Curry Noodle Soup
In Thailand, kao soi is made with ba mee, a variety of egg noodles, that can be difficult to find in the U.S. But lo mein–style Chinese egg noodles are a good substitute.
4 cups vegetable oil
3/4 lb. fresh lo mein-style egg noodles
1 tbsp. Thai red pepper (coarsely ground) or cayenne pepper
3 tbsp. Thai red curry paste
1 tbsp. Madras-style curry powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 1/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp. nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
1 tsp. sugar
1 lb. boneless chicken breast, cut in 2''–3'' pieces
3–4 scallions, white parts only, chopped
2 shallots, peeled and quartered
1/3 cup pickled cabbage, rinsed and julienned
2 limes, halved
1. Heat about 3 1/2 cups oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add a large handful of noodles and cook until crisp, about 1 minute. Remove noodles immediately and drain on paper towels. Pour off frying oil (which can be reused 2–3 times; strain and store in a closed container until needed), wipe out wok, then add 2 tbsp. fresh oil. Heat over medium-high heat, then add red pepper and fry, stirring constantly, until oil begins to smoke, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in enough remaining oil, about 3 tbsp., to form a thick chile oil. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
2. Wipe out wok, then add curry paste, curry powder, and cumin, and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 40 seconds. Stir in coconut milk and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, add nam pla and sugar, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in chicken and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. (Add up to 1 cup of water if soup is too thick.)
3. Cook remaining noodles by blanching in a large pot of boiling water until soft, about 1 minute. Drain, then refresh under cold water.
4. Divide noodles among 4 soup bowls, ladle soup into bowls, and top with scallions and fried noodles. Serve with shallots, pickled cabbage, chile oil, and limes.