Lao Coconut Noodles (Ka Poon, Lao Laksa, Khao Poon)

Difficulty
expert

VN:F [1.9.9_1125]
(115 Ratings)

Preparation time
30 mins

Cooking time
1-2 hours

Serves
8

Ka poon is a Laotian noodle soup made with vermicelli noodles. The broth is typically made from chicken (or another meat), coconut milk, tomatoes and other spices. In this version, I make the broth from frying, then boiling a whole chicken with lemongrass. This produces a wonderful, aromatic base. I also reduce the amount of coconut milk typically used for a lighter taste and to allow the other flavors to shine through. I’ve been working on this recipe for over 10 years, and I’m finally happy with it. I hope you like it!

Lao Coconut Noodles (Ka Poon, Lao Laksa, Khao Poon) , 4.1 out of 5 based on 115 ratings

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken, chopped into large pieces
  • 1 lemongrass stalk (chopped into 3-4 pieces)
  • 1-2 pinches of salt
  • 1-3 teaspoons red curry paste, to taste
  • 1/2 can coconut milk, stirred
  • 3-4 large tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 can to 1 can sliced bamboo shoots
  • 1-3 tablespoons fish sauce, to taste

Preparation

1.  Remove the fatty pieces off a whole chicken, such as fatty skin. Chop the chicken into large pieces. Sautee the chicken in a lightly oiled pan, until browned on the outside but not yet fully cooked. Place the sauteed chicken in a large pot of water, add in lemongrass and 1-2 pinches of salt. Boil until the meat is tender, almost coming off the bone, about 1 hour.

2.  In a separate pot, cook vermicelli according to package instructions.

3.  Remove chicken from pot, and tear the chicken meat into edible pieces. Set aside. Place the bones back into the pot of broth.

4.  In a heated, lightly oiled pan, fry the red curry paste for approximately 1-2 minutes. (We recommend 2 teaspoons red curry paste for a slightly spicy broth; use more or less depending on your spice preferences.) Shake and stir the can of coconut milk to mix thoroughly. Add 1/2 a can of coconut milk to the pan. Remove from heat when mixture starts to boil.

5.  In the pot of chicken broth, add in the mixture of red curry and coconut milk. When the broth boils, add in tomatoes. Wait for the broth to boil again, then add in bamboo shoots and fish sauce. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 15 minutes.

Skim the top of the broth. Taste the broth and adjust as necessary. For a slightly sweeter, thicker broth, use less fish sauce and more coconut milk to allow the coconut flavor to dominate. For a spicier broth, use more red curry paste. Add more tomatoes if you want to cut down the coconut taste.

6.  Add chicken meat to broth. Remove and throw away the bones and lemongrass. Place some vermicelli into a bowl, ladle on broth, and add shredded cabbage, chopped green onion and cilantro. Squeeze in lemon juice to taste.


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