My mom made Khow Suey as a Sunday special family meal when I was growing up and it was easily one of my favorites, still is. I can’t quite pin point what it is about this dish that I love so much, whether it’s the delicate yet creamy coconut milk sauce, the tanginess of the lime you add at the end or the mix of garnishes you put on top…the crispy garlic and onion with the freshness of cilantro and green onion…not to mention the heat when you bite into a sliced chili pepper…..yummm. I’m drooling just thinking about it.
My mom always used spaghetti instead of traditional egg noodles and it worked so well, I’ve just always stuck with it. So while this may not be a traditional version of the dish (I also don’t use any flour/lentil for thickening), it’s my mom’s recipe…the one I love.
Do let me know in a comment below if you try it and like it…I’m excited to share this one!
Khow Suey Recipe
(makes 5-6 servings)
* 1 pack (1lb) of Spaghetti
* 2 large Chicken breasts
* 1 tbsp grated garlic (about 4 cloves)
* 1/2 tbsp grated fresh ginger (about an inch)
* 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
* 1 tsp cumin seeds
* 4 dry red chili peppers
* 10-15 curry leaves (can you Thai basil instead)
* 2 cans (14oz each) Coconut milk
* 1/2 a lime
* Salt to taste
For the toppings/ garnishes:
* 6 eggs
* 6 cloves garlic
* 2-3 shallots
* 2-3 green onions
* handful of chopped cilantro
* lime wedges
* 1-2 chili peppers
* 3-4 tbsps vegetable oil for frying
- Start by cutting the chicken breasts into small bite sized pieces and toss them in a bowl.
- Add 1 tablespoon of freshly grated garlic and half that of freshly grated ginger to the chicken.
- Sprinkle over the turmeric powder and some salt. Mix everything well so that all the chicken pieces are coated in the marinade. Let the chicken sit in the fridge, marintaing while you get everything else ready.
- Next, prepare all the toppings and garnishes. Hard boil the eggs, roughly chop the cilantro and finely slice the green onion and chili peppers at an angle. Set them aside in little condiment bowls.
- Finely slice the shallots and garlic (I used a mandolin slicer).
- Heat 3-4 tablespoons of oil in a small wok/skillet. Then fry the garlic slices until they turn a light golden. Remove them as soon as they turn golden (it’s literally a few seconds from golden to burnt) using a slotted spoon and place them on a paper napkins to drain the excess oil.
- Separate the onion layers, into strands and fry them in the same oil the same way you fried the garlic, until it turns golden. It’s best to do them in batches if your pan is small so that it browns evenly. Remove the fried onion with a slotted spoon and drain it as well.
- Transfer the same oil (now flavored with garlic and onion) to a large pot. We’ll use it to brown the chicken and make the sauce.
- In the meantime, boil your spaghetti according to the instructions on the packet. you can use chinese style egg noodles, but I’ve always just preferred spaghetti for this dish although it’s not traditional.
- Once the oil is hot in the big pot, work quickly and add the cumin seeds, dried red peppers and curry leaves to the oil. They’ll immediately start sputtering and will brown quick so give it a stir.
- Add the marinated chicken pieces and fry them with the spices untill they turn white or brown slightly..
- Lower the heat to low-medium and pour in the 2 cans of coconut milk (I used one regular and one can of lite coconut milk) and season it with salt. Bring it up to a simmer, stirring occasionaly.
- Once the sauce has been simmering for about 10 minutes and the chicken is cooked through, turn off the heat. You can add the noodles to the sauce and mix it together or serve the sauce separately….but before you do squeeze the juice of half a lime into the sauce for a touch of tanginess. It lifts up the whole dish, I promise!
- Serve the noodles hot with all the assortment of condiments/toppings/garnishes so everyone can customise the dish to their taste. I personally like all the topppings…and lots of it! Sluuuurp!