Laos – Khao Soi

by Fauzan Anandika

When we talk about Southeast Asia history, we will find that this region is the center of many great kingdoms. One of them was the Lan Xang Kingdom. They exist in the 14th to 18th centuries. Graced by geographical location make Lan Xang become the hub for overland trading and became economically wealthy. Lao People’s Democratic Republic or known as Laos. A country originated from the Lan Xang kingdom and was the kingdom capital.

Laos culinary dominated many kinds of noodles. Fresh or dried, thin, flat, and round people in Laos eat noodles as a meal and also as a side dish. Use rice as the main ingredient, noodle in Laos comes with many different shape, texture, and size. Most of the noodle style and tradition influence by Northern Laos culture. When visiting Luang Prabang province in Northern Laos, people eat noodles days and nights. They even eat noodles on a sweltering day noodle still become their favorite food.

Khao Soi is the favorite noodle in Luang Prabang. In the Lao language, Khao means rice, and Soi means to cut. That’s why Khao Soi made from rice flour. The flavorful clear soup made from pork broth and topped with pork Bolognese. This fatty meat sauce brings a rich taste to Khao Soi. It’s bright red soup color appetizing everyone who sees the menu. And the good part is cooking Khao Soi is easy. Just go to the local market, shop for some ingredients, and start cooking.


Broth Ingredients

  • 1 liter of water
  • 3 lemongrass shaft
  • 10 grams of shallot, chopped
  • 2 slice ginger, 1 cm for each slice
  • 10 grams chopped carrot
  • 5-gram clove
  • 20-gram anise
  • 20 grams of Chinese leaf celery
  • 15 ml of vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoon salt

Bolognese Ingredients

  • 1 kg of tomato
  • 1 piece tomato, diced
  • ½ kg ground pork
  • ¼ kg mak tuo nao (fermented soybeans, chili, and garlic paste, can be substitute with bottled fermented yellow bean sauce)
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 head of garlic, chopped
  • 15 grams of chopped shallot
  • 3 cm ginger grated
  • Sugar
  • Pepper

Other Ingredient

  • Any rice noodle, wide or round
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish

How to cook


  1. Boil all broth ingredient with medium heat.
  2. Slap lemongrass and put into the boiling pot.
  3. Cook for at least 1 hour until smell good. Strain the broth and keep only the soup.


  1. Blend and strain tomato.
  2. Stir fry Grate ginger, shallots, and onion with medium heat.
  3. Add pork and garlic, stir slowly until the pork produce its juice.
  4. Stir fermented soybeans-paste until the pork coated perfectly and release an aroma.
  5. Add diced tomato and reduce into low heat for 20 minutes until tomato is soft and liquid reduced.
  6. Add sugar, pepper, and salt. Adjust the taste.

How to serve

  1. Prepare medium bowl.
  2. Put some cooked rice noodles, pour over the boiling broth.
  3. Add some Bolognese.
  4. Add some garnish.
  5. Eat while hot with your loved one.

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