Updated: Jul 8
Khao suey is a Burmese dish that Mrs T learned in Mauritius. The base of khao suey is a simple curried coconut soup, but the flavor of the dish itself is made complex by delicious toppings. Toppings are a crucial element of the dish and should not be overlooked. A khao suey without toppings is like a ramen with only broth and noodles... fine but joyless. My favorite toppings are freshly fried sliced garlic, crispy onions, fresh coriander leaves, and a squeeze of lemon or lime. My parents crush potato chips into their bowls for extra texture. A dash of chili oil would be amazing and maybe some freshly chopped spring onions.
•ginger & garlic
•Thai 'green curry' paste
•coconut milk (unsweetened)
•gram flour (besan)
•toppings: fried garlic, fried onions, lemon, cilantro
Heat canola or sunflower oil on medium heat in a deep pot and slowly fry a large diced red onion. This will take 10-15 minutes; do not rush it and do not let it burn. As the onions fry, cut 4 chicken breasts into cubes and set aside. Finely mince 3 cloves of garlic and a 1 inch (3cm) length of ginger.
When the onions are well browned, add the cubed chicken to the pot with the ginger and garlic. Add a teaspoon of coriander powder and 2 teaspoons of green curry paste. Braise the chicken for a few minutes.
Add 800ml of coconut milk (two cans) to the pot along with a tablespoon of gram flour. Make sure the gram flour gets properly whisked into the coconut milk; this will thicken the soup. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.
While the soup is cooking, bring salted water to a boil and cook 0.2 lb (100g) of macaroni. You can also use egg noodles, which is certainly more authentically Burmese, but in Mauritius everyone seems to have transitioned to macaroni instead.
Generously ladle the soup over the pasta and remember to finish it off with heaps of toppings. This soup, like many curries, deepens in flavor overnight and tastes even better on day two.