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Lard Na – A Great Noodle Soup Alternative

Lard Na – A Great Noodle Soup AlternativeIt cannot be disputed that wherever you travel to in Thailand the most common street food has to be Thai Noodle Soups, and as they can be found on virtually every street in the country when you first come to Thailand they become one of the easiest and most convenient foods to eat, or could you say a bit of a novelty.  However, once you’ve spent some time here that novelty soon wears off and the popular and convenient dish isn’t quite as appealing as when you first arrived. But that’s not to say that every now and again you don’t fancy a comforting bowl of noodles, its just that there’s a fantastic alternative to the norm, Lard Na, a Lao-Chinese noodle dish that was made popular as a street food by the Chinese ethnics in Laos but is now popular in Thailand.

Lard Na is usually made with stir fried sliced meat or shrimp, Chinese broccoli and carrots and served in a gravy-like sauce that is usually made from chicken stock, fish sauce, and oyster sauce (thickened with cornstarch or tapioca starch).  However, if you’re a vegetarian tofu can also be used as a replacement for the meat or shrimp. And as with other Thai noodle dishes condiments can be added to get that taste just how you want it.

Larn Na is also extremely quick and easy to make at home, here’s our recipe, we hope you will try it and if you do we know you’ll enjoy it!

10 oz wide rice noodles
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 lb chicken or pork, cut into thin slices
3 tablespoons tapioca flour
1 Chinese broccoli
½ cup sliced carrots, halved
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon yellow bean sauce
3 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoons sugar (or a bit less if you prefer)
1/2 teaspoon Thai pepper powder

Soak the noodles in warm water for 30 minutes then rinse in cold water. Add noodles to a pot of boiling water and boil for 1 minute, then rinse in cold water again, and set aside.

Toss meat with 1 tablespoon tapioca flour & leave for 10 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, separate the noodles and toss thoroughly with 1 tablespoon oil and the soy sauce. Fry this in a nonstick pan until golden brown. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Saute garlic in oil over medium heat until golden color, then add yellow bean sauce, stir well until fragrant. Add the chicken and saute until cooked. Add 2 1/2 cups chicken stock. When stock starts to boil, add broccoli and carrots and season with fish sauce, oyster sauce and sugar. Stir well and let cook a bit longer. Mix remaining tapioca flour separately with the remaining 1/2 cup chicken stock, then stir in with the chicken & broccoli until it thickens. Remove from heat.

Arrange the fried noodles on a serving plate, spoon the gravy over the noodles. Sprinkle with Thai pepper powder and serve.

Number of Servings: 2

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