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This fish coconut curry soup is inspired by the northern Thai dish Khao Soi. It features coconut milk, curry paste, and noodles.
Last spring, we enjoyed one of the most amazing meals of our lives at DaLaya, a Thai restaurant we visited in North Carolina. It was the kind of meal you dream about.
What was this fabulous dish?
It was Khao Soi, a coconut curry noodle soup from northern Thailand. When I saw a version of this soup in Pepper Teigen’s cookbook Pepper Thai, I knew we had to try making it at home!
Both the Khao Soi at DaLaya and the one in Pepper Thai included chicken, and once I’d tried Pepper Teigen’s recipe exactly as written, I knew I wanted to try putting my own spin on it.
Since we’re all about the seafood here, I decided to try version featuring fish. And guys, it’s SO GOOD!
So, with full credit going to DaLaya for introducing me to this dish, and for Pepper Thai for walking me through how to make it, this fish coconut curry soup with noodles is one of our new favorite comfort foods!
What Ingredients Do I Need for Fish Coconut Curry Soup?
All of the ingredients for this soup should be relatively easy to find.
Some of the ones you may need to look just a little harder for (or order online, depending on what grocery stores have available near you), are the curry pastes and the chili oil.
You’ll need both red and green curry paste. I used Thai Kitchen green curry paste and Thai Kitchen red curry paste.
This recipe also uses canned coconut milk and fish sauce, both of which should be relatively easy to find in your local grocery store.
What Type of Chili Oil Should I Use?
Another ingredient recommended (but that you could skip in a pinch) is chili oil.
Pepper Thai has you make this from scratch, but I used Fly By Jing chili crisp oil. You could also use a chili olive oil, such as our homemade chili oil.
What Type of Noodles Should I Use?
Khao Soi typically uses rice or egg noodles, but in Pepper Thai, Pepper recommends swapping in fettuccine noodles if those are easier to find.
I did that, because I already had these Barilla gluten-free fettuccine noodles on hand.
What Kind of Fish Should I Use?
This works best with somewhat firm fish, such as salmon or halibut. We also love using rockfish in this soup (although it may flake apart a little more).
If you use extremely flaky fish, that’s fine too. Just know that the fish will probably come apart into small pieces.
The fish in the photos is salmon and rockfish.
How to Make Fish Coconut Curry Soup
Start with the noodles.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook the noodles according to the package directions.
Admittedly, twirling long noodles in soup is something of an acquired skill, so if you prefer to break the noodles into smaller pieces or use a shorter pasta, that would work well also.
Next, add a little oil and the curry paste to a soup pot, and cook until the paste is fragrant.
Add coconut milk, broth and a little sugar to the pot.
Simmer for five minutes.
Next, add the fish sauce and chili oil. Taste the broth and add more fish sauce if the soup seems bland, or more chili oil if the soup isn’t spicy enough for you. I also like to add red chili flakes for a little extra heat.
Finally, cut the fish into cubes and add it to the soup.
Cook until the fish is cooked through. The fish will be opaque and tender when it’s ready.
Serve this soup with lots of toppings! I like to add fresh herbs, sliced red onion and a squeeze of lime juice.
Enjoy this warm and cozy bowl of seafood soup right away!
If you loved this soup, don’t forget to pick up a copy of Pepper Thai for more ideas, and make sure to stop by DaLaya if you’ll be in Sylva, North Carolina.
Fish Coconut Curry Soup with Noodles
- 2 tablespoons oil (coconut, olive or avocado)
- 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
- 28 ounces full-fat coconut milk (2 cans)
- 2 cups seafood, chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 pound rice or egg noodles, or fettuccine Use gluten-free noodles if needed
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce, plus more to taste Or use soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili oil (optional but recommended) I use chili crisp oil
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes (optional) Or use more for extra heat
- 12 ounces raw fish, such as salmon, halibut or rockfish (~3 fillets)
- Thinly sliced red onion or shallots
- Thinly sliced basil (or use cilantro)
- Lime wedges
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine or egg noodles and cook according to the package directions. When finished, drain the noodles and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add all the curry paste and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Add the coconut milk, broth and sugar. Bring to a simmer and continue simmering for 5 minutes.
- Add the fish sauce and chili oil. Taste, adding more fish oil if the broth seems bland and more chili oil if you’d like more heat.If you'd like even more heat, add the red chili flakes.
- Cut the fish into 1-inch cubes.Add the fish to the soup and continue to simmer until fish is cooked through and opaque (about 3-5 minutes, depending on how thick the fish cubes are).
- Divide the noodles between 4 bowls. Scoop the fish soup over the noodles, and serve along with the sliced onions, herbs and lime wedges.
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