Kao Pboon: Lao Curry Noodle Soup With Chicken

Kao Pboon (Lao Curry Noodle Soup With Chicken)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes

Kao pboon has been my #1 pregnancy Lao food craving and I unashamedly had it for my last four meals. I adapted recipe ideas from Malisa’s Food Blog due to some motherhood constraints (i.e., omission of ingredients due to toddler tantrum in the Asian store, cheated with a bag of coleslaw mix, etc). For the full experience, include a stalk of lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and chicken feet when cooking the broth and include shredded banana blossom for the garnish. Kao pboon can be made with fish, pork, and chicken as in the following recipe, or without any meat for my vegetarian readers (just omit first step and make broth with rest of ingredients). Please note that these noodles are not pho noodles and not the clear, vermicelli noodles. They look like this.

How To Make Kao Pboon (serves family for couple days)

Ingredients for broth/soup:

  • 1-2 pounds of chicken thighs, removed of excess fat and skin
  • 1 inch of galangal, chopped into thirds
  • 1 inch of ginger, chopped into thirds
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
  • 1 scallion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of red curry paste
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar

Ingredients for serving:

  • Rice vermicelli noodles
  • Shredded coleslaw mix (or shred your own carrots and cabbage)
  • Bean sprouts
  • Lime wedges
  • Fish sauce to taste

For the broth/soup:

  1. Fill large stockpot with water along with the first five ingredients (chicken, galangal, ginger, salt, pepper).
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
  3. Remove chicken pieces and allow to cool.
  4. Continue simmer.
  5. Cook vermicelli noodles and make noodle bundles. (See instructions below)
  6. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones.
  7. Pound chicken meat with mortar and pestle until shredded (or just shred it by hand or with a fork) and set aside.
  8. Add oil in saucepan over medium-high heat, saute shallots, garlic, and curry paste until fragrant.
  9. Stir in coconut milk, reduce heat, and simmer until fragrant.
  10. Add curry coconut mixture to broth along with chicken, fish sauce, and sugar (adjusting to your tastes).

For vermicelli noodle bundles (adapted from Thai & Lao Food):

  1. Cook noodles according to package directions.
  2. With noodles in pot, drain hot water and replace with cold running water.
  3. Continue Step 2 until the noodles are cool enough to handle.
  4. Grab 3/4 – 1 cup of noodles with your thumb, index, and middle finger.
  5. Wrap the hanging noodles around your index and middle finger making a bundle.
  6. Place bundle in colander to drain and hold bundle shape.

For serving:

  1. Serve garnishes on a plate along with fish sauce for personal preferences.
  2. Layer noodles in large bowl, ladle broth over noodles, then top with garnishes and freshly squeezed lime.
  3. Cover stockpot and refrigerate or leave on stove top.
  4. Cover rice bundles and vegetables with plastic wrap and refrigerate until use.

Laotian curry noodles soup

{pin this}

Love cooking with curry? Check out my other curry posts here!

If you need SE Asian inspiration, see other recipes here for Lao Food


7 thoughts on “Kao Pboon: Lao Curry Noodle Soup With Chicken

  1. I made this tonight for dinner and came out so delicious – the flavor was just amazing – would definitely be making again!!!!

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