I remember when I was a little girl my mom would take us to a little hole in the wall place in Chiang Mai, Thailand and order us huge bowls of Thai noodle soup. The noodle soup was served with a side of chili peppers in vinegar and I would literally pour spoonful’s of that precious mixture on my Kuay Teow (pretty much making the flavor pure vinegar) but boy was it amazing.
I haven’t been able to find this dish since living back in America, very unacceptable if you ask me. The world needs to be introduced to it! This noodle soup is served with your choice of meat, typically some weird Thai fish balls that are somehow magical once you get past the rubbery texture.
The Asian markets typically carry a variety of meatballs to choose from, but feel free to add whatever meat you like, or even go vegetarian if you must. One of the main ingredients to this soup’s broth is pork seasoning. Pork seasoning is very hard to find so I order mine off Amazon, here is the link to buy it: Amazon
Pork seasoning can literally be used on anything! This stuff is a game changer!
Another main flavor to this soup is crispy fried garlic, you can’t make yourself a bowl of this stuff without it, it just won’t be authentic. I bought my fried garlic at an Asian market in Portland but here it is on Amazon if you can’t find it: Amazon
Also you could just fry yourself up a batch and cross your fingers that you don’t burn it. Alright, while you are on Amazon your going to need to buy some rice noodles. You may be able to find them at your local grocery store if you are lucky, but here you are if not: Amazon There are different sizes of rice noodles, but I prefer the medium size.
To cook the rice noodles, bring a large pot of water to a boil and turn off once boiling, then add the rice noodles and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Strain the noodles and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process, then set the noodles aside.
Time to make our broth! You will need garlic, coriander seeds, white pepper, sugar, and pork seasoning.
First smash the garlic and crush the coriander seeds (you can substitute the coriander seeds for coriander powder). Add the water to a medium large pot and turn on high, add the smashed garlic, crushed coriander, white pepper, sugar, and pork seasoning. Bring the broth to a boil and boil on high for about 7 minutes.
Strain the broth and toss the garlic and coriander remains. Add the meatballs to the strained broth and cook an additional 3 minutes until the meatballs are hot.
Serve over the rice noodles and top with desired amount of red pepper flakes, sugar, vinegar and pepper mixture, cilantro, bean sprouts, and fried garlic.
To make the vinegar and pepper mixture you will need to cut the hot chili peppers and add them to white vinegar…you never would have guessed huh? It is best to let the mixture sit for awhile so the vinegar can absorb the pepper taste (over night would be best), but if you are in a time crunch even a few minutes will do.
Now its time to dig in!! I made this noodle soup the other day and hadn’t realized it had been over 10 years since I had last had a bowl, needless to say when I took my first bite, I may or may not have teared up. I felt like I was back in Chiang Mai!
I don’t expect you to tear up from your first bite, but I do expect a smile.
Here’s another picture, because I just can’t get enough of this beautiful noodle soup.
- 1 bag rice noodles
- 11 oz. pork meatballs (or meat of your choice)
- 1 bag bean sprouts
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tbsp. coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 tbsp. pork seasoning
- 6 cups of water
- fried garlic
- red pepper flakes
- white vinegar
- green hot chili peppers
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, turn off when boiling then add the rice noodles and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Strain the noodles and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process, then set aside.
- Chop the cilantro, smash the garlic, crush the coriander seeds, and cook the meat if not already precooked.
- Add the 6 cups of water to a medium large pot and turn on high, add the smashed garlic, crushed coriander, white pepper, sugar, and the pork seasoning. Bring to a boil and boil on high for about 7 minutes.
- Strain the broth and toss the smashed garlic and coriander seed remains, then add the meatballs to the strained broth. Cook an additional 3 minutes until the meatballs are hot.
- Serve over rice noodles and top with desired amount of red pepper flakes, sugar, vinegar mixture, cilantro, bean sprouts, and fried garlic. ENJOY!!
- To make the vinegar and pepper mixture, mix about a 1/2 cup of white vinegar and add about 4 roughly chopped green peppers. Let the mixture sit over night if you have time or sit for at least 15 minutes.