This dish (Khao Soi Recipe) takes us back in time to the mid-19th century. The trade caravans were trailing the jungles of northern Thailand along the ancient routes between India and China. Those long caravans were carrying wealth of exotic goods, leaving rich aroma of spices and the sweet scent of opium as they passed.
The men on this long line of between fifty and one hundred mules would be Yunnanese Muslim Chinese, who dominated the trade routes and began to settle in Chiang Mai and the main towns of north Thailand at that time.
The Yunnanese, or the Ho people (จีนฮ่อ) as they generally called, were referring to themselves as ‘haan jeuu yen’ (หานจื้อเย่น) and ‘yuunnaan yuuh’ (ยูนนานเย่อ). They established settlements, build Mosques and opened Halal restaurants were fellow Muslim traders could spend the night indoors and exchange latest information and news with other caravan traders over cooked halal dinner.
Khao Soi is believed to be introduced to the northern Thai cuisine by the Ho people at those eateries.
Ho Caravan in the hills of the Golden Triangle c 1895 [Source: cpamedia.com]
The perfectly cooked flat egg noodles along with the soft textured, moist and tender meat, are basking in a mildly spiced broth with a creamy texture of coconut cream. This heavenly mixture is beautifully tinted with turmeric and release the noble aroma of black cardamom.
The pickled cabbage, shallots and lime juice cut through the coconut’s richness in a playful hint of sourness and lastly, the deep fried egg noodles which top the dish add an addictive crunch.