Burmese Coconut & Chicken Noodle Soup (Ohno Kawkswe)

Burmese Coconut & Chicken Noodle Soup (Ohno Kawkswe)

During a recent vacation in Thailand and Myanmar (i.e. Burma) with my fiancé and two of our best friends, we ate a ton of noodles. We definitely had noodles at LEAST once a day if not more.

For instance this delicious Pad See Ew:

prawn pad see ew

Like this pad see ew, a lot of Thai noodle dishes we had are those we are familiar with from Thai restaurants in the US. We even went to a cooking class and made pad thai!

cooking class pad thai

When we headed to Myanmar, we weren’t entirely sure what to expect food-wise. The country (if you’re not familiar…I definitely wasn’t) is situated smack dab in the middle of Thailand, China, and India. Most of the restaurants we went to served dishes from each cuisine, all of which were entirely delicious.

Noodles for breakfast is very common in many Asian counties, and Myanmar is no different. Mohinga is basically Myanmar’s national dish (so tasty) and found pretty much everywhere in the country.

We ate this mohinga as our first meal in Myanmar:

mohinga

One morning at our hotel’s breakfast buffet, we saw a noodle dish we hadn’t tried before. At first thought maybe it was another version of mohinga, but soon realized it was something entirely different. We all slurped at least one bowl of this amazing coconut and chicken noodle soup that morning for breakfast (and were extremely disappointed when it wasn’t served the following day).

The soup has a thick, rich, spicy, coconut broth with chicken, onions, and noodles. Served alongside the soup are lime, cilantro, red pepper flakes, hard boiled eggs, and crunchy corn fritters. Upon returning from vacation, this was the dish we all agreed needed to be recreated immediately. After scouring the web for what seemed like forever, I came across a recipe that seemed to be pretty comparable to the dish we all remembered from the trip. We invited the friends we went on vacation with to come over and give it a try. A few modifications had to be made (i.e. way too lazy to make homemade corn fritters…crispy fried onions were a very, very close replacement), but when we dove into this soup we all agreed that we could have returned to Myanmar for breakfast.

(short interlude for some of my favorite vacation pics)

mangosteen kata beach
Eating a mangosteen on Kata beach in Phuket

 

phi phi islands
Speed boat around the Phi Phi Islands
06 the grand palace in bangkok
Visiting the Grand Palace in Bangkok
Wat Pho (reclining Buddha)
Wat Pho (reclining Buddha)
Bagan temples and pagodas
Bagan, Myanmar temples and pagodas
13th Century Monastery in Bagan, Myanmar
13th Century Monastery in Bagan, Myanmar (damaged by the August 20, 2016 earthquake)
18th Century Buddha statue
18th Century Buddha statue
16 overlooking bagan
Overlooking Bagan
sunrise balloon launch in Bagan
View from hotel, sunrise balloon launch

OK. Let’s make some soup.

Dice chicken into 1 inch chunks and marinate with ginger, garlic, salt, turmeric, the juice of 1/2 a lemon, and the chicken base. Work together with your hands, until the marinade is equally distributed. Set chicken aside.

Burmese Coconut chicken noodle soup

In a large pot, add in cooking oil. Cook onions for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened. Add in paprika and cayenne pepper and mix.

IMG_4746 (1)

Add in the chicken and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring often.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour and cold water until smooth.

Pour the coconut milk into the pan. Pour flour mixture into pan through a mesh sieve (straining out any lumps). Pour in hot water, stir. Add in fish sauce and chopped shallots.

 

Burmese Coconut chicken noodle soup

Bring everything to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer, and let cook for 30-40 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, prepare the noodles according to the package directions. Drizzle a bit of neutral oil on the noodles so they don’t stick together.

burmese coconut chicken noodle soup

Also, hard boil the eggs, slice lemon or lime wedges, and chop cilantro or basil, for serving.

burmese coconut chicken noodle soup

While the soup is simmering, check it for seasoning.  I needed to add salt and a bit more fish sauce here.

Once the soup is very thick, it is ready to serve.

In a soup bowl, add in some noodles. Using a ladle, add soup, being sure there’s chicken, onion, and shallot in each ladle.

Top the soup with two hard boiled egg halves, crispy fried onions, cilantro or basil, red pepper flakes, and a squeeze of lemon or lime.

burmese coconut chicken noodle soup

Enjoy!


Adapted from: BurmesEasy

Makes: 6 servings

Prep: 20 minutes, Cook: 50 minutes, Total: 70 minutes

For soup:

 

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 inch ginger, smashed into paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed into paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon chicken base (or 1 boullion cube soaked in hot water)
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil (I used vegetable)
  • 3 small white onions, diced
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/4 – 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on preferred heat level, I like spicy and used about 3/4 teaspoon)
  • 1/3 cup flour whisked
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 6 cups hot water
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 8 oz rice vermicelli (or any thin noodle you like)

For serving:

  • Crispy fried onions
  • Lemon or lime wedges
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 6 hard boiled eggs, halved
  • Chopped cilantro (or basil for non-cilantro folks)

 

Dice chicken into 1 inch chunks and marinate with ginger, garlic, salt, turmeric, the juice of 1/2 a lemon, and the chicken base. Work together with your hands, until the marinade is equally distributed. Set chicken aside.

In a large pot, add in cooking oil. Cook onions for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened. Add in paprika and cayenne pepper and mix. Add in the chicken and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring often.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour and cold water until smooth.

Pour the coconut milk into the pan. Pour flour mixture into pan through a mesh sieve (straining out any lumps). Pour in hot water, stir. Add in fish sauce and chopped shallots.

Bring everything to a boil.

Reduce the heat to a simmer, and let cook for 30-40 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, prepare the noodles according to the package directions. Drizzle a bit of neutral oil on the noodles so they don’t stick together.

Also, hard boil the eggs, slice lemon or lime wedges, and chop cilantro or basil, for serving.

While the soup is simmering, check it for seasoning.  I needed to add salt and a bit more fish sauce here.

Once the soup is very thick, it is ready to serve.

In a soup bowl, add in some noodles. Using a ladle, add soup, being sure there’s chicken, onion, and shallot in each ladle.

Top the soup with two hard boiled egg halves, crispy fried onions, cilantro or basil, red pepper flakes, and a squeeze of lemon or lime.

Enjoy!

 

 


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