Coconut Curry Noodle Soup (Ka Poon/Khao Poon)

Cheers to this crazy good noodle soup!

If you ever had this dish you would know how phenomenal it tastes. South East Asians has many variations on a curry noodle soup, but this dish was originated from Laos. It has a rich broth that consists of spice, a little bit of sweetness, and savory buttery thickness from coconut milk. The combinations used in this dish is unbelievably good.

I can not say that I grew up eating this dish as a kid, because I really didn’t. So how did I hear about this dish?

I stumbled across this dish when I was a teenager at some random lady’s house. Excuse me? You said what now?! Yes I know, I would’ve never approved of my kids doing that (practice stranger danger please because little ole me sure didn’t think twice about it.) My friends brought me to a woman selling food from her house, which we called “The Noodle House”

It was an experience I never would forget.

We got there, sat down at her dining room table, and my friends ordered for me. She brought out the bowl of noodles in less than 5 minutes and pointed to the condiments sitting in-front of us. I had no clue what was going on but still didn’t question it.

My first real impression of the soup? I was still lost.

The taste wasn’t what I was expecting at all. It was good, but I never had soup with coconut milk in it so I sat there still puzzled. Maybe it was because I was sitting in a strangers house eating a bowl of noodles that made me feel so off? Who knows? But I kept eating the noodles because I was starving! What surprised me was that each bite grew on me. Ka Poon is a very unique noodle dish that has so many layers of flavor it might confuse others. Let me tell you.. the flavors WORK SO WELL TOGETHER!

I couldn’t stop thinking about “The Noodle House”.

I went back multiple times and even to others that started having their own noodle house. It was an amazing experience for me, maybe not the safest but it was still something I’d never forget. I’m sure I don’t have to explain why those aren’t around anymore, but I was pretty bummed out when it ended. My teenage years of going to a “stranger’s house” turned into a new thing for my friends and I. I knew I couldn’t keep going to my friend’s house to eat it, so I knew I had to learn how to make it myself.

Let me show you MY take on this delicious meal!

It probably took me years and years to make it the way I like it. Everyone has their own thoughts and opinions on how they make and like Ka Poon. This may not be considered traditional to others, but it sure does satisfy my families taste buds! Thats all that matters to me. So let’s get cooking food family!

Notes:

I am currently limited to a lot of the ingredients I normally would use. So I did put in what would normally be used and substitutions in this dish. I also provided links for some hard to find items.

Tools:

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Ingredients for soup:

  • 22 cups of water
  • 3 pounds of chicken (I suggest using chicken with bones)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large galangal (substitute with ginger root or ginger)
  • 8 kaffir lime leaves (substitute with 1 lime peel)
  • 4 stalks of lemon grass, bruised at the end (only use the tender part of the lemon grass)
  • 5 tbsp chicken granulate
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp MSG (optional) (What is this?)

Ingredients for curry:

Additional items:

Makes approximately 4-6 large bowls

Directions:

  1. Cook noodles with a tbsp of cooking oil until al dente. Drain noodles and place it back in a pot and add cold water until it is cool enough to touch. Grab a handful of noodles and wrap it around your hand squeezing out any excess water. REPEAT steps until there is no more noodles. You want to place it in layers to prevent noodles from sticking.
  2. Boil chicken in a pot for 15 minutes to let the scum rise to the top. Pour out the water and rinse off the chicken. In a large pot, add 22 cups of water, clean chicken, 1 large onion, galangal (sub with ginger), kaffir lime leaves (sub with lime peel), and lemon grass(not in photo). Bring pot to a boil then reduce it to medium-low heat until chicken is done.

3. When the chicken is done, smash chicken with a mortar and pestle to shred. Or if you don’t have one, just shred it with 2 forks. Set chicken on the side. If you have any bones, place bones back in the soup pot. This will add more flavor to the broth.

4. In a separate pot, heat 2 tbsp oil on medium – high heat. Add chopped garlic, lemon grass, and shallots. Stir fry until fragrant. This will take 1-2 minutes. Be careful not to burn it.

5. Add in coconut MILK, red curry paste and shrimp paste. Let it come to a simmer. You want the oil to separate from the coconut milk.

6. After the oil separated from the coconut milk, add bamboo shoots, chicken pieces, and additional seasoning. (Chicken granulate, MSG, oyster sauce, and sugar. Stir fry together to coat everything evenly.

7. On high heat, pour in the coconut CREAM and let the curry sauce come to a boil. Reduce the heat back down to let it come to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes.

8. Carefully add in curry sauce to the chicken broth pot. Gently stir the pot and season broth. (5 tbsp chicken granulate, 5 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp fish sauce, 1 tsp MSG, and 1 tsp salt.) On medium heat, let it simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Taste broth and adjust to your likings. Discard any bones.

9. Assemble the dish by placing noodles in a bowl, pour hot broth over the noodles, and add desired toppings. Serve immediately and enjoy!

2 Comments

  1. Lynn March 31, 2020 at 8:40 pm

    Yay! Thank goodness you posted step by step photos, it’s so helpful. This soup is so amazing!!

    Love the photos and the usage of your logo on each photo!! Keep it up sis!

    Reply
    1. beautifflyeats March 31, 2020 at 8:48 pm

      Thanka sis!! ❤️❤️❤️

      Reply

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