Chef Brett McGregor cooks an authentic Thai chicken curry

In this episode of Taste of a Traveller, Brett travels to Chiang Mai, Thailand’s second largest city. With the help of Base, a local celebrity chef, he wanders the local markets, picking up ingredients for today’s dish, Khao Soi Noodles. Afterwards, Brett learns to be an elephant handler for a day and prepares an offering for the monks at the sunrise almsgiving ceremony. The New Zealand Masterchef winner then comes home to make the course with the help of Olivado Avocado oil.


Main Course

Khao Soi Noodles


Milk-poached chicken breast

The first thing Brett does is create a deep yellow curry paste. Placing dried chilli, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, lime zest, turmeric, ginger, coriander, coriander seeds, and cardamom into a mortar and pestle, he grinds it all together. “The more you pound it,” Brett explains “The finer it gets and the more flavour you get out of your curry.”

Curry paste

Once the curry paste is made, Brett adds a tablespoon of Olivado Avocado oil to a high wok, before adding half a can of coconut milk. “We want it to boil quite profusely,” he says. “After about 2 minutes, the oil will start to come to the surface of the milk. That’s when we add the curry paste we created.”

As the paste starts to thicken, Brett adds more coconut milk, continuously stirring. He then adds about a tablespoon of palm sugar into the dish. “I always like to grate my palm sugar,” Brett explains, “which allows it to dissolve a lot faster and is really tasty.” After that he adds a couple of tablespoons of fish sauce, and we’re almost there.

“The most important thing about cooking a curry is balance, so you have to taste it all the time,” Brett explains before adding a couple of chilli peppers to heat things up. “I’m just going to keep them whole, that way it won’t be overpowering.” To balance the flavour out, Brett than crunches up a few fresh kaffir lime leaves and scatters them over the wok.

Curry in a wok

After turning the heat off, Brett then adds the noodles. “These thin egg noodles are like sponges- they’re going to soak up all that goodness from the Khao Soi and they have a fantastic texture.”

Once the noodles are ready, Brett serves in a bowl, and adds the pre-cooked chicken. The chicken was cooked by placing the breasts into a saucepan and topped with milk. Bring the milk to the boil, reduce heat to a low simmer and poach the chicken for 15 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove from heat and let cool. Set aside and start creating your curry paste.

Brett slices the chicken nice and thinly, and fans it out on top of the noodles. To top the dish off he adds come crispy noodles. “These add a fantastic texture to the dish,” he explains. “You do eat with your eyes, and when plating up, I always look at what’s missing,” Brett says. “And in this case, it’s definitely some fresh herbs.” After adding some Vietnamese mint, and a sprinkling of coriander, this delicious Thai dish is ready.

Khao Soi Noodles

If you would like to try this mouth-watering Thai curry, or any of the meals in the Taste of a traveller series, then you’ll need Olivado’s help. Take a look at our products here, or if you’ve any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our friendly and helpful staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have.