Burmese Khow Suey Recipe

Burmese Khow Suey

Burmese Khow Suey

Khow Suey is a Burmese noodle dish with a delicately spiced coconut milk broth served up with an array of different contrasting condiments/toppings. The toppings give this dish a burst of amazing flavours, and textures.

I am not sure how authentic my Khow suey’s recipe is, so I will not make any claims on its authenticity. However, what I can guarantee is that if you like coconut flavour and like to experiment with different flavours then you will love this dish.

If you are ever in Delhi, I would highly recommend you try food at ‘Burma Burma’! They make one of the best Khow Suey I have ever eaten. However, I do not have that luxury since I live in the UK hence, I started my research to find the most authentic and delicious recipe. It took me nearly two years to perfect this dish and I feel I have managed to achieve the right taste.

The thing that I love the most about this dish is the customisation this dish offers. There is no right or wrong in this dish! The various toppings are what makes Khao Suey so lovable. The crispy garlic and onion with the freshness of coriander and heat of chilli with the tanginess of the lime! You will have flavour fireworks with every mouthful!

You might also like to try Burmese Pyajo, Taro Nest, American Chopsuey, Dal Pakwan and Vegetable Wonton Soup.


For the coconut broth
2 roughly chopped onions
1 tablespoon roughly chopped garlic
3 tablespoons roughly chopped ginger
2 roughly chopped lemon grass (around 4-5 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons gram flour (besan)
2 tins of coconut milk (400 gm each)
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper powder
1½ cups diced carrots
2/3 cup chopped baby corn
2/3 cup chopped French beans
1 cup broccoli florets
1½ cup quartered mushrooms
300 gm thin noodles

For Toppings

1/3 cup slightly crushed roasted peanuts
1/3 cup fried onions
1/3 cup fried garlic
2 teaspoons red chilli flakes
2 teaspoons finely chopped green chillies
1 lime quartered
1/3 cup finely chopped coriander



Boil/steam the vegetable for 3-4 minutes.  Drain the vegetables and keep the vegetable stock for later.


Grind together onion, garlic, ginger, and lemongrass into a fine paste.


Heat oil in a deep pan. Add ground paste and sauté for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add turmeric powder and sauté.

Add gram flour and sauté for 7-8 minutes on medium heat.


Add 1 cup of coconut milk and whisk well so that no lumps are formed. Slowly add the rest of the coconut milk and the vegetable stock left from the boiled vegetables.

Add salt and black pepper powder and bring to a boil.


Heat sufficient water in a deep non-stick pan. Add noodles and boil according to the packet instructions. Drain and transfer into a bowl.


Add the vegetables to the broth and boil for 3-4 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.


Take ½ teaspoon of oil in a non-stick pan and on medium heat gently roast the thinly sliced garlic. Drain on kitchen roll or absorbent paper.


To serve

Arrange all the garnishes to serve in individual bowls.

Place boiled noodles in an individual serving bowl. Ladle the broth on top and garnish it with all the accompaniments according to taste.

Tips & Variations

1. I would recommend using white onions for this dish as it gives a sweeter taste to the curry.
2. Lemon grass- The softer, fleshier part of the lemongrass (which is what you want to use in your cooking) is located under the tough outer leaves. Peel away these layers with your fingers and discard them. Use a sharp knife to slice off the lower bulb and discard it. Cut the lemongrass starting from the lower end (where the bulb was) finely.
3. You can use fresh turmeric paste too instead of powder
4. Gram flour is to bind and give some thickness to the broth. If you don’t have gram flour, then you can replace it with 1-2 teaspoon of cornflour slurry. The cornflour slurry can be added after the vegetables are added to the broth. Add it slowly to adjust the consistency.
5. You can use any vegetables you want in this broth. I have used peas, cauliflower, mangetout beans as well in the past. I would recommend using at least 5 vegetables of different colours and texture.
6. You can grind the turmeric powder/ fresh turmeric with onion too.
7. You can use any type of noodles for this dish. I prefer the thin noodles as it soaks up the broth better than the thick ones.
8. You can serve roasted seeds, tofu, chopped spring onions, and thai basil as garnishing too.
9. If you are preparing this dish in advance, then I would recommend oil the noodles (pour 1 teaspoon of oil and mix) after boiling so that the noodles don’t stick.
10. For fried onions follow the same steps as fried garlic. The trick is to slice them very finely and that would help in even browning.

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