finest.
Popular throughout India and Pakistan, Khao Suey Soup (also spelled Khow Suey) looks much harder to make than it is. You don’t need any fancy ingredients or equipment and believe me when I tell you that the most challenging part of making this soup is making the flavor-packed paste, but your food processor will make short work of that.
The best part of this soup is smelling it cooking. There’s nothing quite like the fantastic aroma of the spices and aromatics, and if anyone walks into the room, they’ll know what’s for supper.
What You Need To Make This Burmese Khow Suey Recipe
- Chicken thighs – use boneless and skinless chicken thighs to cut down on your prep.
- Noodles – your favorite noodles work or make this khow suey soup recipe gluten-free with shirataki noodles.
- Ginger – fresh ginger adds so much flavor!
- Garlic – a little goes a long way in this soup.
- Red onions – shallots will also work.
- Thai Bird’s Eye chilies – these chilies are extremely hot! Use them with caution.
- Coriander stems – these add so much flavor!
- Turmeric powder – gives the soup its lovely color.
- Coriander powder – another flavor booster!.
- Vegetable oil – your favorite oil will suffice.
- Coconut milk – you’ll need an entire can for this recipe.
- Chickpea flour – this will help thicken the soup slightly.
- Chicken broth – use low or no-sodium added to control the sodium.
- Fish sauce – a little goes a long way!
- Lime juice – that bit of acidity transforms this Khao suey recipe.
A Word On The Noodles
This soup is humble and forgiving, and you can use whatever noodles you have on hand in the pantry. Some of my top picks are thin spaghetti noodles, fettuccini, and rice noodles. You can also make this a gluten-free Khao Suey recipe by using rice noodles, or make it a low-carb Khao Suey by using shirataki or zucchini noodles instead. Whichever you pick, cook them first and keep them on the al dente side to not overcook in the hot broth.
How to Make Khao Suey Noodle Soup
- Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package and set them aside.
- Meanwhile, make the khao suey paste by grinding the ginger, garlic, onions, chillies, coriander stems, turmeric and coriander powders in a food processor. Get it as smooth as you can.
- Cook the chicken. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a wok and stir fry the chicken strips in batches. Set them aside.
- Wipe out the wok with a paper towel and heat another tablespoon of oil. Add the curry paste and fry on low until it is well-cooked. The oil will start to separate from the paste – this is OK!
- In a small bowl, whisk the chickpea flour in a few tablespoons of coconut milk to make a smooth slurry.
- Add the chicken broth and coconut milk to the wok, and using a whisk, whisk in the chickpea flour slurry.
- Add the chicken and any juices to the wok, and simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.
- Season with lime juice and fish sauce and add salt to taste.
- Place a portion of noodles into a bowl and ladle the hot soup over it. Add your favourite garnishes and dig in!
How To Garnish This Khao Suey Soup Recipe
The garnishes are the best part! I love putting out a variety of garnishes in small bowls on the table, letting my family mix and match to create their perfect soup. This is just how they’d serve it if you went to a restaurant and ordered it. My favorite garnishes include:
- Coriander leaves
- Boiled eggs
- Fried onions – or thinly sliced raw onions
- Lemon slices
- Spring onions – green parts only
- Chillies – sliced thinly, for those who like more heat
How to Store Burmese Khao Suey
This soup keeps well in the fridge for several days; just make sure you store the noodles separately, so they don’t absorb the broth from the soup.
Put the cooled soup into an airtight container, and it’ll keep fine for 3-4 days. It tastes even better heated up the next day!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make vegetarian Khao Suey Soup?
Yes, you can. Swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth, and instead of chicken, you can add carrots, mushrooms, corn, or your favorite vegetables.
Is Khow Suey gluten-free?
Yes! It can be! The thickener in this recipe is naturally gluten-free chickpea flour. Use your favorite gluten-free noodles to make this Khao Suey recipe gluten-free.
How to pronounce Khao Suey?
You pronounce it like “cow sway.” Say it like this, and you’ll sound like a native!
If you love Asian-style noodle soups you may like our Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup too.
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Burmese Khao Suey
- Wok or Deep Frying Pan
- Saucepan to boil noodles
- 500 g Chicken Thigh cut in thin strips
- 200 g Noodles or 4 individual packs of Shirataki
Khau Suey Paste
- 1 Tbsp Ginger / Galangal paste
- 1 Tbsp Garlic paste
- 0.5 Cup Red Onions / Shallots sliced thin
- 4 nos. Thai Bird's Eye Chillies (see note) diced
- 1 Cup Corriander Stems diced
- 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 2 tsp Corriander Powder
For the Soup
- 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 Can Coconut Milk 400 mL / 14 oz
- 2 Tbsp Chickpea Flour
- 2 Cups Chicken Broth
- 1 tsp Fish Sauce
- 1 whole Lime Juice
- Salt to taste
- Corriander leaves
- Boiled Eggs
- Fried Onions (or thin sliced raw )
- Lemon Slices
- Spring Onion (greens only)
- Fresh Chillies , sliced
- Sambal (optional)
- Boil noodles as per instructions and set aside.
- The paste – Grind all ingredients listed under paste in a food processor or grinder. Make this paste as smooth as possible.
- Chicken – Heat 1 tbsp oil in the wok and stir fry chicken strips in batches. Keep aside. See note # 1
- Wipe the wok or frying pan and put another TBSP of oil.
- Add curry paste and fry on low till cooked well. At this point the oil begins to separate from the paste. See note #2
- Whisk chickpea flour in a few table spoons of coconut milk or broth so that it is a smooth paste with no lumpy bits.
- Add chickpea mix, chicken broth and coconut milk to the wok and stir well.
- Add stir-fried chicken strips to the mix.
- Simmer for about 10 minutes so that the soup gets fragrant.
- Add fish sauce, lime juice.
- Adjust salt to taste if required.
- Serve garnishes in separate smaller plates or bowls.
- Add noodles to a bowl
- Ladle soup over it
- Add garnish and serve hot.