Thai Noodles (Kao Soi Chiang Mai Curried Noodles)
2 tbsp coriander seeds, roasted and ground
12 Thai cardamom, hulled, roasted and ground
2 tsp cumin seeds, roasted and ground
20 dried red chilies, roasted with a pinch of salt and ground
2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground mace
2 tbsp yellow curry powder
1 tbsp sea salt
2 tbsp fresh turmeric, minced
¼ cup fresh ginger, minced
2 tbsp cilantro roots, minced, (if roots are not available us bottoms of stems)
1 large head of garlic, minced
5 shallots, minced
Use a dry pan over medium heat to roast the seeds until they are darkened and aromatic. Set aside. Do the same with the chilies with a pinch of salt, turning frequently until they are dark red and slightly charred. Cool seeds and chilies and then grind in a spice grinder to a fine powder. Combine with the other powdered dry spices.
Using a heavy stone mortar and pestle, pound the minced wet ingredients with the sea salt until they are reduced to a fine paste. Combine with the ground dried spices and pound together to make a well blended paste.
2-14 ounce cans coconut milk, (Chaokoh brand is best) (Do not shake)
3 ½ cups water
2 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch chunks
Heat ¾ cup of the thick cream from the top of one can of coconut milk in a large saucepan over medium high heat and reduce until thick and the oil has separated. Add the curry paste and fry in the cream for 3 to 5 minutes to release the aromas and flavors. Increase the heat to high and add the chicken, stir frying it until most of the pieces are no longer pink on the outside. Pour in the remaining coconut milk from the 2 cans, add 3 ½ cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook partially covered over low to medium heat, so the sauce boils very gently, until the chicken is tender, about 20 minutes.
½ pound thick round egg noodles, broken into 2 – 3 inch pieces
3 cups peanut oil for frying the thick noodles
Heat the oil in a wok until it begins to smoke and fry the noodles a handful at a time until golden brown and crispy. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel.
FRIED DRIED CHILI FLAKES IN OIL:
¼ cup peanut oil
¼ cup dried red chili flakes
½ tsp sea salt
Heat the oil in a small skillet until it begins to smoke. Turn off the heat and wait 30 seconds before adding the chili flakes and salt. The salt helps keep down the fumes. Transfer to a sauce dish and let cool. The chili flakes should be deep red but not burned.
4 shallots, cut into small cubes
1-1 ½ cups chopped salted or pickled mustard greens
1 ½ limes, cut into small half wedges, 8 pieces per lime
½ cup short cilantro sprigs
Set aside in 4 small dishes.
2 tbsp black soy sauce
3-4 tbsp fish sauce, to taste
2-3 tsp palm sugar
Season the chicken with the soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar. Cook for 5-10 minutes to blend the flavors.
1 ½ pounds very thin egg noodles
Cook the noodles in boiling water until just tender. Drain and add to individual serving bowls. Spoon the chicken and curry sauce over the noodles and top with cilantro sprigs and the crispy noodles. Serve with the side dishes of shallots, mustard greens, lime wedges and fried chili oil.