Northern Thai Soup: Khao Soi (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

Ever since I visited Thailand, I noticed that many dishes in Europe is lack of flavour.
It is a fact that the first week in Thailand was tough. 🙂 It was an upset stomach experience since I’m not familiar with such intense spices. I must admit I mixed it up a bit too much too. I remember I called the Vegano Bangkok @veganobkk to order some vegan pizza almost every night for the first week, to recover. 😀 But after the first week I started to feel that everything I ate was incredibly aromatic, delicious and healthy. It is said about Thailand that you either love it very much or you don’t like it at all, there is no middle way. I’m definitely one of those who love the most! Can’t wait to visit this beautiful country again one day.

Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite Thai dishes with you. This Khao Soi is our vegan take on the traditional Coconut Curry Noodle Soup from Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand where I spent almost my 2 months. It is delicious, hearty, creamy and packed full of Asian flavours. If you visit Chiang Mai one day, be sure you try it at @goodsoulskitchen, they make the best one in the town.

If you want to make it at home, here is our recipe:


Khao Soi
150 g rice noodles
1 lt water
4 tbsp vegan fish sauce
1 tbsp coconut sugar
40 g dried shiitake mushrooms soaked or 200 g fresh mushrooms of your choice
400 ml coconut milk
1/2 tsp salt

Chili Paste
70 g chiles chopped
75 g shallots about chopped
3 garlic cloves roughly chopped
1 stalk lemongrass white part only, chopped
4 kaffir lime leaves
5 slices galangal or 1 tsp galangal powder
1 small fresh turmeric (5 g)chopped or 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp salt

A handful of fried gf wonton strips (remove if you are avoiding oil)
Chopped shallots
Pickled sour mustard leaves thinly sliced or pickled jalapeno
A few lime slices
A handful of chopped cilantro


Cut 8-19 wrappers into thin strips.( You can use store-bought or make your own gluten-free wonton, recipe here) Fill a small pot with enough oil and turn on the heat. Once the oil is heated, quickly fry the wonton strips until golden brown. Remove and drain on a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Set aside until ready to use.

Place the chiles, shallot, garlic, lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal, salt, plus coriander, and turmeric in a food processor. Add a drizzle of oil, then blend into a fine paste. You can also use a mortar and pestle to pound the ingredients if you prefer.


Heat up a large wok and add a little bit olive oil (use water if you are avoiding the oil).

Add the chile paste and stir-fry over medium-low heat until fragrant. If it appears dry, add a little more water or oil. Do not over-fry the paste or it will turn bitter.

Then add the mushrooms, coconut sugar, vegan fish sauce or protein of your choice ( tempeh, tofu etc would work. Just cook the tofu or tempeh in the oven or pan before adding to the curry paste at this stage ) and continue to stir-fry until they release their aroma.

Now add the water and half of the coconut milk. Bring it to a boil and leave it simmering for 20-25 minutes.


Meanwhile cook your noodles of choice as directed by the package, then evenly divide the cooked noodles between three bowls.

Prepare the toppings and side ingredients.


Back to the soup, turn down the heat and add the rest of coconut milk. Let it simmer for another 5 minutes.

Ladle the hot curry over the noodles. Garnish with fried wonton strips, shallots, sour mustard, lime wedges, and cilantro.