Chicken Drumstick Curry with Egg Noodles (Khao Soi Gai)


  • Makes2 servings
Chicken Drumstick Curry with Egg Noodles (Khao Soi Gai)

Chef Nuit Regular's Khao Soi Gai with roasted chili oil and garlic oil. Photo, Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriot.

The combination of this silky smooth curry, unique spices, chewy noodles and the crunch of the crispy noodle topping results in the ultimate Thai comfort food.

Red Curry Paste

  • 3 small dried bird's eye chilies

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

  • 1 black cardamom pod, seeds only

  • 2 tbsp yellow curry powder

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds

  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric

  • 5 dried red spur chilies, cut into 1/2-in/ pieces, soaked in warm water for 10 min until softened and squeezed dry

  • 2 cilantro roots with 3-in. stems or 10 stems cilantro, finely chopped

  • 2 tbsp finely minced fresh ginger

  • 3 tbsp thinly sliced lemongrass

  • 1 1/2 tsp coarsely minced galangal

  • 3 tbsp coarsely minced unpeeled Thai garlic or regular peeled garlic

  • 3 tbsp coarsely minced shallots

  • 1 tbsp Thai shrimp paste


  • 2 1/4 cups sunflower oil, divided

  • 6 skin-on chicken drumsticks, washed and patted dry

  • 1 lb fresh egg noodles

  • 1 cup thick part of coconut milk

  • 2 1/2 cups well-shaken coconut milk, + 2 1/2 cups water, well combined

  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar

  • 3 tbsp Thai fish sauce

  • 4 cups water

  • garlic oil, (recipe link below)

  • 2 green onions, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup packed coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

  • 1/3 cup packed coarsely chopped pickled mustard greens, rinsed, squeezed dry and cored

  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped shallots

  • 2 lime wedges

  • Roasted chili oil, (recipe link below)


  • Paste: Using a stone mortar and pestle, grind dried red bird’s eye chilies, salt and black cardamom seeds to a powder. Add yellow curry powder, coriander seeds and turmeric, and grind to a fine powder. Add dried red spur chilies and grind to a paste. One at a time, and grinding to a paste after each addition, add cilantro roots, ginger, lemongrass, galangal, garlic, shallots and shrimp paste. Set aside.

  • Curry: In a medium pot over high, heat 2 cups of sunflower oil. When oil is hot, deep-fry chicken drumsticks, 3 at a time. Fry on one side for about 3 min, then turn to cook the other side for 2 to 3 min. The skin should be golden brown.

  • Using tongs, remove chicken from oil and transfer to a rack to drain. Repeat with remain- ing chicken. Keep the pot of oil over medium.

  • Place 2 bundles of egg noodles on a plate and separate noodles with your hands. Add the separated noodles, a few at a time, to hot oil and deep-fry until noodles are light golden brown, 2 to 3 min. Using tongs transfer noodles to a plate lined with paper towel to drain excess oil. Repeat until all the separated noodles are cooked.

  • In a medium pot, combine remaining 1/4 cup sunflower oil and Red Curry Paste, and mix well before turning on heat. Once mixed, cook on medium-low, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 min. This will bring out the fragrance of the curry. Stir in thick coconut milk and cook until coconut milk starts to thicken and bubble, 2 to 3 min. Add chicken drumsticks and cook for 2 min. Increase heat to medium, stir in thin coconut milk and bring to a boil. When boiling, cover and cook on medium for 45 min.

  • In a small bowl, stir 1/2 cup of curry sauce from Step 5 and coconut sugar until sugar is fully dissolved, then stir into the pot. Stir in Thai fish sauce and cook for 1 min. Remove from heat.

  • Boil remaining noodles in a medium pot until al dente, 5 to 6 min. Drain, rinse in warm water and divide between 2 large bowls. Drizzle with Garlic Oil and stir to keep noodles from sticking.

  • To serve, scoop 1 1/2 to 2 cups of curry sauce with 3 drumsticks over each bowl of noodles. Top each with about 1/2 cup of deep-fried noodles. Sprinkle with green onions, cilantro, pickled mustard greens and shallots. Squeeze lime wedges on top and drizzle with Roasted Chili Oil to taste.

The recipes in Chef Nuit Regular's cookbook, Kiin, encompass her cooking life in restaurant kitchens and beyond: some of her restaurants’ biggest hits. The pad Thai noodles she used to make and sell in little plastic baggies for extra income as a student. The birthday curry her mother made every year. Her chicken drumstick curry — the list goes on (and you're going to want to try them all).

Excerpted from Kiin by Nuit Regular. Copyright © 2020 by Nuit Regular. Photography copyright © 2020 by Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott. Published by Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.