Noodles dishes, or “guay tiew,” are very popular in Thailand. You can find these dishes being served all day long everywhere, from street stalls and local markets to established restaurants. There are so many types of noodle dishes in Thailand that you can spend a month in the country and try a different noodle dish every day. Whether you like to eat your noodles dry or with broth, here are some of the most delicious noodle dishes you should try in Thailand!
1. Guay Tiew Ruea (Boat Noodles)
“Guay Tiew” or Kuai Tiao is Thai for “noodles,” while “ruea” means boat. This popular Thai noddle dish gets its name because it used to be made and served from boats that navigated through Bangkok canals. The strong flavoured broth is traditionally made of cinnamon, star anise, and animal blood to provide thickness. However, you can usually ask for it without blood nowadays. The toppings typically include meatballs, bean sprouts, beef or pork, pork’s liver, and morning glory. For the noodles, you can normally select the noodles of your choice.
2. Pad Thai
Pad Thai is possibly the most famous Thai noodle dish. It consists of thin rice noodles, tofu, dried shrimp, bean sprouts, and scrambled eggs. Sometimes, pork, meat, or chicken can also be added to the dish. All ingredients are stir-fried with a sauce made with tamarind paste, garlic, chiles, and palm sugar. It’s salty, nutty, and slightly sweet, so you get a combination of sweet and savoury in each bite. This Thai national dish is truly a treat for your tastebuds!
3. Yen Ta Fo (Pink Noodle Soup)
The first noodle dish you have to try in Thailand is Yen Ta Fo. It’s a pink-coloured Thai soup consisting of various noodles with hearty pork or chicken broth seasoned with fermented red bean curd. In addition to noodles, the flavourful soup is filled with assorted fish and shrimp balls, pork, fried tofu, and morning glory. Some places might also add fresh jellyfish, shrimp, and white mushrooms. Yen Ta Fo is traditionally made from pink-coloured tofu. Some shops add chilli to the soup by default, so if you can’t eat spicy food, make sure to ask the seller first.
4. Pad See Ew
Pad See Ew is an extremely popular Thai street food meal. It’s made of wide and flat rice noodles stir-fried in soy sauce with eggs, meat, and Chinese broccoli. You can add chilli and vinegar to it to make the taste even more divine. The flavour can be complex, but it’s very delicious. It tastes salty with a very subtle sweetness. You also get a wonderful chargrilled flavour in every bite, which can be hard to duplicate at home.
5. Rad Na (Rice Noodles in Thick Gravy)
Rad Na is one of the most popular Thai noodle dishes among locals. It basically consists of flat rice noodles that are stir-fried with a thick brown gravy and served with meat on top. Some places also serve the dish with chicken, seafood, or pork. The brown gravy is made of cornmeal and seasoned with fish sauce, sugar, sweet soy sauce, and pepper. You can choose from various different types of noodles, including wide rice noodles, vermicelli, and crispy yellow noodles.
6. Khao Soi (Coconut Curry Noodle Soup)
Khao Soi is a signature dish of Northern Thailand. This Burmese-influenced dish is a mixture of crispy egg noodles with lemons, shallots, pickled cabbage, chilly peppers, and meat (chicken, pork, or beef). The base of the soup is a slightly spicy broth made of a combination of red curry paste and coconut milk. It has a vibrant and aromatic taste that will make your taste buds happy.
7. Yum Woon Sen (Glass Noodle Salad)
If you’re looking for something simple, refreshing, and can be very spicy, you should definitely try Yum Woo Sen or Glass Noodle Salad. It’s made of thin and smooth noodles and can be eaten with fresh vegetables like lettuce, green onions, and coriander. Some places also add ground peanuts, seafood, and minced pork. What makes this Thai noodle dish unique is its fresh or spicy lemon sauce.
8. Guay Tiew Tom Yum (Hot and Sour Noodle Soup)
Guay Tiew Tom Yum or Tom Yum Noodle Soup can be a little confusing since they can take two distinct styles. When you hear the word Tom Yum, the first thing that comes to mind might be a rich orange soup with lemongrass, shrimps, galangal, and mushrooms. Moreover, noodles can be added to the soup to make Tom Yum noodles. In most cases, however, Guay Tiew Tom Yum is different from this classic Tom Yum soup. Instead, it’s noodle soup flavoured with lime juice, chilli flakes, and crushed peanuts. It might be slightly different from the classic Tom Yum soup made from Thai herbs, but it’s just as delicious!
So, which one of these delicious noodle dishes are you most excited to try? No matter which noodle dishes you want to try first, get ready to delight your taste buds
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