Guay Teow Kua Gai wasn’t always my favourite fried Thai noodle dish. In fact, I’d never heard of it before I came to Bangkok. Like most people, I only knew about pad Thai and pad see-ew. Both of which are mainstays on any Western Thai restaurants menu and neither of which would be something I would go out of my way to order. It wasn’t until moved to Bangkok that I discovered guay teow Kua gai and now that I have, I can’t get enough of these simple, yet incredibly satisfying fried noodles.
There’s only one place I had to to get my fix and that is Luang road in Bangkok’s Chinatown. There is a small alleyway dedicated to these fantastic noodles with a number of different stalls all selling their own versions. There are some amazing outdoor spots like Nai Hong, but for today I’ll be focusing on Ann Guay Tiew Kua Gai.
So What is Guay Teow Kua Gai?
Guay teow means noodles (usually used in reference to noodle soup) in Thai. Kua is to fry in a wok until dry and gai is chicken so the name literally translates to dry fried chicken noodles and that pretty much sums them up. Unlike their more famous cousins, pad Thai and pad see-ew, there is no special sauces used in guay teow kua gai. All their flavour comes from being cooked over coals at an insanely high heat in pork fat with a little soy sauce and finished with spring onions and egg. The flat. Wide rice noodles char and blister and you end up with something resembling a noodle omelette.
The high heat cooking is what gives guay teow kua gai it’s flavour. This is a street food dish after all but who wants to be burning charcoal inside their kitchen all night? ‘Ann’ Is unique in this respect as they cook the noodles street style over blisteringly hot coals in the alley behind the shop, then serve it in an icy cold, air con restaurant giving you you the best of both worlds.
At Ann Guay Tiew Kua Gai you have a few options to choose from:
Chicken, which is the most common, chicken and ham, seafood, or a mix of everything. Next, you pick your egg; You can have the egg scrambled in with the noodles (kai kua), or cracked on top fresh (kai ob), which steams itself with the heat from the noodles.
I usually just order the chicken as I’m not a huge fan of the preserved squid they use in the seafood bowl. I love the fact that they use chicken thigh which is much less likely to dry out when frying as breast tends to. The chicken pieces come simply marinated in soy and pepper and fried until charred and crispy. The noodles are soft and chewy and blistered to perfection. The only other things in the bowl are spring onion and lettuce. Guay teow kua gai is always served on lettuce.
Condiments wise, you have the usual suspects. Chilli vinegar, dried chilli flakes, white pepper and sugar are found on every table. As in most kua gai shops you also get soy sauce. and Thai Sriracha chilli sauce. Whatever your preference, a big drizzle of sour vinegar is a must to cut through the richness of the fatty noodles.
The menu here is in English and Thai so ordering couldn’t be easier. A bowl of Chicken Guay Teow will set you back 50 THB (£1.10 / $1.50), while the mixed bowl with set you back 80 THB (£1.80 / $2.40) like I said street food prices!
Why don’t you take a trip down to Suan Mali A
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How do I get there?
Ann is situated a 5-10 minute walk from Yaowarat and Charoen Krung Roads in Bangkok’s Chinatown.
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