Have you ever seen noodles with sticky soup while in Thailand or when you are in a Thai restaurant? The dish you just saw is called Lard Na and it is quite delicious! Previously we have talked about other Thai noodles including Pad Thai, Pad Kee Mao, and Pad See Ew and their comparisons as well. Learn more about this noodle, its variation, taste and what makes the soup sticky here!
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What is this dish about?
Lard Na is a Thai dish that originates from Chinese cuisine. Based on its name, Lard Na directly translates to “Lard” = Pour, “Na” = surface or topping. The dish derived its name from how this types of noodles are prepared and served. First place your noodles in a bowl, then pour the hot soup which also contains protein/vegetables before serving, hence the name Lard Na. If you had lived in Malaysia and Singapore before, you will also see some similarities between this noodle and Hor Fun.
Lard Na soup: what makes the soup sticky?
This dish’s unique feature is its sticky soup base, but what makes the soup sticky? This noodle commonly uses pork stock soup as the base. You can then mix the stock with corn starch for the sticky texture. To enhance the flavor, Thais often add to the soup a bit of sugar, white pepper, light soy sauce, and fermented soybean sauce.
Lard Na noodles
You can use many types of noodles in this dish. Thais usually use large rice noodles as Lard Na noodles. However, the most special noodle type for this dish would be the crispy egg noodles. Lard Na with crispy egg noodles makes use of fried round/flat egg noodles to add extra texture and crunchiness to the dish (which is very yummy!). Apart from that, you may find other noodle variations such as vermicelli or even instant noodle!
From our coverage on Pad Thai, Pad Kee Mao and Pad See Ew, you should know by now that Thai noodles are flexible when it comes to ingredients. The same also applies to this noodle. Nonetheless, we will go through the common ingredients below.
Noodles: You have a broad choice of noodles ranging from crispy noodles to vermicelli or big rice noodles. You can mix and cook the rice noodles with dark soy sauce first before being served
Soup: As mentioned in the above section, you can create the soup/gravy using soup stock, corn starch and a bit of sugar, white pepper, light soy sauce, and fermented soybean sauce
Protein: Specially prepared Pork is the most common choice for this dish. Slice the pork and mix them with corn starch, baking soda, oyster sauce, pepper, and egg for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This is to give the pork taste and tender texture. However, apart from pork, you can also find other meat options like chicken and seafood as well
Vegetables: The most common vegetables used in Lard Na are young kale and baby corns. However some shops also add other vegetables like carrot, asparagus or mushroom
Do not forget about seasoning
While Lard Na is a Chinese cuisine-influenced dish, it cannot escape Thai’s love for seasoning. Thais typically serve this dish with chili, vinegar, fish sauce, sugar, and white pepper on the side (or at least chili and vinegar). We personally love adding spicy and sour taste to our noodle!
Should you try Lard Na in Thailand?
If you like noodles with thick soup / gravy, this noodle might be right up your alley. You should try this noodle while in Thailand because there is a difference between this and the Chinese-style thick gravy noodle. Also, with the different kinds of seasoning typical of Thai dishes, you will have a unique experience with this dish.
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