Kuay Jab Nai Ek: peppery rolled noodle pork soup in Bangkok's Chinatown

Kuay Jab (ก๋วยจั๊บ)

by Nai Ek, Bangkok, Thailand (Chinatown)

Yaowarat, Bangkok's chaotic Chinatown neighborhood is a sensory overload. The largest Chinatown in the world is home to a vibrant community of more than 100,000 people of Thai-Chinese heritage and tons of amazing fusion food that is hard to find anywhere else in the world.

This neighborhood is known as one of the best food spots in all of Bangkok (itself recognized as one of the best food cities in the world). While most of the culinary activity happens at night when the sun goes down and the vendors set up their late-night shops and stalls along the busy street, there's plenty to find during the daytime as well.

One of the most famous dishes that you must try when visiting Bangkok is kuay jab, or rolled noodle soup.

kuay jab, or peppery rolled noodle pork soup
kuay jab, or peppery rolled noodle pork soup

The dish begins with a really special clear broth made from pork bones and lots and lots of black pepper. This gives it a really rich pork flavor and a very unique strong peppery taste.

The broth is filled with kuay jab's iconic rolled noodles: wide, flat rice noodles rolled up into tubes. The noodles are soft and a bit chewy with a really nice mild flavor that allows the strong taste of the peppery soup to be the star of the show.

The soup was also served with delicious pieces of crisp fried pork belly, boiled pork balls, and stewed slices of pork meat, and was topped with fried garlic, green onion, and fresh cilantro.

Kuay jab is a comfort dish and can be found all throughout Yaowarat Road, but this is one of the most famous and (in my opinion) best places to order it.

Thai-Chinese crispy pork belly noodle soup in peppery broth
Thai-Chinese crispy pork belly noodle soup in peppery broth

As a side dish we ordered another of the shop's specialties - pork spareribs with Chinese herbs. 

stewed pork ribs with herbs
stewed pork ribs with herbs

The pork had been stewed for so long that the meat fell off the bone and melted away at the first bite. These were some of the best ribs I've ever had!

Thai pork rib soup
Thai pork rib soup

Finally, we ordered a plate of Nai Ek's famous moo krob, or crispy pork belly.

A large serving of crispy pork belly was served with kale and a thick sweet and savory brown gravy.

moo krob, or crispy Thai pork belly
moo krob, or crispy Thai pork belly

I love moo krob (although it's not so healthy, so I don't get to eat it very often), but it's easy to make wrong. Sometimes the pork belly is too fatty, which I don't think tastes good.

This moo krob was excellent. The pork belly, though fatty, was not overly so, and the skin was an amazing golden-brown with a perfect crunchy texture. I'm not exaggerating when I saw that this could very well be the best moo krob I've ever had!

pork belly in Bangkok, Thailand
pork belly in Bangkok, Thailand

Read More

Check out some of my other favorite places to eat during the day when exploring Bangkok's Chinatown:

Menu

The menu is printed in both Thai and English, making it easy to order even if you cannot speak the language.

Kuay Jab Nai Ek menu and prices
Kuay Jab Nai Ek menu and prices

Location

Nai Ek Roll Noodle is located at 442 ซอย 9, Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100 in the heart of Bangkok's busy Chinatown. The easiest way to get there is to walk from the nearby MRT Wat Mangkorn Station.

Nai Ek Kuay Jab in Bangkok, Thailand
Nai Ek Kuay Jab in Bangkok, Thailand

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