Winter is soup season (for sure), but when I’m craving soups it’s not just any soup. It’s ก๋วยเตี๋ยวน้ำ (guay tiow naam), a delicious, full bodied Thai soup made with a fragrant broth and flavor infused boiled root vegetables. It is one of the most comforting and nostalgic foods for me in this entire world.
Now, Mister and I do like to frequent วัดมงคลรัตนาราม (Wat Mongkolratanaram), a local Thai temple run by live in Buddhists and Thai volunteers, and while I do love their food, and trust me, I do, I don’t love the rising prices. As their popularity increases so do the price tags and it’s getting hard to justify vegetable broth and rice noodles for $8 per bowl. Until now I’ve justified this by knowing the money is going back into the temple but it’s getting a little steep.
So what’s a girl to do? I’ve made my own! I’ve gotten pretty good at flavor profiling at restaurants over the years so I grabbed my friend Gretchen and stopped by my absolute favorite Asian market in Tampa, MD Oriental. I went in with a basic grocery list and grabbed a few extra items to try adding and after four separate batches I. Have. NAILED IT!
This recipe brings the depth of the traditionally meaty broths (typically beef or pork) to a very vegan version. It does have some oils and some refined sugars added, so it may not be the absolute healthiest food ever, but as far as comfort food cravings go it is definitely a winner. More than that it has an easy to shop for grocery list. Where a lot of ethnic foods include difficult to find items I guarantee you this one doesn’t. So give it whirl and let me know what you think!
I also, right at this moment, want to point something out: Vietnamese Phở and Thai Guay Tiow Naam are not the same thing. Yes, they both of mostly clear broths and yes, they both use similar rice noodles but no! The flavors are not even close to the same. Phở has star anise, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon in the broth. This is not “the Thai version of Phở”. They are two distinctly different and stand alone in their awesome contribution to their respective cuisines.
- 1 tbsp neutral flavored cooking oil
- 10 cups of quality vegetable stock or equivalent in bouillon
- 1 extra large carrot, peeled and cut into eighths
- 1 leek, trimmed, rinsed and cut in half
- 1 large diakon root, peeled and cut into eighths
- 2 garlic bulbs
- 1" fresh ginger, cut into slices
- 1 handful cilantro stems
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp ground white pepper
- 1 tbsp palm sugar
- 1 lime, juice only
- Golden Mountain sauce to taste
- 8 oz rice noodles
- 2 cups mung bean sprouts
- 4 tsp fried garlic
- 4 tsp garlic chili sauce
- 2 green onions, chopped
- small handful cilantro chopped
- Chopped, unsalted peanuts
- Golden Mountain Sauce
- Pickled jalapeños
- Ground red pepper
- Palm sugar
- In a large stock pot heat oil. Add carrots, garlic, leeks and daikon. Let cook until it starts to brown. Add broth and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, in a small, reusable cloth bag put the ginger and cilantro stems. When soup is boiling add bag and continue to boil for 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for about an hour and a half, or until vegetables are super soft. When the vegetables are ready add soy sauce, white pepper, palm sugar, lime juice and golden mountain sauce. If serving right away leave on low heat while preparing noodles, if not refrigerate in an air tight container for up to five days.
- Cook rice noodles to package directions, leaving them al dente (we'll be blanching them again shortly). When they are done, rinse them in cool water. Set aside for a few minutes.
- Get four bowls. In the bottom add fried garlic, garlic chili sauce, green onions and cilantro, divided equally between the four.
- Grab a small, fine sieve strainer. In the bottom place 1/4 of the bean sprouts and noodles. Blanch in a pot of boiling water for 20-30 seconds. Dump in one of the bowls and repeat three more times until all the noodles and sprouts have been blanched and the bowls are full. Top with broth and garnish as desired!