Laotian Khao Soi

Traditionally made with creamy coconut milk, this lighter, breakfast-style khao soi features a brightly flavored clear broth and fresh ribbons of zucchini.

Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
55 mins


  • 5 dried Thai chiles

  • 1 cup hot water

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil

  • 3 medium garlic cloves, smashed

  • 1 pound ground pork

  • 2 small plum tomatoes, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)

  • 1/4 cup soybean paste (such as Healthy Boy)

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (such as Red Boat), divided

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro

  • 8 cups lower-sodium chicken broth

  • 14 ounces uncooked dried 1/8-inch-wide banh pho rice stick noodles

  • 2 cups zucchini ribbons (shaved using a Y-shaped peeler, avoiding and discarding squash seeds) (optional)

  • 2 cups shredded napa cabbage (optional)

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

  • Black pepper, for garnish

  • Lime wedges, for serving


  1. Wearing gloves, crumble Thai chiles into a medium-size heatproof bowl. Add 1 cup hot water; let stand 15 minutes. Drain chiles; discard liquid. Process chiles, oil, and garlic in a mini food processor until chiles are very finely chopped, about 30 seconds, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed.

  2. Heat a large skillet over medium. Add chile mixture; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add pork; cook, stirring occasionally to break pork into small pieces, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, soybean paste, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, sugar, and paprika. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes break down, 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has reduced and pork is coated with sauce, 8 to 10 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, separate cilantro stems from leaves; tie stems together with kitchen twine. Chop leaves to yield about 1/2 cup; set aside for garnish. Stir together chicken broth, cilantro stems, and remaining 1 tablespoon fish sauce in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium. Uncover; remove and discard cilantro stems. Cover broth; keep warm over medium-low.

  4. Prepare rice noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles, and divide evenly among 8 serving bowls (about 2/3 cup each). If using, add zucchini ribbons and cabbage to hot broth; cook over medium-low until just tender, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Using tongs or a spider, remove vegetables from broth, and divide evenly among serving bowls (about 1/2 cup each). Top each bowl with about 1/4 cup pork mixture and 1 cup hot broth. Sprinkle bowls evenly with mint and reserved chopped cilantro. Garnish with black pepper, and serve with lime wedges.

    Laotian Khao Soi Recipe
    The Ingalls

Make Ahead

Noodles can be cooked up to 4 hours in advance and held in cold water. Broth can be made up to 4 hours in advance. Pork mixture can be cooked and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 3 days ahead.


Shop for Thai chiles, soybean paste, and banh pho noodles at your local Asian market.

Related Articles