Khao Piak Sien (Lao Fresh Rice Noodle Soup)

Step 1: The Broth

Ingredients for Broth:
  • 1 stewing chicken or roasting chicken.
  • water, to cover
  • 1 piece dried or fresh galangal
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • MSG, to taste
  • Fish sauce, to taste

1. Cut up chicken and brown pieces in a large pot.
2. Add water and the rest of the ingredients. Slowly simmer for several hours (if using stewing chicken) or until chicken is cooked through (if using regular fryer). During this cooking time it fits in to make the noodles
3. Remove chicken pieces and allow to cool. Keep the broth on a very low simmer. Shred chicken when cool enough to handle. Remove the bones.

Step 2: Rice Noodles

Ingredients for Noodles:
  • 1 package 450 gm (16 oz) rice flour
  • 1 ½ packages 600 gm (21 oz) tapioca flour
  • boiling hot water, enough to form dough

1. In a large bowl, mix together rice flour and tapioca flour.
2. Slowly stir in boiling water to flours until a lumpy dough forms. 
3. At this stage be aware that the dough may be hot. Form dough into a ball, turn dough on onto a flat surface and knead several minutes. 
4. You may use a pasta machine or a rolling pin to make the noodles. (If using a machine, proceed to the next step.) This works well with the thickest setting to roll out the dough and the thinnest setting to cut the noodles. You may cut the strands into 12 cm  (~5 in) lengths. This allows use of a spoon for eating the final product. Long noodles require the use of chopsticks at dining. Dust the noodles with either rice or tapioca flour to prevent sticking. 
5. The rolling pin method: Pinch off a small piece of dough and roll it about 0.25 cm (1/8 in) thickness. Use a knife and cut into 0.5 cm (~1/4 in) noodles. Make sure to dust with either rice or tapioca flour to prevent the noodles from sticking.

Step 3: Prep the Garnish and Serve

  • Shredded chicken meat
  • Green onions, sliced
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Bean sprouts
  • Fried shallots or fried garlic
  • Fried chillie in oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Lime wedges

To Serve:
There are two serving styles and is a matter of personal preference.
  • Put the uncooked noodles and garnishes directly into the large pot of broth and ladle out individual bowls from the communal pot. This will result in a very thick soup. 
  •  The alternative is to boil the noodles in a separate pot of water and strain, preparing each bowl separately by putting the boiled noodles in individual bowls, ladling the boiling broth over the cooked noodles, and allowing diners to choose their own garnish.