Paleo Chicken Ohn No Khao Swè

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At first I was very apprehensive about posting this recipe. There’s so much confusing regional variations within Asia; there’s khao soi of Northern Thailand, laksa of Malaysia, and then of course, khaw suey of the Indian subcontinent. But after some scholarly research (Wikipedia) I’ve concluded that ohn no khao swè  is the mother of all other “khaos”. The variations are a product of Burmese migrants moving across the subcontinent, thus why you can find recipes containing ingredients such as cumin, coriander and sometimes even kaeng and panaeng curry paste.

This paleofied Burmese version however, is lighter on the spices and starch and doesn’t make you feel like collapsing into a coma after eating. Instead of heavy wheat noodles I used zucchini noodles but if you’re up to shelling $10 kelp noodles would be amazing!

I like having ohn no khao swè two ways: one with less coconut milk to create a thick sauce (void of chickpea flour), made ideal for little people. The other way, I add twice as much coconut milk with some chicken broth, similar to khao soi. And ALWAYS with a lot of toppings… it’s all about the toppings, something that its Thai counterpart lacks. What this paleo version is missing however, is a crunch factor from the forbidden fried noodles and bean sprouts. Crispy fried onions or even raw red onion would go excellent paired with the other garnishes!

Paleo Chicken Ohn No Khao Swè
Serves four

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless chicken (I used boneless thighs), cut into sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 large onion or 4 shallots, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ inch grated ginger
  • 2 Thai green chilli peppers, deseeded and sliced (mine was mild, add more if you want it spicier)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1-2 cans full-fat coconut milk (1 for a thick consistency, 2 for a soupier consistency like khao soi, with one cup of chicken broth)
  • 2 cap fulls vinegar (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
  • 8 medium sized zucchinis

Garnishes:

  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 limes, quartered
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • Cloves of a whole garlic, sliced
  • 5 Thai red/green chillies, slices (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon dried red chillies peppers, 1 tablespoon chilli flakes and 1 teaspoon paprika combined (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • A bottom of fish sauce, on the side

Method:

In a medium sized pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil on medium-high heat and add minced onions.

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When they turn translucent, add your garlic and deseeded and sliced green chilies. Fry everything for a minute or two until fragrant.

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Remove the onion mixture from the pot and into a blender and purée.

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Once puréed, pour the onion mixture back into the pan on medium-high heat. Add your chicken pieces, turmeric and salt and sauté until thoroughly cooked.

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In the meanwhile, spiralize your zucchinis and sauté to your preference.

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…And prepare your garnishes (hard boiled eggs, cilantro, green onions and limes) and fry your sliced garlic in 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a small pan on medium heat until lightly browned — set aside.

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To make the chilli oil: in the remaining (now garlic-infused) oil add the dried red chillies peppers, chilli flakes and paprika and set the flame on low for five minutes until the oil starts to turn a bright neon orange and set aside.

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Once the chicken is cooked add the coconut aminos, fish sauce and can(s) of coconut milk and simmer on medium heat until you reach your desired consistency (This is how your coconut milk should look – do not use light coconut milk for this recipe).

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At the very end, add two cap fulls vinegar and chilli flakes.

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This is best served in a plate to maximize the surface area for the garnishes. Go heavy-handed on the fried garlic, lime, cilantro and green onions!

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Comments

  1. munesa says

    Assalamualaikum and wowwwee! i’ve been looking for a blog like this for a while now, i’ve always wanted to go paleo but honestly, just don’t have the will power. Living in Paris is just too hard. I also have burmese roots so know dishes like khowse, mohinga etc and I LOVE CHEESE. Have you tried compte?

    keep going! best of luck!
    Munesa xx

    • asima says

      Thanks! I’m sure I would have trouble with will power as well if I was surrounded by bread and cheese all the time!
      And with going paleo – it takes baby steps and I’m still taking them 🙂

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