Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee_featured

Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee: the authentic coffee taste

We have covered the different types of Thai coffee extensively, along with the calories content in the coffee beverages. Now we will cover the difference between Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee. A lot of people who come to Southeast Asia and visit both countries often ask this question. Perhaps it is because the coffee culture in both countries is very strong. Vietnamese coffee is, in itself, very popular due to its strength and also the uniqueness of serving the coffee. While we ourselves have had more than a dozen of trips to Vietnam, we also tap into our own Vietnamese friends to give more local insights into Vietnamese coffee. Let’s find out!

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Authentic Thai coffee beverages

Let’s recap a bit on Thai coffee. We have extensively discussed this in the previous article. In general, there are different types of Thai coffee depending on the ingredients, especially whether it has milk and what type of milk it contains. All of these types of Thai coffee beverages use traditional ground Thai coffee.

If we were to summarize, these are the main four types of Thai coffee beverage:

  • Thai iced coffee(“กาแฟเย็น”): coffee + condensed milk + evaporated milk + sugar
  • Oiliang(“โอเลี้ยง”): coffee + sugar
  • Yok Lor Oiliang(“โอเลี้ยงยกล้อ”): coffee + sugar + evaporated milk
  • Kopi(“โกปี๊”): coffee + condensed milk

Vietnamese coffee

Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee_Vietnamese coffee

Traditional Vietnamese Milk Coffee


You can have Vietnamese coffee either hot(cà phê sữa nóng) or cold (cà phê sua dá). Vietnamese coffee is always served with that quintessential stainless steel Phin Vietnamese filter. 

This particular blog is very extensive in discussing the making of Vietnamese coffee, which we use as our reference as well for this post.

The ingredients required to make either the hot or cold Vietnamese coffee are as follows:

  • 3 tablespoons of Vietnamese ground coffee (you can use any brand but there is a famous one that most people know, the Trung Nguyen brand)
  • 1-3 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk (you can use any brand but there is a famous Vietnamese brand Longevity brand)
  • Around 250 ml of water close to boiling point
  • (If you want to make the cold version) Ice cubes

Pro tip: Before you make your Vietnamese coffee, rinse the Phin filter and the cup with or in boiling water. This is to make sure the coffee blooms and drops better later on. Also, this cleans and pre-heats the filter.



(Hanoi) Egg Coffee

Thailand vs Vietnam_Hanoi egg coffee 2

We just came back from Hanoi recently and we realized that there is one Vietnamese coffee we have been missing out on! Hanoi-style egg coffee. This type of Vietnamese coffee might make you raise your eyebrows as first, but you might change your mind completely once you try it. In contrast with Vietnamese milk coffee, Hanoi egg coffee is more like a treat, or a dessert. 

You only need 3 ingredients to make a basic Hanoi egg coffee: condensed milk, egg, and coffee (espresso).

To make 2 cups of Hanoi egg coffee, you’ll need: 

1. 1 egg yolk
2. 12 oz espresso
3. 4 tbsp sweetened condensed milk

To make this, you need to:

1. Brew 2 cups of espresso
2. Whip the egg yolk and condensed milk until light frothy
3. Pour slowly the mixture of egg yolk and condensed milk on top of the espresso

The above instruction is to make a basic egg coffee. However, in our trip in Hanoi, we visited many cafes with their own variations of Hanoi egg coffee. For example, there was a Hanoi egg coffee that we had that has rum and also coconut syrup in it. This will add extra fragrance and flavor to the egg coffee for sure! Play around with your recipe and you can make your own version of egg coffee.


How to make Vietnamese coffee?

  1. Measure 3 tbsp of the ground coffee, spread evenly into the filter. Do not shake the filters or compress the coffee, to prevent clogging of the filter by the coffee powder 
  2. Add 1-3 tbsp of condensed milk into your cup
  3. Pour 2 tbsp of boiling water into the filter. Allow the coffee to bloom for 5 seconds. Bloom means the water will release the CO2 from the coffee and the coffee grounds will expand
  4. Press on the filter to compress the bloomed coffee. It will help to slow down the drip rate and also make a more flavorful coffee
  5. Pour the rest of the water into the filter. The coffee will start to drip into the cup
  6. Wait for around 5 minutes for the dripping to stop 
  7. Once the dripping stops, remove the filter and stir the coffee and the condensed milk together to mix them

To make the iced Vietnamese coffee, transfer the mixture of condensed milk and coffee into a cup with ice cubes. Enjoy your coffee!

Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee: the differences

So, in general what are the differences between Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee? Other than the types of ground coffee used, there are a few that we can summarize here.  

First, the filter used. Thai coffee is made using the reusable muslin strainer, whereas Vietnamese coffee is made using the Phin filter.

Second, the types of milk used. The Thai iced coffee itself is made using both evaporated milk and condensed milk; whereas Vietnamese coffee is made using condensed milk only.

Third, the sweetness level. Vietnamese coffee is generally sweeter than Thai coffee because it uses sweetened condensed milk only. And the amount used is generally more than the one used in Thai coffee. Thai coffee often combines both evaporated and condensed milk and the condensed milk used is lower than the one in Vietnamese coffee as a result.


Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee: which one to try?

You should give both Thai coffee and Vietnamese coffee a try! Thai and Vietnamese cuisines share a level of similarities, and they are both among our favorite Southeast Asian cuisines!

restaurant in hua hin_miss T drinks

Cafes and restaurants in Hua Hin: highlights/reviews

When you go to Hua Hin for vacation, you would want to enjoy seafood and a chill vibe by the beach. There are plenty of options for this and you can enjoy both Thai and non-Thai food in such places. Other than places for food, there are many places in Hua Hin with amazing offerings for beverages as well, especially coffee beverages. In our previous articles, we have talked about general info on Hua Hin as well as Hua Hin hotels. Now we will talk about cafes, restaurants and night markets in Hua Hin. 

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Seafood restaurant in Hua Hin

We went to a famous local seafood place called Sungwean Seafood. This restaurant offers a wide array of seafood. The portion is huge so ideally you go with a big group or your whole family. Then you will be able to try many different types of food and not struggle to finish them. The coconuts in this place are amazing! Make sure you try their coconuts.

The venue is semi outdoor, so it’s very open and airy. The distance between tables is quite substantial as well so every group of guests will be spaced out from each other. They have a big parking lot but it can be packed quite fast during peak hours. However, rest assured that you will be able to get your parking space inside the compound or nearby, because they have very good parking attendants.

restaurant in hua hin_sungwean seafood fish
restaurant in hua hin_sungwean seafood squid

The food itself was great but the taste was a bit different from what we remembered from 2-3 years ago when we visited. The taste was a bit sweet this time. So you might want to ask for less sweet if you are particular about sweetness.

Restaurant by Hua Hin beach

Next in our list of restaurants in Hua Hin is a Thai seafood restaurant located by the Hua Hin beach. We walked for 30 mins from our hotel at Cape Nidhra to the Sailom hotel restaurant. This restaurant is located pretty close to Intercontinental and it has a very nice sea view. You can walk along the beach from other areas and end up in this restaurant too. The vibe is super chill. We recommend going there around dusk for dinner. You can see the horizon over the sea and the sky changing colour to orange-pinkish hues.

restaurant in hua hin_sailom hotel restaurant hua hin

Pick the table nearest to the beach. We recommend putting mosquito repellent as there were quite a bit of mosquitos when we were there. All in all, food was great and the seafood was super fresh.

Hua Hin beach clubs

We visited 2 beach clubs while in Hua Hin. Both were amazing, the atmosphere was on point, not too crowded and the food and drinks were great!

Oceanside Beachclub

restaurant in hua hin_oceanside beachclub

One of them is the Oceanside beachclub. It has accommodation inside the area as well. There is a swimming pool located quite close to the beach. Guests who just finished swimming can grab drinks or food at the nearby cafe/restaurant. We had drinks and also our lunch at the restaurant, while looking at the blue sea and enjoying the sea breeze. Highly recommend this place for a chill afternoon by the beach.

Sundance Dayclub

restaurant in hua hin_sundance dayclub building

Another one that you can try to visit is Sundance Dayclub. This place feels even more exclusive than Oceanside. You better make a reservation before going to this beach club. There is a minimum of THB 500-1000 per person depending on which area of the club you wish to sit. Even with the THB 500 per person you can sit in a good area with a nice sea view.

restaurant in hua hin_sundance dayclub building 2
restaurant in hua hin_sundance dayclub seaview
restaurant in hua hin_sundance dayclub food

The food and drinks were great. For the price, we could not expect less though. Amazing service too.

