How To Make: Kuay Jap Yuan

Kuay jap yuan is acually a Vietnamese dish that was introduced to NE Thailand via Laos. Kuay jap is Chinese for a kind of thick noodle dish, and yuan is a semi-derogatory word for people or things of Vietnamese origin. Not sure what it's called in Vietnamese, perhaps Graham at noodlepie can tell us? In any event, it's a very simple dish to make, and equally delicious.

Two ingredients are essential for this dish: moo yor, a kind of Vietnamese sausage described below, and the fat round sticky-rice noodles particular to this dish. They're sold dried in Thai supermarkets and labelled as "Vietnamese Noodles". The noodles are coated with a layer of flour and are made by being boiled directly in the broth (rather than in separate boiling water, as in most noodle dishes). The flour mixes with the broth and results in a somewhat thick broth. Do NOT use the flat rice noodles, they will not provide this texture.

Again, as with most of my recipes, I'm not big on measurements.

The night before I had made chicken stock and reserved some of boiled chicken meat. I pulled about two litres of the stock out and brought it to a boil, and in the meantime made hom jiaow, crispy fried shallots. This is done by frying about half a cup of thinly-slice shallots in lots of oil over medium-high heat until brown and crispy:

When finished set the hom jiaow on paper towels to absorb oil. Set aside.

Next prepare the remainder of the soup ingredients. Thinly slice half an onion, chop up some green onions, and add them to the boiling broth along with some fish sauce to taste:

Possibly the most important ingredient of kuay jap yuan is a Vietnamese pork sausage called moo yor (moo is Thai for pork, and yor is the Thai pronunciation of the Vietnamese gio). Moo yor is steamed in banana leaves. Unwrap the moo yor:

slice it, and add it, along with the chicken, to the boiling broth:

Let this boil for a few minutes, and in the meantime wash and prepare a platter of fresh herbs: green onion, cilantro, mint, as well as slices of lime and chilis:

These will be served along with the finished noodles.

When the meat is heated through, add the dried noodles:

When the soup reaches a boil again, reduce the heat and let simmer until the noodles are done, about 5-7 minutes. Taste the noodles to see if they're done, and taste the flavor of the broth again:

Serve in bowls sprinkled with the hom jiaow, add the fresh herbs of your choice, mix:

And eat: