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Vegetable Burmese Khow Suey/Noodle Soup [Recipe] 🍜

Last updated on December 26, 2019
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    Do you like having soupy noodles? Now imagine a pot of creamy coconut milk spiced sauce with exotic vegetables and noodles, elevated with an array of crunchy delights, a dash of lemon, and fresh herbs. Such a delicious blend of flavors, right? Dear foodies, that’s Burmese Khow Suey for you! 

    What exactly is a Khow Suey? 

    Vegetarian Khow Suey Burmese Noodle Soup

    Khow Suey is a one-meal dish that contains boiled noodles in a gently spiced coconut milk sauce, served with an assortment of contrasting condiments and a dash of lemon juice. 

    What is its Origin? Originated in Burma, Khow Suey may sound unfamiliar to many foodies, but in modern-day restaurants, it has found a hot spot in most of the trending Asian menus as a Burmese Noodle Soup or One Pot Meal. Since Burma is in close proximity to India, China, and Thailand, the Burmese style of cooking puts together all these exotic regional flavors in their foods and recipes only to create a fascinating cuisine of their own. Though it is traditionally eaten for breakfast, you can have it just anytime. 

    India, China, Thailand On The Globe
    Burma and Neighboring Countries

    I had my first Khow Suey at a famous restaurant in Nagpur and since then, fell in love with the dish. But because I liked it so much, my cravings suddenly increased, and I decided to make it at home so that I can have it anytime to my heart’s content. Sadly, I didn’t find any convincing recipes online that would give me a restaurant like the taste, so I researched a bit, trusted my guts, and ended up creating my own recipe. I have tried and tested it multiple times, and to date, all my guests have loved and appreciated it. It is one of my most favorite things to eat for a Sunday Brunch. 

    Flavour Profile of Burmese Khow Suey

    For any Burmese cuisine, their ingredients are the key to their unique flavors and are commonly used across all recipes. Since we are looking at the Indian Style Vegetarian version of the recipe, we are going to use all the exotic vegetables such as Mushrooms, Baby Corns, etc., instead of any animal protein as traditionally used in Burmese cuisine. You can modify it if you want. In fact, my version is also vegan-friendly, so it’s a perfect dish if you want to try something totally dairy-free.  

    Turmeric, Onion, Garlic, Ginger, Lemongrass and Red Chilly along with Gram Flour (Besan) and Coconut Milk form the base of the sauce. And leafy greens such as coriander and green onions along with lemon juice are used to add a hint of freshness to the broth. Therefore, as you prepare for the recipe, you must have all these ingredients ready at your kitchen desk. 

    Recipe of Burmese Khow Suey

    Cuisine: Burmese

    Preparation Time: 10 Minutes

    Cooking Time: 20-30 Minutes

    Servings: 4 (Medium Sized Soup Bowls)

    So let’s start cooking!

    Khow Suey is basically prepared and served in Three Key Steps:

    1. Coconut Milk Sauce
    2. Noodles or Rice
    3. Condiments

    Step 1: Coconut Milk Sauce 

    Ingredients:

    • 1 tbsp Olive Oil, 1 tsp Turmeric, 1 tbsp Besan/Gram flour
    • 4-5 Garlic cloves, a small piece of Ginger, 1 medium-sized Onion, 2-3 Dried Red Chillies 
    • 3-4 springs of Lemongrass (Brand: Keya)
    • 500-600 ml Coconut milk (Brand: Dabur Homemade) 
    • Vegetables of choice (Diced Mushroom, Zucchini, Baby Corn, Broccoli, Carrot)
    • Salt to taste

    Method: Take a medium-sized pan and place it on medium flame. Add olive oil to it. Add a freshly made paste of garlic, ginger and red chilies to the pan along with finely chopped onions. Sauté them till light brown.

    Ginger Garlic And Red Chilli
    Ginger, Garlic and Red Chilli
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    Ginger Garlic And Red Chilli Paste Being Sauteed In Olive Oil
    Ginger, Garlic and Red Chilli paste being sauteed in Olive Oil


    Throw in some lemongrass sprigs and let them ooze out the flavor. Now add besan and turmeric and roast the ingredients on low flame for about 5-7 minutes. Add about 50 ml of water to balance the texture.

    Gram Flour And Turmeric
    Gram Flour and Turmeric
    Lemon Grass Springs
    Lemongrass Sprigs 
    Roasting Gram Flour Turmeric And Lemon Grass On Low Flame
    Roasting Gram Flour, Turmeric and Lemongrass on low flame. 

    Gently pour coconut milk to the base and keep stirring the broth for another 5 minutes.

    Coconut Milk
    Coconut Milk 
    Adding Coconut Milk To The Base
    Adding coconut milk to the base

    Stirring The Broth To Obtain A Smooth Consistency
    Stirring the broth to obtain a smooth consistency

    Now throw in all the vegetables of your choice and fold them in the coconut milk. Cook until the broth starts to boil and thickens to a soup-like consistency. Add salt to taste. Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes. 

    Vegetables Of Choice
    Vegetables of Choice
    Adding All Vegetables To The Coconut Broth
    Adding all vegetables to the coconut broth
    Folding All Vegetables In The Broth
    Folding all vegetables in the broth

    Your coconut milk sauce is ready! 

    Note: Since we have used besan, the broth will begin to thicken quickly, so make sure there are no lumps, and the sauce remains smooth. You may keep adding some water to adjust the consistency. Remove all the Lemongrass Sprigs from the sauce, once cooked.

    Step 2: Noodles 

    While you are cooking your coconut milk sauce, you can simultaneously prepare your noodles in another vessel. Though traditionally, Khow Suey is served with Noodles, I prefer Rice over it. The choice is yours. 

    Instant Noodles

    Method: Take a medium-sized vessel and add 4-5 cups of water to it. Add a pinch of salt and few drops of olive oil (or any oil). Put it on high flame and allow it to boil. When the bubbles appear, add your noodles/spaghetti and let it cook for about 8-10 minutes. Strain the water completely and cool down the noodles. 

    Note: If you do not like noodles, you can prepare rice as an alternative. 

    Step 3: Condiments

    For my version, I use the following toppings and garnishes. You can add or remove them as per your choice:

    Salted Peanuts Fried Garlic Fried Onions Leafy Greens Coriander Spring Onion Leaves And Lemon Wedges

    Salted Peanuts, Fried Garlic, Fried Onions, Leafy Greens (Coriander, Spring Onion Leaves), and Lemon Wedges.

    Method: You only need to prepare fried onions and garlic because the rest of them are fresh garnishes. Cut onions and garlic into thin slices and fry them in hot oil till they turn brown and crispy. Soak all the extra oil on a tissue paper and transfer them into a dish. 

    How to Serve and Eat Khow Suey? 

    How To Serve And Eat Khow Suey 1

    Presentation is key here because you would want to highlight all your ingredients. 

    Take a soup bowl and pour a big spoon of hot coconut milk & vegetable sauce in it. Place a small nest of noodles or rice on the sides. Put all the condiments in small separate dishes and place it alongside the soup bowl in an array or a circle.  

    How To Serve And Eat Khow Suey 2

    Repeat the same for other servings. 

    Before you begin eating, place your noodles or rice on top of the soup. Sprinkle the choice of garnishes and squeeze some lemon juice over it. Fold everything gently and take your first bite. 

    Well, they say:

    "A great dish is a journey to the places you have never been to." Tweet if you agree!

    That’s it. Enjoy your food journey to Burma! 

    P.S. Do try this healthy, delicious one-pot meal recipe at home, add your own twist to it and let us know how it was in the comment section. 

    Last updated on December 26, 2019
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