Friday, June 20, 2014

Khao Piak Sen @ Lao Tapioca Noodles in Chicken Broth - Indochina AFF~ Lao Food #3

Khao Piak or Ka'piek is a chewy noodle, almost similar to the texture of udon, of which is made with wheat instead. For locals, we will find it not too far off from the texture of Lai Fun (Assam Laksa noodles, but Lai Fun is less chewy. The Vietnamese has another noodle similar to this, called Bánh canh. But served in other ways.

I had fun making these noodles and they didn't turn hard or dry over time, even when I had them exposed (uncooked) for around 2 hours. I couldn't finish all that I made and kept the balance in the fridge to cook the next day and they didn't harden as well. Just as pliable! And I will say that the dough is not hard to make at all. I made it twice and got the same results each time.

The original recipe called for one whole chicken. But since I am only making 4 portions, it's a bit too much to use the whole bird. In the end I used a Naked Neck's carcass instead, that is known for tasting much better than regular chickens. I want my chicken slices to taste tender and juicy, so I used a separate piece of Naked Neck's breast that I will remove after 15 minutes of simmering.

If we are expecting the broth to taste as robust as hawker's, it's inevitable to add enhancing seasonings. But the choice is always yours. The usual way to cook Khao Piak Sen is to cook the noodles in the broth instead of cooking it separately, that's why I tried this method instead of Malisa's method. I enjoyed the noodles with the thick broth. Slurped everything down leaving the bowl clean!

Khao Piak Sen

Reference: Malisa

Chicken Broth
600gm chicken carcass
1/2 chicken breast
1 big fat lemongrass
1 Tbsp sliced galangal
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 Tbsp fish sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp MSG or Chicken stock powder  to taste

Tapioca Noodles (serves 4)
160gm rice flour
160gm tapioca starch
250gm boiling water
More tapioca starch for dusting

Fried Shallot and garlic
Sliced spring onion
Chopped Coriander leaves
Lime wedges

Prepare broth.
1. Bring 3L water to boil.
2. Put in everything except salt and MSG/chicken stock powder. Bring it back to a boil and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Remove the chicken breast and let the broth to continue simmering for another 2 hours.
4. Season with salt, pepper and MSG/chicken stock powder.
5. Tear the cooled chicken breast into strips.

Prepare Tapioca Noodles.
1. Bring more than 250gm water to boil.
2. Meanwhile place starch and rice flour into a heatproof mixing bowl (just not plastic) and mix. Either place the bowl of flour over a measuring scale or get your measuring cup ready.
3. Pour 250ml/250gm boiling water into the bowl of flour. Stir immediately with chopsticks. Coarse clumps will form.
4. Knead the clumps to form a smooth dough.
5. Generously dust with tapioca starch and roll it to a thickness of around 4mm. Slice the rolled dough to a similiar width as the thickness, so that the noodle looks squarish.
6. Divide the noodles into 4 portions.

Cook the noodles, and final assembly.
1. Bring 2 cups of  broth to boil. Add in one portion of tapioca noodles and bring to boil. Continue to cook until the noodles turn translucent thoroughly, and the broth turns thick.
2. Throw in some beansprouts, and turn off the heat.
3. Pour the noodles into a serving bowl,  and top with chicken strips, fried shallots and garlic, sliced coriander and spring onion and a lime wedge.

I am submitting this to Asian Food Fest Indochina Month


  1. Hi Wendy, the rice flour used is not the glutinous type?

  2. rebecca,
    nope. It's just regular pure rice flour, thai brand Erawan.

    1. Do you use the whole tapioca flour mix in with the rice flour?

  3. I have been toying with the idea of making udon. Now I think I shall shelved that plan and try this.

  4. Good idea comes to me. I have been searching for perfect and easy homade noodle

  5. Is texture like Ipoh lai fun?

  6. Ai Peng,
    If Ipoh's Sei Wooi Lai Fun, then no.
    If Ipoh's assam laksa lai fun, then, it's just similar, and ka'piek is more chewy.

  7. Wow! Kop jai. These turned out perfectly.

  8. making noodles and charcuterie are a couple of my favorite things to do in the kitchen. i am not an expert, but i am having so much fun at it. thank you for this fantastic and informative and easy to follow addition to my list of 2do :-)

  9. I love Lao Tapioca Noodles so much and your recipe resulted in some of the yummiest chewy noodles that would make the country of Laos proud because your recipe is so authentic. Kao Piak Sen is divine and a true Lao comfort food. I absolutely love Lao noodles and thanks to you, my noodles now come out great with that signature Lao bite to it in all of their chewy goodness.

    For anyone who is looking for rice flour, just head over to your local Asian market or do what many people do in Laos by making your own rice flour simply by grinding uncooked rice in a electric grinder or food processor...or if you want to do it the old school way, you can use a mortar and pestle.

    For convenience in modern times, Lao brands of rice flour are typically used to make Lao Tapioca Noodles, but if you can't find one, then any Asian brand or even American brand of rice flour, if it exists, should work.

  10. Yah! I'm going to adapt this recipe and do trial and error to make a vegan friendly one. Would make the noodles from scratch but I have frozen upon noodles I want to use up. I just don't like how hot the water is when mixing the dough up! Lol. My mom used to give us the extra dough to play with growing up whenever her and my grandma made a big pot for the family.

  11. Great recipe! Love laos khao piek yumm. Thank you!


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