Boat Noodles


Inspired by noodlepie's mention of a Flickr noodlemap, today I hit the streets in search of a noodlelunch. My search led me to a neighbourhood restaurant selling kwaytiao reua, "boat noodles", possibly the second most popular form of noodle in Thailand. This is a dish associated with central Thailand, and is so called because it used to be sold from small boats along the canals and rivers. Today all of Bangkok's canals have been turned into streets, but the boats still survive:


That these noodles are normally served from a landlocked boat is not their only interesting attribute. Boat noodles are among the most intensely flavoured noodle dishes in Thailand, featuring a dark, somewhat sweet broth suggestive of spices such as cinnamon and clove, a hearty dose of pork blood, and crushed pork rinds and dried chilies in every bowl! The dish is normally made with pork or sometimes beef, and when you order, you choose the form of meat you desire, which can include meatballs, ground meat, stewed falling-apart meat or liver. Thankfully, dish also includes something green in the form of par-boiled morning glory (I asked for extra):


As with other Thai noodle dishes, you can also choose the type of noodles you want, although I think this dish is best with the thin rice noodles known in Thai as sen lek:


The bowls are tiny, and very cheap--only 10 baht each--and I can easily put down three or four. Rather than doing that though, I opted to try the only other dish this restaurant makes, khao khluk kapi:


This is rice cooked with shrimp paste and served with all the toppings you see there, including (on top of the rice) sour mango, a shredded omelet and muu waan, "sweet pork", as well as Chinese sausage, lime, thinly sliced green beans, thinly sliced shallots and thinly sliced chilies.

Expect to see more on boat noodles, as I'm planning on making a trip the canal behind the Victory Monument where there are several shops that specialize in this dish.

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