How to make ohn no kauk swe (coconut soup with noodles)

Flavours of home is a series of recipes from around the world cooked by people at home in Otago. This week Nanda Wati, from Myanmar, shows us how to make ohn no kauk swe (coconut soup with noodles).

Nanda Wati came to New Zealand from Yangon, Myanmar, about four years ago as a student.

Her degree in mathematics was not recognised here, so she decided to study tourism at Otago Polytechnic.

Now she works in the tourism industry.

This is a popular dish in Burma.

It is found on street stalls, people cook it at home and it's often served at weddings and other celebrations.

It's one of those recipes that can easily be stretched to feed more people and you can make it in large quantities, and reheat as needed.

About 200g bone-in chicken
100g chickpea flour
1 can (about 450g) coconut cream or milk
2 onions, one finely chopped, one coarsely chopped
1/2 cup cooking oil
1-2 tsp garlic paste
2-3 tsp ginger paste
1/2-1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2=1 tsp mild chilli powder
1-2 tsp ground black pepper
salt and MSG to taste
A packet of egg noodles (there are usually 8 bundles in a packet)

to garnish:

coriander leaves,
chopped onion, finely chopped (optional)
lime or lemon juice

Simmer chicken in just enough water to cover for about half an hour, or until cooked.

Take out the chicken, keeping the stock for the soup.

Remove bones and shred the chicken into small pieces.

Mix the chickpea flour with about one cup of water until it is a smooth paste.

Bring the coconut cream or milk to the boil, turn off.

Bring the chicken stock to a simmer and add the chickpea paste, whisking all the time until it is incorporated and thickens.

Add the hot coconut cream, the shredded chicken and the coarsely chopped onion.

Leave over a low heat to simmer, stirring occasionally so it doesn't burn on the bottom.

Heat the oil in a pan, and when hot, add finely chopped onion, garlic, ginger, spices and seasoning.

Stir and allow to bubble gently until fragrant.

Stir into the soup and allow it simmer 5 to 10 minutes while you cook the noodles.

Oil will come to the top.

Heat a pot of water to boiling, add about a teaspoon of oil, then the noodles.

Use a fork to break up the bundles.

Cook until soft, 5 to 7 minutes.

Drain and refresh with cold water.

To serve:

Put some noodles in a bowl and ladle over some of the soup, making sure to include some onion and chicken.

Sprinkle with coriander leaves, raw onion if you like, and a few drops of lime or lemon juice.

Use a big pot as the soup can overflow when it boils.

If you like a thicker soup, use more chickpea flour, which is available from Asian shops or good supermarkets.

Rinse out the can of coconut cream with water to get it all out.

Cutting the noodles with scissors as you serve them makes them easier to eat.

This soup is only mildly spicy, but you can use as little or as much chilli powder as you like.

At some Burmese street stalls they offer hot chilli flakes as a garnish.

You can prepare the soup and noodles ahead, and chill them.

To serve, just heat the soup on the stove or in a microwave and ladle over cold noodles.

Thanks to Afife Harris.


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