This place has a basement parking lot, accommodation, a shop for beach-related stuff, and cafe inside the compound. We recommend you go there around dusk, the vibe is very nice once they start turning on the lights of the venue. 

Restaurant for non-Thai cuisine

restaurants in hua hin_carlo restaurant hua hin

We had some cravings for non-Thai food when we were in Hua Hin and had been stuffing ourselves with local cuisines for days in a row. So we found Carlo Ristorante Hua Hin that serves Italian cuisine. You can simply search on google “carlo restaurant hua hin” and you’ll be able to locate this place.

The ambience that this place offers is wonderful. They put yellow lights for its outdoor seating, giving the place a very warm, inviting glow. They have some fans outdoors as well so it’s not hot when you sit outside.

Food was great, and the house wine was of high quality too. Service was superb. The food came quickly and the owner/manager visited each table to check how everything was going. We will definitely go back to Carlo if we need a fix for Italian craving while in Hua Hin next time.

Hua Hin beach cafes

restaurant in hua hin_miss T building

We visited some cafes with very nice beach view as well. First was Miss T. Miss T is popular for its Instagram-worthy venue and installations within the venue. It can be very hot to go there during the day as a lot of the areas are uncovered. We went there during noon time for lunch (not a very good idea!). It will be much more comfortable to go there around dusk. However, despite the nice venue, the beverages themselves are so-so in our opinion. Therefore, we will not recommend this place if you are looking for superb drinks and food – but if you want to take photos, go for it!

restaurant in hua hin_miss T drinks
restaurant in hua hin_miss T cafe

Another one that we love so much is Baan Gliwang. The cafe is located inside a house-like compound, so it looks very homey. We went there 3 years ago when we visited Hua Hin and the quality is very consistent. The coffee was as good as we remember it and a must try is their coconut cake! You can spend the whole afternoon there with your loved ones for lunch and coffee, while watching the sea.

restaurant in hua hin_baan gliwang coconut cake

Pro tip: go there during the weekday or non-peak hour of the day. We went there during a weekend before (also pre-covid) and the waiting time in the afternoon around 2-3pm was quite long (almost 1h). This place is popular, y’all.

Other cafes for coffee in Hua Hin

restaurant in hua hin_palm fruit coffee

Other than the traditional coffee (cappuccino, americano, etc.), there are coffee beverages that have gotten popular recently using non-conventional ingredients. We tried some of them while in Hua Hin and will show you some places to get these drinks.

The first one was coffee with palm fruit/syrup. There are some palm tree farms around Hua Hin that have their own coffee shop selling this drink. We tried 2 places: Farmily and บ้านไร่ภู่หวาน. The taste of palm fruit and coffee mixed together creates a very unique flavor.

restaurant in hua hin_bonnie on the beach

Another place that has been popular lately among millennials and Gen Z is bOnnie on the beach. This place is unique in a way that the cafe building itself is super simple and minimalistic. It has a very big window facing the sea that makes it a very scenic place to sit and sip coffee for the guests. It also has a dedicated area for guests with pets to sit down and have their coffee. The drinks are unique and they mostly combine coffee with tonic water to give that fizzy, refreshing sensation. We tried raspberry tonic coffee and coconut tonic coffee. We are a fan of these drinks – perfect for the hot day in Hua Hin! 

However, we are not sure if this place has any toilet (didn’t see any when we were there). So if you are thinking of going there for coffee + toilet stop, it may not work. You can find other place with proper building and toilet! 

Hua Hin night market

Thais and visitors have learned to live with Covid-19, and this has brought life back to various night markets in Hua Hin. We recently visited Cicada night market in late
2022, and the vendors have told us that the life and vibrant have returned to pre-Covid
level if not better.

Cicada night market is broken primarily into 3 zones 1) street food stalls run by
local vendors 2) organized food stalls which require official coupon and 3)
non-food area where you can shop for locally made souvenirs and clothing.

Food wise you can everything from local Thai food, fresh seafood to pizza and hamburger. Various beverages like fruit juice, coconut water and beer are also available.

Live music by local bands also lighten up the atmosphere during Friday/weekend evening. 

Hua Hin nightmarket

Our take on cafes and restaurants in Hua Hin

There are many options available for cafes and restaurants in Hua Hin and many of them are really good. Each has its own unique offering. Even if you spend a longer time in Hua Hin, you will not run out of options for food and beverages. 

