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Kuaitiao ruea (soup)

Posted in : Soup on by : admin

Kuaitiao ruea (boat noodles or boat noodle soup) became popular in Bangkok during the first half of the 20th century, where the dish was sold from boats in the city’s canals. Ruea is a Thai word for boat. Nowadays, you can also find street vendors and many riverside restaurants offering kuaitiao ruea.

Kuaitiao ruea, which is usually served in a rather small bowl, can be made from various noodle types, including rice noodles, egg noodles, sen yai and sen lek. An important part of kuaitiao ruea is pig’s blood.

Kuaitiao ruea recipe (8 servings)

In this recipe, I’m using ready-made frozen Thai pork balls from my favourite Thai store. You can of course use your own home-made Thai pork balls instead.

Ingredients for the broth

  • 10 cups pork stock
  • 2 1⁄2 lbs of boneless pork shoulder
  • 3⁄4 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 10 sprigs cilantro
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, thinly sliced
  • 2 pandan leaves
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 (1 1⁄2-inch) piece galangal, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 ounces Thai rock sugar (or 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar)

Ingredients for the soup

  • 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 oz. frozen Thai pork balls
  • 10 oz. thin, flat rice noodles, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes and drained
  • 8 oz. boneless pork shoulder, sliced into 1-inch strips (about 1⁄8-inch–thick)
  • 2 stalks celery, leaves and tender stalks roughly chopped
  • 2 oz. spinach, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 1⁄2 cups bean sprouts
  • 4 teaspoon pig’s blood
  • 1⁄4 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 1⁄4 cup Thai fish sauce
  • 1⁄4 cup vinegar-pickled Thai chilli peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1⁄4 cup pickling liquid from the Thai chilli peppers
  • 4 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 4 teaspoon granulated sugar


  1. Start by making the broth. Place all the broth ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and leave to simmer under a lid until the pork is tender. This will take 60-90 minutes. Transfer the pork to another pot and strain the broth into that pot. Keep warm.
  2. While the broth is simmering, you can prepare all the ingredients for the soup so you have them handy when it’s time to put the soup together. Mince the garlic, soak the rice noodles, slice the raw pork shoulder, etc.
  3. When it’s time to put the soup together, start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, fry the garlic in the oil in a saucepan over medium-low until the garlic is golden. The frying will usually take 6-8 minutes. Set the garlic and the oil aside.
  4. Put pork balls, rice noodles, sliced pork shoulder and celery in the boiling water and cook until the pork is cooked through. This will usually only take 4-6 minutes if the water is boiling good when you add the ingredients.
  5. Add spinach and bean sprouts to the pot, but only let them cook for 30 seconds. Divide the soup into eight bowls.
  6. Add broth and pork to each bowl, and also pour fried garlic and the oil over each bowl.
  7. Stir ½ teaspoon of pig’s blood into each bowl.
  8. Top each bowl with cilantro, fish sauce, chilli peppers, pickling liquid, chilli powder and granulated sugar before serving.