A blog about food in Thailand
and elsewhere.

Kuaytiaw khua kai

Posted date:  July 27, 2008

Making kuaytiaw khua kai, rice noodles fried with egg and noodles, on Charoen Krung Soi 16

Kuaytiaw khua kai, wide rice noodles fried with chicken and egg, is a dish found all over Bangkok’s Chinatown. I’ve had it a couple times, but have never been blown away, usually finding it often too bland or too oily. However a recent peek into a normally dark alleyway revealed the best take on the dish so far.

The dark alleyway in question, which also doubles as stall’s ‘dining room’, is Trok Issaranuphap (Charoen Krung Soi 14), the hectic market alleyway generally known as talaat mai:

Charoen Krung Soi 16, a market alley that at night also functions as the dining room for a stall serving kuaytiaw khua kai

The owner stations himself at the top of the alley near Th Yaowarat and painstakingly fries the dish on a small brass plate over hot coals with no more than a tablespoon. The noodles, fried with garlic-steeped oil, stick to the pan, which coupled with the coals, gives the dish a deliciously smoky flavour and an occasionally crispy texture. In addition to egg and chicken, crunchy pickled squid and chopped green onions are added, and the whole lot is served on a bed of lettuce:

A dish of kuaytiaw khua kai, wide rice noodles fried with egg and chicken, as served on Charoen Krung Soi 16

With a sprinkle of salty fish sauce, a dash of chili, and accompanied by the stall’s sweet lamyai juice, kuaytiaw khua khai is one of Chinatown’s better noodle dishes.

Kuaytiaw khua kai (Google Maps link)
Trok Issaranuphap (corner Charoen Krung Soi 14 & Th Yaowarat)

7 Comments for Kuaytiaw khua kai

I was never a big fan of the Kuaytiaw Khua Kai for the same reasons as yours, I guess. But I must try this one, your explanations make me hungry again, thanks for the map.

Do try it–I’m sure it will change your mind. Hope the map helps.

Visited this place a day after sampling Nay Lao, and I must say I enjoyed this experience even more. A really tasty, perfectly portioned meal, this is perfect as a starter before moving onto more grazing along Yaowarat. The combination of flavours was delicious and the ingredients perfectly proportioned for such a seemingly simple dish. A dash of fish sauce and I could eat this every day for breakfast lunch or dinner !

[…] noodles fried with chicken breast and pickled squid and served over lettuce, I first encountered at this alleyway vendor in Chinatown. He has been my go-to guy for the dish, and I don’t believe I’ve tried it anywhere […]


When you do meet exceptional “masters” such as this gentleman who so painstakingly devotes himself to his single dish, would you consider filming his art and dedication on video for posterity? There are few enough of these very humble and dedicated souls who seem to have a bodhisattva trajectory quite removed from mere profit-making: satisfying people with their labors and laving the world a better place.

There might be 15-20 of such exceptional artists that you might come across in your life and they could become a separate publication or a mini-genre within your portfolio. Please think about it. I am sure that there are many who share my interests.

There is a beekeeper in BKK who travels with his hive strapped behind his bicycle, extracting honey on the spot for sale. I have always wondered where his bees managed to harvest their nectar? And from what blossoms? Do they not feel choked by the fumes of BKK city traffic?

Have you ever seen this gentleman or tasted his honey?

Thank you for a great site.

thanks for a great posting on a truly astonishing chef. it was fascinating to watch his cooking method : he refries the noodles to give them the “wok hei” smokiness and skillfully infuses the eggs and stock to produce a dish which is spectacular in flavour and texture : this comes closer to what the cantonese call “wat tan hor fun” (smooth egg flat noodles) than “char kway teow”

[…] I chose this not only because the introduction to the recipe describes the time when I took Andy to this stall in Bangkok’s Chinatown, but also because it’s one of my favourite Bangkok-style Thai dishes, not to mention one that […]

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