While we are in Hua Hin, we try to stay on the beach side as much as possible to enjoy the sea and beach view. This is simply because we cannot have that anymore once we are back in Bangkok. Personally, we really enjoyed the beach clubs experience, and the meals over there tasted very good as well. They provided us with a comfortable environment (clean, very few mosquito if any) to enjoy the beach and the sea. 

As coffee lovers, we also love cafes with beach view and a great cup of coffee. Baan Gliwang is still our favorite all this time. Other than great coffee and food, it has a unique homey vibe inside the cafe as well. We will always go back to that place in our future trips to Hua Hin.

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Tom Kha vs Tom Yum_featured

Tom Kha vs Tom Yum: Similarities & Differences

Thailand is known for spicy and sour soup. Household names like Tom Yum soup may need no further introduction, but have you heard of Tom Kha soup? We have written other articles on Tom Yum noodles and Tom Yum hotpot. Recently we also covered the topic of Tom Kha soup calories. Learn more about similarities and differences between Tom Kha vs Tom Yum here!

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How about the taste of both soups?

Both Tom Kha and Tom Yum have spicy and sour taste. This spicy and refreshing taste comes from chili, lime and a bit of fish sauce and sugar. Both soups make good use of Thai herbs to add nice aroma to the dish. Having said this, we will cover more of the soup ingredients in a later section.

The creamy version of Tom Yum soup also contains creaminess (usually from coconut milk), very much similar to Tom Kha soup. So from taste and texture standpoint, the two soups are quite similar

Tom Kha vs Tom Yum: appareance

Tom Kha vs Tom Yum_featured

The most striking difference between Tom Kha vs. Tom Yum starts with the soup color. Tom Yum is a red/orangish-colored soup. On the other hand, Tom Kha has a mild, white-colored soup. Tom Yum (especially the creamy version) derives its red color from red chili, shrimp, but most importantly Thai chili paste. Tom Kha’s white color is due to its major ingredients, coconut milk!

Soup ingredients


We have mentioned earlier that the two soups can taste quite similar. That is because they share many same ingredients such as:

  • Herbs: Lemon grass, kaffir lime, galangal, shallot
  • Seasoning: Chili, lime, fish sauce and sugar


Despite the similarities, there are a few striking differences in the ingredients.

  • Protein: While both soups can use any protein, the most common protein for Tom Yum is shrimp (Tom Yum Goong) and other seafood. On the other hand the most common protein for Tom Kha is chicken (Tom Kha Gai)
  • Other key ingredient: Key ingredients for Tom Yum soup are chili paste which adds spiciness as well as red color to the soup and evaporated milk that adds creamy texture to the soup. Whereas for Tom Kha soup, the soup is either made purely from coconut milk or a mix between chicken stock and coconut milk!

Apart from the list above, there may be some other variations of the two soups. For instance, addition of mushrooms, tomatoes or even onions – this really depends on the recipes.

Calories for Tom Kha vs Tom Yum

There are two versions of Tom Yum i.e. clear Tom Yum and creamy Tom Yum. That is why Tom Yum can have as low as 270 calories or as high as 350 depending on the recipe. Check out our other article on Tom Yum soup calories and health benefits. 

On the other hand, Tom Kha contains ingredients like coconut milk which is high in calories. Hence, a serving of true Tom Kha soup made from 100% coconut milk can have as high as 700 calories. However, this number may be lower if the Tom Kha uses a mix of chicken stock with added coconut milk.

Which soup should you try?

Both soups are great! If you like clear soup, unfortunately Tom Kha soup does not have the option. However, Tom Yum has both versions: clear soup and creamy soup. We personally prefer Tom Yum because of the clear Tom Yum soup. In hot weather like Thailand and Singapore, clear Tom Yum soup is very refreshing and feels lighter. We do love creamy Thai soups as well but only have it once in a while. Also, keep in mind that soup like Tom Kha should be consumed in moderation due to its calorie count. 

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Tom Kha soup calories_featured

Tom Kha Soup Calories & Vegetarian Option

Thailand has many renowned dishes like Tom Yum soup or green curry. However, you might have seen a white-colored soup in a Thai restaurant or while you are in Thailand. The white colored soup you have just seen is called Tom Kha soup. But do not let its plain look deceive you, the soup is rich in flavours. Having said that, do you need to be worried about Tom Kha soup calories? Let’s learn more about Tom Kha soup calories in this article.

