Before you try Khow Suey, we’d suggest you try and get comfortable with coconut milk. Coconut milk is one of the principal ingredients in South Asian cuisine, used widely across Thai, Korean, Indonesian, Burmese and Malaysian food. Coconut milk has a distinct, tropical scent and a flavour that may take some time to get used to, especially if you have only been using cow or buffalo milk/cream in your preparations. The first time I had Khow Suey, I wasn’t a fan even though it comprised everything I ever loved about Asian food, noodles, stirred-fried veggies, chicken, and sauces. It took a few years and a few cups of vegan coffees and milkshakes for me to develop a liking for coconut milk, and there was just no looking back after that. Khow Suey became more than an exquisite Burmese delicacy, it became a comfort food of sorts, and now if I see it on any restaurant menu, I know I need to see it on my table.

So, what is Khow Suey you ask? It is a rich noodle soup made with egg noodles, coconut milk, curried chicken or beef and is served with a variety of condiments, spices and herbs like burnt garlic, chopped cilantro, chilli peppers and more. Finished off with a squeeze of lemon, this noodle soup has many variations. Khow Suey is said to be a derivative of the noodle dish ohn no khauk swe, which literally means ‘coconut milk noodles’.  

The noodle dish originated in Mayanmar and became a sensation in East India in the twentieth century. People who migrated from Burma to East India during Worl War 2, brought the dish over to this side which gained more currency as ‘Khow Suey’.  Interestingly, the origins of Khausa, a popular dish among the Memoni community of Pakistan is also tied with the emigration of South Asians from Burma in 1960’s. Khausa is now a popular street food in Karachi, Pakistan.  

Craving a bowl of good Chicken Khow Suey now? We heard you. Here’s a delish recipe from Auntie Fung’s, a Pan-Asian restaurant situated in Gurugram, Delhi-NCR.

Ingredients for the Soup:

  • Oil – 10ml
  • Chopped Onion – 15gms
  • Chicken Stock Water – 200ml
  • Serrated Carrots – 10gms
  • Sliced Beans – 10gms
  • Fresh Coconut Milk – 70gms
  • Seasoning (Salt, Sugar) – 10gms
  • Lemon Juice – 15gms
  • Gram Flour – 10gms
  • Haldi Powder – 10gms

Preparing the Chicken:

  • Chicken Breast sliced – 120gms

Cut the chicken into bite-sized cubes and boil it with a hint of salt and pepper to add a little flavor.

Making the Soup:

Take a Wok/ pan and heat the Oil. Add chopped Onions in it and sauté it for 10sec. Add the stock water (Tip: add a few veggies along with chicken bones to ensure that the broth has a richer body) along with carrot and beans. Add the boiled chicken cubes and toss it for 10-15 secs. Add the coconut milk along with seasoning and let it simmer for 30 secs. Keep removing the froth layer as you continue to simmer the recipe on the flames. Finally, add the lime juice and the dash of gram flavor & haldi to bring it to the right tanginess and consistency of the Soup.

Preparing the Condiments:

  • Boiled Noodles: 100Gms of Noodles simply boiled with a dash of salt.
  • Roasted Peanuts : 20 Gms of Peanuts roasted in oil
  • Fried Noodles: 15Gms of Noodles fried in oil
  • Brown Onions: 15Gms of Onion peels cut into slices and then shallow fried
  • Fried Garlic: 1Gms of small noughts of garlic shallow fried till it makes a crunchy noise
  • Spring Onion: 5Gms of Spring Onion chopped into small pieces
  • Boiled Egg: Full boil the Egg and cut the egg in to half

Plating: 

Put the Noodles in a big flattish bowl. Add the Soup till the bowl reaches to its brim. Sprinkle the Peanuts, fried Noodles, roasted onions & garlic on the top with the sliced egg as the cherry on the top.

Keep Chilli flakes, dash of lime, Spring Onion and Coriander leaves on the side and keep adding it as per taste.