I love noodles. I think I can safely say that I have rarely met a noodle that I didn’t like. Here in Thailand they take their noodles seriously.
Everyone knows about Pad Thai. It is on every menu in every Thai restaurant worldwide. What you get here in Thailand depends on what part of the country you live in. The basic ingredients don’t change but there are subtle differences like nuts and dried shrimp that come into the equation. We are lucky to have a good place to get not only a good Pad Thai but also a very good Pad See Eeu. For those who don’t know Pad See Eeu it is made with wide, flat rice noodles that are flash fried in a wok. I like to order it with squid because they fish for it nearby and it is always super fresh.
The north is known for a noodle dish called Khao Soy. It has been around for centuries. It is made with fresh yellow noodles, a stewed chicken leg, fried yellow noodles, One half a boiled egg, pickled cabbage and lime wedges in a sweet and spicy curry. Heavenly is a good term.
A simple noodle served all over the country from the city to the smallest village is called Kwai Tiaow. In Viet Nam they call it Pho. There are small restaurant vendors and mobile ones cruising around. If you wave at them they will pull over with their modified motorbikes and fix you up with a bowl or two. Thin rice noodles blanched in a steaming hot broth and topped with any number of toppings. All parts of the chicken, meatballs, pork loin, Thai basil, crushed dried chilies, coriander, fresh lime, the list goes on forever. It is all topped off in a piping hot broth.
The Chinese have their influence in the noodle culture here in Thailand as well. They brought with them Char Sui Pork, Dim Sum and many other things. The best Char Sui pork is sold wherever there is an ethnic Chinese population. The guy that drives around my neighborhood makes a nice version. He has yellow noodles, freshly made pork dumplings, Chinese greens and that nicely colored red pork. What makes this guy’s noodles so good is the broth he makes. It is rich without being heavy and wonderfully scented with cinnamon, and anise. He only comes around every few days and I can usually smell his cart long before it shows up on my street.
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Today we went to Phang Nga town renewing our one year visas at the always amusing circus clowns Royal Thai Immigration Office and after we went to a noodle shop that has been owned and operated by the same family for 100 years, Talad Kwang Noodle Shop. It is hidden on a small side road in a residential area and let me tell you, the noodles are out of this world. The menu is small and various types of pork are in everything. The small shop house was busy with locals happily slurping away at their tables. I wanted to ask one of the current owners a few questions but they were too busy. Fortunately I have to return to Phang Nga town in a few weeks to retrieve my passport and will go back for more lovely noodles.
See Talad Kwang on Google Earth Click HERE!