Oodles of Noodles

Loosely translated the start of the conversation went like this:

Me: So Saki, its your birthday, what do you want to eat?

Saki: Chef, I would love to have some Kao Piak Sen.

“Kao Piak” means “wet rice” and refers to “rice soup”. Laotian rice soup is served with more liquid (broth) than its Chinese cousin the Congee, which is more like a porridge, hence sometimes it is found on Chinese menus as “Rice Porridge”.

Think of Kao Piak as a (kinda) Pho with rice. The starch from the rice will slightly thicken the stock that it is cooked in, giving it more body.

“Kao Piak Sen” is the rice soup served with noodles in place of the rice.

So the conversation continued:

Me: Khamsene, wanna make some noodles?

Sen: Yes Chef!

This wasn’t a planned part of the night as we had finished our Service and cleaned up after a busy night, however, in “good ole Laocook fashion“, we attacked the mission “con mucho gusto“. 😆

Luckily we already had some Iberian Pork Ribs boiling away throughout the evening, so that took care of the stock.

We didn’t have at hand all the ingredients that we would have liked so we made the noodles from Tapioca Flour and boiling water. Ideally we would have liked to have blended the flour with some Rice Flour, but seeing as the Storeman had gone home, there was no access to the storerooms.

Boiling water is slowly added to the flour which is “carefully” mixed to form a dough.


We use a little trick to help the dough along by steaming it for a few minutes in a cloth.


Once it has cooled enough to handle it is kneaded. This is perhaps the most important part of making the noodles.


The better it is kneaded, the better the result will be. If it is not kneaded well enough the result can be brittle noodles instead of the springy and chewy texture that we want.

Instead of painstakingly rolling out the dough, we set up our Pasta Machine (or should it be called a Noodle Machine? 😆 ).


We rolled through the dough a few times before putting it through the slicing mechanism.




We used Tapioca Flour for dusting the noodles to stop them from sticking, this also helps to gloriously thicken the finished dish.

Kao Piak Sen is cooked differently to its Rice version, much like a Pho, the stock is brought to a boil then the noodles are added for a few minutes until cooked through, it is then plated and seasoned according to personal taste.


Saki´s Dinner.

Lots of chopped herbs, a dash or two of Fish Sauce, a pinch of White Pepper, Garlic Oil and an Egg (I have never seen it served with an egg before, it must be an Isaan thing…) 🙂 .

The final conversation went like this:

Me: So Saki, Happy Birthday, what would you like to drink?

Saki: Champagne! 🙂 .



Kao Piak Sen and Champagne! A strange combination, but an enjoyable one. 😆 .


16 thoughts on “Oodles of Noodles

  1. I think Saki is very luky for recieved quite a treat for his birthday;) i think  Kao Piak Sen also my favorite dish when i was in Laos…Thanks for sharing…sokdee der…

  2.  Hi again,

    sorry, this comment is not re. this post!
    I have a question on  fish paste. I’m really excited by the stuff but on the other hand a bit afraid of it ;-).  I use (and absolutely love) fish sauce and shrimp paste, but I feel that fish paste is taking things a step forward.
    I’ve seen on your posts and videos that you use a lot of it in the kitchen, which really surprises me considering it’s such a strange ingredient for us Spaniards? … How do your Spanish clients react on it?
    And the main questions here, do you have a recommendation (or a recipe you might have) for a beginner on this ingredient?  And any specific brands you like best? I bought a Filipino fish paste which is not too strong (which surprised considering that bagoong (Filipino shrimp paste) is so strong). are you familiar with it?

    Best regards and thanks a lot in advance,Umami Madrid

  3. Hola all and thanks for your comments.

    PureHmongbabe and LA, we loved the noodles and are now making more! 😉

    Umami, when you say Fish Paste are you refering to Padek?

    Elgin, Saki is our short version of his first name which is Phayungsak.


  4. Hola Umami,

    Padek is truly a Laotian thing! (along with Laotian Rice, formally known as Sticky Rice 🙂 )

    The versions available in the stores are nothing compared to the “real thing”. Every household in Laos has a jar of Padek, and there are sections of markets dedicated to it.

    Recipes for these Padek are a closely guarded secret and can take anything from 6 months to a year of fermenting before they reach their peak. I doubt very much that our Padek would pass hygiene regulations here! :blink:

    However there are good substitutes available that you can purchase, which you may have to “doctor” at home. Let me ask my mother (mothers always know best) and I will get back to you.

  5. kao peik is a great hang over food just like any pho, but we Lao love ours spicy with the various side condiments like the dried or paste chilis, ginger and dilled peppers in nam pah….damn talking about it makes me hungry. Hey Ai Vienne you make the real deal Lao food all us Lao people grew up with for sure.

  6. Hola Chanthajone and Soy,

    Glad you like the Kao Piek! It is a great and filling dish. My favourite is the one with Pork Blood cubes…..nice…. 😉

  7. I LOVE KAO PIAK SEN! one of my fav. anything noodle…but how do you make it without it sticking all over the place with just the tapioca flour?

  8. hi, can i know what is the recipe for making the kao piak noodle?
    Please, I really want to know. Thanks.

  9. Love it! My favorite soup dish!! I think the adding the egg is an ISAN thing too! Lol. My mom did to my mama noodles when she made it for me for breakfast. And I still do it to this day too! Love your guys recipes!!

  10. Hi Sandy.

    Sorry for the late reply.

    We use the machine by Marcato Atlas Motor (though I don’t use the motor attachment).

    Its strong and sturdy and not bulky, easy to store until when you need it.

    Hope that helps…

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