Sukhothai Noodles

Thailand noodle dish

My girlfriend and I went to Sukhothai, Thailand for Loi Krathong. It's a Thai festival which takes place around the 12th full moon. This year it was the weekend of November 17th. The festival supposedly started in Sukhothai when it was the capital of Thailand about 600 years ago. Loi means 'to float', while krathong refers to a container which floats on the water.

Lighting Krathongs
A krathong is decorated with  banana leaves, flowers, incense sticks, and a candle. A small coin is sometimes included as an offering to the river spirits. On the night of the full moon, Thais launch their krathong on a river, and make a wish. The krathong floats away taking the misfortune and sin of the owner with it.
 At Sukhothai Historical Park there were also fireworks, martial arts displays, dances, and a great selection of different regional Thai foods to try. you can see more photos of our trip in Sukhothai at my photo blog.
Krathong Vendors

Krathongs can be made of many things including banana stalks, wood, lotus, and bread. The key is that the components are edible or bio-degradable as to reduce waste in the rivers and ponds. We saw many elaborate and beautiful ones for sale on the streets, as well as at the Sukhothai historical park. There seems to be 100's of different types. If you would like to make your own krathongs you can learn how at this website:
http://www.thepassagesamui.com/blog/make-krathong-guide/

No.4 guesthouse
We arrived a couple of days before and checked in to a cool place called No.4 Guesthouse. Very atmospheric and secluded but close enough to the centre of town that you could easily walk. It was kind of a hassle to get to, because the taxi drivers will insist it doesn't exist. We persevered and they finally drove us there. I think it's a payola thing. The pancakes with mango were so delicious we had them for breakfast everyday.
 One of the things I wanted to try in Sukhothai was Kuaytiaw Sukhothai. A noodle dish that is supposed to originate in this town. So after a bit of sight seeing we walked about 1km or so out of town to Jay Hae a roadside restaurant that is famous for the dish. It's not much to look at, but judging by the size of the parking lot many people must stop here. There's no English menu, but the servers assume you want kuaytiaw sukhothai, Mia and I both ordered it naam, which means with broth.



kuaytiaw sukhothai noodles
Jay Hae Restaurant in Sukhothai
The Sukhothai noodles came with slices of roast pork, little meatballs, pork rind, thinly sliced green beans and herbs, as well as peanuts and ground chili. The noodles themselves are the very thin rice noodles called sen lek,
The first thing you notice is the sweetness. Palm sugar is one of the main flavourings. Lime juice, tamarind and the chili balance the dish out. I didn't add any of the standard table condiments because the dish stood on its own. The noodles are nice and chewy and you can't really go wrong with roast pork!

kuaytiaw sukhothai noodles
Kuaytiaw Sukhothai at Somsong Pochana


When I got back to Bangkok and started writing this article, I wanted to try kuaytiaw sukhothai again. I found a place people recommended called Somsong Pochana and coincidentally it was about 20m down the same small soi my guesthouse was on in Phra Nakhon. I stayed at Donkey Dude Guesthouse for almost 2 weeks and Somsong Pochana became my go-to breakfast spot. I got to try the dish both "wet" and "dry" several times. Sukhothai noodles have really grown on me and I hope to make it back in Copenhagen when I return. 









Bangkok Glutton has produced a nice little video of Sukhothai noodles being made at Somsong Pochana:



It seems pretty simple and the ingredients are easily available so I'll try it out at home. When I get the taste down I'll add my recipe to the post.
Thailand Noodle dish

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1 comment

sher said...

ooh looks good! can't wait to try the noodles when I go to sukhothai

Sher
www.shershegoes.com

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