A Deliciously Tasty Khao Piak Sen (Lao Chicken Noodle Soup) Recipe

Finding new soups to make is always my favorite. East Asia has a whole host of different soup dishes to make. One of my favorites is Khao Piak Sen, a Laos noodle soup.

This dish is hearty, rich in flavor, and can be made in various ways, depending on the garnishes and spices. Below, I’ll teach you how you can replicate this authentic South Asian dish at home.

What is Khao Piak Sen?

Khao Piak Sen is a Lao chicken noodle soup similar to America’s version. The main difference is the addition of flat rice noodles, shredded chicken, and a few spices unique to Laos.

Khao Piak Sen is a staple dish in Lao households and is generally eaten in the morning for breakfast. However, some people also eat it for lunch or dinner.

If you’re looking for something customizable, Khao Piak Sen is the perfect pick. You can change up a few base ingredients to suit everyone’s taste. However, traditional Khao Piak Sen is delicious without any changes.

Khao Piak Sen Ingredients List

To make Khao Piak Sen, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 4 lbs of chicken bones
  • 1 lb of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3-inch piece of ginger, sliced
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves for garnish
  • 1-2 star anise pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp of sugar
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lb of flat rice noodles

Garnishes & Sides:

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Scallions
  • Chili peppers
  • Lime
  • Bean sprouts
  • Fried garlic slices
  • Chili sauce

Alternatives & Substitutions:

  • You can substitute a whole chicken instead of using chicken bones and thighs.
  • If you can’t find rice noodles, you can alternatively use any other type of long noodles.
  • Other vegetables, such as carrots, mushrooms, and bok choy, can be added to the soup.
  • You can leave out lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and star anise if you can’t find them.

Kitchen & Cookware

To make the soup, you will need the following kitchenware and cookware:

  • Large pot
  • Pan
  • Strainer or cheesecloth
  • Tongs
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Ladle
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Bowls
  • Chopsticks or spoons and forks

Khao Piak Sen Cooking Instructions

Many of the seasonings are ingredients that are only found in Asian markets. If you don’t have those ingredients, you can skip adding them. Below, we’ll show you how to create Khao Piak Sen at home.

Step 1: Heat Pot Over Medium-High

First, you’ll want to heat the large pot over medium-high heat. You’ll want to do this for a minute, as you want the bottom hot to sautee the spices and bones.

Step 2: Add Vegetables & Chicken Bones

Place your vegetables, such as the onions, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, kaffir, star anise, cinnamon, and coriander, into the pot. Sautee them for a few minutes before adding salt and pepper. After that, you can add your chicken bones and saute them for a few more minutes.

Step 3: Add Water to The Pot & Boil

You’ll want to add enough water to cover the vegetables and chicken bones. Let the pot boil before bringing it down to a simmer. After that, you’ll want to cook the broth for two to three hours.

Step 4: Skim Residue Off Soup & Strain

While the broth is boiling, you’ll want to skim the top off and remove any “impurities.” That means you’ll need a strainer or spoon to scoop anything on top of the broth. By doing this, you’ll end up with a smooth-tasting and looking broth. Alternatively, you can strain the broth at the end using a cheesecloth.

Step 5: Prep & Cook The Chicken

Take a pan and heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil on medium-high heat. You’ll then want to take the prepped chicken thighs and brown them on both sides. This should take at least four to five minutes on each side. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the pan and let it rest.

Step 6: Shred the Chicken & Cook Noodles

Take two forks and shred the chicken in a bowl. Once the chicken is nicely shredded, set it aside for when you assemble the soup. Take the flat rice noodles or whichever noodles you have on hand and cook them according to the instructions on the package.

Step 7: Assemble The Soup

When the broth is ready, you can add it back into the pot and bring it to a boil. From there, you’ll want to add your seasonings, such as fish sauce, sugar, and salt and pepper. You can add the shredded chicken and noodles before ladling them into bowls.

Step 8: Garnish

To finish plating, garnish the soup using cilantro, scallions, chili peppers, and fried garlic. These additional items make the soup’s flavor enhanced. This includes adding extras such as lime, bean sprouts, and chili sauce.

Final Touches & Serving Suggestions

Luckily, Khao Piak Sen is a versatile dish that allows everyone to customize it. If you like spicy food, you can add chili oil. On the other hand, if you prefer savory soup, you can add soy sauce to enhance the broth’s flavor.

Here are a few of my favorite serving suggestions and tips to enhance the dish:

  • You can add fresh chilis, Sriracha, or chili oil to help create a spicy soup.
  • You can add a boiled egg if you’re eating the soup for breakfast.
  • While the soup is meat-heavy, add your favorite vegetables to make it more hearty.

Khao Piak Sen Soup FAQs:

Can I make Khao Piak Sen with store-bought chicken broth?

Store-bought chicken broth doesn’t have as in-depth flavors as homemade chicken stock. So while you can use bullion cubes or store-bought broth, we don’t recommend it. If you must use store-bought broth, we recommend finding an Asian grocery store with high-quality chicken broth. Just make sure that the stock isn’t pre-seasoned.

Can I use other types of noodles in Khao Piak Sen?

Rice noodles are less chewy in texture and complement the soup. While you can substitute rice noodles for spaghetti or vermicelli, we recommend against it. The flat rice noodles give this dish its signature texture and flavor. If you can’t find flat or wide rice noodles, you can use any other type of rice noodle.

Can I make Khao Piak Sen in advance?

You can make the broth up to three days in advance or prepare it and keep it in the freezer. The broth can then be reheated, and you can assemble the noodles and chicken at another time. This way, you can essentially ‘prep’ the most time-consuming part of the recipe: boiling and skimming the broth.

How long can Khao Piak Sen broth last?

You can freeze the broth for up to three months at a time. It must be stored in an airtight container like a mason jar. Simply let the jar thaw for a few days in the fridge before using it.

You can also read:

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *