Burmese Coconut Chicken Noodles (Ohn-No Khao Swè)

Serves     6


Use any type of noodles that you have on hand. Flat fettucine noodles would work well (what I used), or egg noodles. Rice noodles would be fine too.

Garnishes add fun and excitement to this dish, so feel free to go beyond the usual ones that I have listed.

Click on the YouTube video listed at the end if you’d like to see how this dish is made, although I did not follow her recipe.



1 ½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs

4 tbsp. fish sauce, divided

1 tbsp. turmeric

1 tsp. chili powder

1 lb. wheat or egg noodles

3 large shallots, peeled and chopped (or small red onion, about 6 ounces)

1 heaping tbsp. chopped ginger, about a 1” knob

5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk, divided



Lime wedges

Sliced shallots or green onions

Chopped cilantro

Chili powder, chili oil, or chili paste

Soft-boiled eggs (somewhere around a 9-minute egg, slightly soft in the center)


Slice or dice the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces, and place into a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the fish sauce and mix well. Set aside to marinate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

While the chicken is marinating bring a pot of water to the boil for cooking the noodles.

To a food processor add the shallots, ginger and garlic. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, turmeric, and chili powder. Process until everything is evenly combined, or finely minced.

Heat the oil in a large fry pan. When the oil starts to shimmer add the onion paste and cook over low heat, until the paste starts to become golden brown, about 10 minutes.  The paste will have reduced by about half once the water has cooked out of it, that’s how you’ll know it’s ready. Once the paste is ready, add to the pan ½ cup of the coconut milk and 1 ½ cups of water. Let this simmer until reduced by half, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the chicken pieces, and the remaining coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes, or until the chicken is done. If you’ve cut the chicken into small pieces it will cook very quickly. Taste for salt and add a bit if necessary.

Now it’s time to cook the noodles. Add to the boiling water and cook according to package directions.  Drain and put into a serving bowl, drizzle with oil and toss the noodles so they won’t stick together.

To serve, set out bowls with the noodles, curry, and the garnishes, and let people serve themselves.


Notes and Instructions

Recipe and photo credit: Linda McElroy

Source materials: