This weekend the boyfriend and I flew down to L.A. for a friend’s wedding. After the reception, we were planning on just taking it easy and enjoying a much needed break from everyday life. So on Sunday, we woke up late, had a long drawn out brunch, spent way too much time shopping at the mall, and then lounged by the ritzy hotel pool until the sun went down. When we were finally hungry for dinner, the boyfriend suggested heading into Thai Town for some authentic Thai food.
As we approached Hollywood Boulevard, we noticed police barricades and what looked like large white tents being taken down. The boyfriend and I looked at each other and immediately our faces dropped with the same thought…
“You don’t think there was a Thai festival today, do you?”
Yes, of course there was! On the one day that we really had nothing else to do… It turns out that Sunday was the 8th annual Songkran festival celebrating the Thai New Year in Thai Town. It was a full day of Muay Thai boxing, fashion shows, folk dances, parades, and of course delicious, authentic Thai food that you probably can’t find anywhere else in the U.S. And we missed it… because we were too busy relaxing! We just shook our heads at each other for the rest of the night…
Luckily we did end up finding tasty Thai street food this weekend, even if we did miss out on the biggest Thai cultural event of the year. After reading good reviews for Siam Sunset online, we decided to give it a try. The boyfriend and I both had bowls of noodle soup that were so big we couldn’t finish even half of them. They were so flavorful and filling, I was inspired to make noodle soup at home so that I don’t have to fly down to L.A. every time the craving hits.
I started with pork noodle soup (guai tiao moo / ก๋วยเตี๋ยวหมู) and the boyfriend and I both were seriously impressed with how well it turned out! Although it looks intimidating, no one step was hard and the finished product is completely worth the effort. The recipe is below – hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Pork Noodle Soup | Guay Teow Moo | ก๋วยเตี๋ยวหมู
Makes 5-6 servings
15 cups water
8 pork bones
6 garlic cloves, smashed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 pork bouillon cube
1 package fresh thin rice noodles
1 pound pork tenderloin
1 package red roast pork powder
1 tablespoon thin soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon white pepper powder
6 cloves garlic, chopped
A handful of bean sprouts
A handful of cilantro
Red chili flakes, to taste
Start by making the pork broth. Combine all of the broth ingredients listed above and bring to a boil in a large pot. Once everything has boiled for ~30 minutes, turn the heat down to medium and let simmer for at least 2 hours. While the broth is simmering, you can prepare the other ingredients.
To make the BBQ pork, combine 1/2 package of the roast red pork powder with 1/4 cup water and mix until dissolved. Marinate 1/2 pound of the pork in the mixture for at least 1 hour. Then cook at 400 degrees for at least 20 minutes or until done.
To make the ground pork, put the other 1/2 pound of the pork in a blender and grind. Add the thin soy sauce and white pepper powder to the ground pork and mix until well combined. Then blanch the ground pork in lightly boiling water until done.
To make fried garlic, chop 6 cloves of garlic finely using a chef's knife. Heat several tablespoons of canola oil to medium heat and add the garlic. Fry until the garlic is golden brown, but not burnt. Scoop out of the oil with a strainer and drain. Save the oil that the garlic was fried in to drizzle on top of the noodles.
To cook the rice noodles, place in boiling water for 10 seconds. Remove and rinse with cold water to prevent them from cooking further. If you can't find fresh noodles, you'll need to soak and/or cook the dried noodles longer until they are al dente.
Now you can arrange all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Put the noodles in first and drizzle a little garlic oil on top of them. Place BBQ pork, ground pork, bean sprouts, cilantro, fried garlic, and chili flakes on top of the noodles. Use as much or as little of these ingredients as you like.
Pour the pork broth on top of everything. Serve with white sugar, white pepper powder, and fish sauce so that the seasonings can be adjusted according to individual tastes. Use a soup spoon to drink the broth and chopsticks to eat the noodles... Enjoy!