Laotian coconut noodle soup called khao poon is light and delicious.
The noodles are typically vermicelli and the broth is made from chicken with coconut milk, tomatoes and infused with the flavor of lemongrass. The broth could also be made from other meat aside from chicken, but we used a whole chicken for this recipe.
Served with the chicken meat, and an assortment of fresh greens, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and bean sprouts makes for a lovely presentation. Often soups in Laos are served with fish sauce, chili, and sugar and salt on the side so you can add the flavors you like best.
A lovely soup for any occasion.
Laotian Coconut Noodle Soup (Khao Poon)
- 1 whole chicken cut into large pieces
- 1 lemongrass stalk (chopped into about 4 pieces)
- pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons red curry paste
- 1/2 can coconut milk
- 3 large tomatoes
- 1/2 can sliced bamboo shoots rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce or to taste
- To serve with the soup:
- meat from the boiled chicken
- baby bok choy
- bean sprouts
- shredded cabbage
- chopped green onions
- 1 package vermicelli noodles
- In a large stock pot add the chicken pieces in the pot cover it with water (about 8 cups or so) and add in the lemongrass and a couple pinches of salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the meat is tender and falling off the bone. (about 45 minutes to 1 hour)
- Remove the chicken from the pot and debone and shred the chicken into pieces. Put the bones back into the pot of broth.
- In another pan with a touch of oil, fry the red curry paste for a minute or two. You can add more or less paste based on your heat tolerance, Add 1/2 can of coconut milk to the pan, make sure you shake and stir the can first. Combine together the curry paste and coconut milk and bring to just the beginning of a boil and then remove from heat.
- In the pot of chicken broth, add in the red curry mixture and bring to a boil.
- Add in the tomatoes and bring to a boil again.
- Add in the fish sauce and reduce heat to a simmer for about 15 minutes
- Put on a pot of water and cook the vermicelli noodles according to package directions
- Set aside and put noodles in bowl.
- Remove and throw away the bones and lemongrass from the stock pot
- Adjust the seasonings to taste and ladle broth over the noodles
- Serve with the chicken meat, greens, mushrooms, bean sprouts, cilantro, etc.