Red Curry Noodle Soup – Khob Poob -Kow Poon

Curry Noodle Soup

Curry in Southeast Asian Cuisine share similar characteristics. Lao people use noodles in a similar curry to Thai red curry. This lao version of red curry has become a favorite among the Hmong people. We have our own variations of the lao version, and we call it Kow Poon. Depending on what Hmong family you’re having dinner with, each family makes Kow Poon differently and enjoy different condiments with it

Ingredient for 5 servings:

  • Vermicelli noodle (12 oz. red bag brand)
  • 3-6 spoonful Red Curry Paste (the common mae ploy brand. add more if seek more flavor)
  • 1/4 shredded cabbage
  • a handful of hand shredded(or sliced) bamboo shoots
  • water
  • 1 can of coconut cream
  • chicken breast or 1 IB of chicken thighs
  • 1 tb Salt
  • 2 green onion (minced)
  • handful of rinsed mints
  • sliced lemon/lime
  • 1 block of chicken broth bouillon (measures to be about 1 TB worth)
  • 2 tablespoon of palm sugar (any sugar is ok)
  • 1/4 cup of Thai fish sauce, or more for taste
  • 1 stalk of lemon grass
  • 5-10 Kaffir lime leaves
  • 1/2 inch of galangal
  • 3-5 star anise

1. boil water in a pot. when it starts boiling, add in the noodle. stir occasionally for around 10-20 minute. pinch and bite a strand to see if softened. make sure it is truly soft throughout. when noodles are soften, drain and rinse noodle with running water and then set aside

Curry Soup itself
2. prepare a bigger pot of water (about 10-12 cups of water). put Chicken and lemon stalk, bayleaves, kiefer lime leaves. when chicken is cooked, take it out and pound it in an Mortar until shredded all apart. put the shredded chicken pieces back in pot of broth, add salt for taste, and add the squid sauce. make sure it is a bit saltier than your usual preference as this will make up for the unsalted vermicelli noodles.

2. At the same time when cooking meat, Boil coconut juice in a separate pot and add 1 palm sugar chunk, let boil for 45 min-1 hour at medium heat, occassionally stirring to get a thickness. transfer over to the main pot and add red curry paste into main pot as well. add the fish sauce, taste and add more if not salty enough.

3. In your serving bowl, add the noodle, lime, green onion, a few mints, cabbage. pour soup into the bowl with a ladel (big spoon).

TIPS: if the soup tastes bland you can add more chicken, chicken broth powder/boullion, and curry paste. Also, be generous salting the curry soup. It may taste good on its own but once you add the noodles into your bowl of soup, you may find that you may need more salt.

17 thoughts on “Red Curry Noodle Soup – Khob Poob -Kow Poon

  1. instead of chicken breasts, i prefer using whole chicken. it tends to make the broth more richer and flavorful.

  2. Correct. You can also use a whole freshly killed chicken, which can be purchased at asian stores. Chicken breasts are just more convenient to find in most stores.

  3. Hi; I live in Green Bay, WI, and this dish is frequently sold at the Hmong-Lao grocers here, and of course I often buy some… delicious! This is exactly what I’ve eaten, except dark meat (thighs/drumsticks, etc) is usually used. Thanks for posting this one!

  4. I stumbled onto your website to perfect my kow poon website and it’s great. I’m Laos, and cook frequently cook often, mostly Vietnamese food. Your website is great. I’ve never had Hmong food, but it looks very similar to Laos food, which I love. Thank you very much. I can’t wait to try the dishes, especially the spicy sauces. Keep it up!

  5. Because most Hmong americans migrated from Laos and Thailand, there are many lao and thai influences and food adapatations. Stay tune for more recipes, it’s only the beginning.

  6. I use straw mushrooms in this too it’s very good just made this last night I try to make this as often as possible just like pho. Peanut better is a must! So good and I add basil.

  7. yes you can also add galangal and quail eggs are optional. I do love quail eggs in mine as well. broil quail eggs for about 5 minutes, peel them and put them into the khob poob soup

  8. I cant seem to find the other recipe that is similar to this one but not as much liquid…did you delete it?

  9. Yes, because the hmong and the lao people (and other minorities) live amongst each other, many of what we know as hmong food are also Lao and/or Thai food. This may/may not be how Lao people make kow poon, but it is a general way of how hmong people make Kow Poon. There are many shared southeast asian dishes and kow poon has become one of them.

  10. I love this website. I live near Chico, Ca and we have many Hmong people here. I love all the amazing vegetables they have at the farmer’s market! We have a couple of SE Asian/Hmong markets in town, so I can get some of these great sounding ingredients! I’m excited to get started using the great recipes here! I’m going to cook up some Hmong sausage tonight and serve it with a Thai yellow curry, maybe with some additions from the Red Curry Noodle soup!

  11. @ JS You can’t just say “it’a Laos dish”. It’s like saying, American pie when there are all types of ethnic pies. Generally, asians all have similar dishes just slightly different ingredients. So are you saying Indian curry is also a “Laos” recipe? LoL. It’s rude and shallow of you to say and think that.

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