Kapoon | Source: Getty Images
Kapoon | Source: Getty Images

Master This Kapoon Recipe for a Mouth-Watering Taste of Asian Cuisine

Milla Sigaba
Mar 01, 2024
12:30 P.M.
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Embark on a culinary journey to the heart of Southeast Asia with this Kapoon recipe, a dish brimming with aromatic spices and tantalizing flavors that promise to delight your palate.

Kapoon, a cherished staple in Hmong culture known by different names across Asia, embodies the rich culinary heritage and communal spirit of Southeast Asia. This sumptuous soup, a highlight at celebrations and family gatherings, boasts a rich, aromatic broth.

Simmered chicken pairs with fragrant lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and onion, laying the foundation for a dish that's both comforting and delicious. The sauce—a creamy concoction of red curry paste, coconut milk, fish sauce, and sugar—introduces a savory depth, distinguishing Kapoon.

Accompanied by delicate rice noodles and garnished with fresh herbs and vegetables, Kapoon transcends mere nourishment to celebrate Hmong culture. Join us as we unveil a mouth-watering Kapoon recipe, inviting the flavors of Asian cuisine into your kitchen.

Your Ultimate Kapoon Recipe

Ingredients for the Kapoon:

  • 2 lb chicken pieces (bone-in)
  • 16 oz. rice vermicelli
  • 1 oz. galangal (or ginger root), finely sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 8 tablespoons red curry paste (recipe below)
  • 2 (8 oz.) cans bamboo shoots, drained
  • 1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk

Ingredients for the Garnish:

  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 1 cabbage, thinly shredded
  • 1 banana flower, sliced
  • A few mint leaves
  • A few cilantro leaves
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges

Ingredients for the Red Curry Paste:

  • 12 dry red Thai chili peppers
  • 4 teaspoons ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 15 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced lemongrass
  • 4 shallots, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon sliced galangal (or ginger)
  • peel of a kaffir lime
  • 1 teaspoon salt


The Kapoon recipe involves three main steps before serving: preparing the broth, preparing the curry paste, and creating the flavor base. Find a detailed guide for each step below.

Preparing the Broth:

  1. In a large stockpot, combine chicken pieces and water. Add galangal and a teaspoon of salt, then simmer on medium for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the rice vermicelli in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  3. Once the chicken is tender, remove from the pot, debone, and shred. Strain the broth and set aside.

Preparing the Red Curry Paste:

  1. Soak the chili peppers in water for 10 minutes.
  2. Pound the drained chili peppers with salt, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime peel using a mortar and pestle, adding in the dry spices until a smooth paste is achieved.

Pro Tip: You can use a blender for a quicker alternative to the mortar, but the result will be less traditional.

Creating the Flavor Base:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the stockpot. Sauté garlic for one minute, then add the red curry paste, stirring for a few minutes.
  2. Mix in the shredded chicken and bamboo shoots, cooking for 5 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, then add 6 cups of the reserved chicken broth. Season with salt to taste.
  • Place the rice vermicelli in bowls.
  • Ladle the hot soup over the noodles.
  • Garnish with carrots, cabbage, cilantro, mint, banana flower, and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy immediately.

This Kapoon recipe brings the warmth and richness of Hmong cuisine to your dining table, inviting you to partake in a tradition of communal joy and cultural celebration.

For those intrigued by the flavors of Southeast Asia and eager to expand their culinary horizons, enjoy our exploration of another Lao classic, the Nam Khao.

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