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What is Tom Kha Soup?

Tom Kha soup refers to a spicy and sour coconut milk soup which most commonly contains chicken and mushroom. The one containing chicken in the soup is called Tom Kha Gai – as Gai means chicken in Thai. Coconut milk gives Tom Kha a smooth tasting, white colored soup base which is then enhanced by herbs like lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and galangal. These herbs add nice fragrance to the soup. Tom Kha derives its taste primarily from fresh chili, lime and fish sauces. Some recipes also add a bit of sugar for sweetness.

Tom Kha soup calories

Tom Kha soup calories_ingredients

A serving of Thai Tom Kha soup, which makes use of 100% coconut milk, for a single person contains about 700 to 900 calories. However, if you have Tom Kha soup with a bowl of rice, then you are looking at adding another 100 to 200 calories to the meal.

You might wonder what makes Tom Kha soup so high in calories? Let’s break Tom Kha soup’s major ingredients down.

  • Protein = 708 cal
  • Vegetable = 64 cal
  • Coconut milk = 800-900 cal
  • Other seasonings = 30 cal
  • Total = 1,700 cal for 2 servings

From the breakdown above, the answer lies with coconut milk. That is, 100% coconut milk without dilution contains as much as 800 calories per 500 ml box. 

Can Tom Kha be lighter on calories or can it be vegetarian?

A recipe which makes use of chicken stock can reduce the amount of coconut milk by up to half, effectively reducing Tom Kha soup calories count. Apart from that, switching to leaner chicken like chicken breast can also help (or add more mushroom and less chicken). 

While you cannot remove a key ingredient like coconut milk from Tom Kha soup, you can consider another great tasting Thai soup like Tom Yum instead. Clear broth Tom Yum contains less than half of Tom Kha calories.

Can Tom Kha be vegetarian? The answer is yes. There are recipes that purely use coconut milk and no chicken stock. For such a recipe, removing chicken and replacing it with a variety of mushrooms effectively makes the dish vegetarian (and might need to replace fish sauce with salt).

What other vegetables fit well with and help with Tom Kha soup calories?

While Tom Kha soup mostly contains mushroom, some other vegetables also fit well into the soup.

For example, you can add tomatoes into Tom Kha soup. Tom Kha soup is sour thanks to lime. And as you can imagine, adding tomatoes will add more sour taste to the soup. Another vegetable you can add is white Chinese cabbage. While they contain water and may dilute the soup, they also absorb the nice spicy & sour Tom Kha soup once simmered!

Should you try Tom Kha and is it healthy?

Tom Kha is a delicious dish that you should try. It might be a bit high in calorie count but there are ways to reduce the it. So if you are health conscious, you can still have this Tom Kha soup by making a healthier version of it. Vegetarians can also try this Tom Kha soup by replacing the proteins with vegetables and mushrooms. 

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beef larb_featured

Beef Larb: taste, recipe and pork/chicken/veg alternative

Larb is a great-tasting Thai dish that did not enjoy as much spotlight as its cousin, Thai papaya salad aka Som Tum. For those of you who are not familiar with Thai food, but is a Marvel movie fan, hear us out. Larb is the dish Aunt May used as the reference in her pun to Peter in “Spiderman: homecoming”. There are many variations of larb like beef larb, pork, chicken or even vegetarian friendly version! Learn more about Larb in this post.

beef larb_aunt may

Larb: Thai-isan dish

Larb is a spicy and sour meat salad originated from the Isan region of Thailand (North-eastern Thailand). Even though larb is often called “salad”, it is actually a cooked dish that is served hot. The main ingredients include meat, herbs and seasoning. Thais normally serve this dish with some fresh vegetables at the side. Larb also tastes great when eaten together with sticky rice. You can often find larb in Isan style or Som Tum meal. People often serve larb along side Som Tum or some Thai BBQ, together with sticky rice and/or kanom jeen. There are many variations of larb dishes, but our favourite is cooked beef larb!

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Beef larb vs. Chicken larb vs. Pork larb

As mentioned above, there are many ways to make larb. You can make larb with beef (hence beef larb), pork, chicken, or even duck. Larb typically makes use of minced or finely chopped meat which also works great in absorbing all the seasoning and spices. If you are visiting Thailand, there are a few things to watch out for when ordering larb

  • Beef larb: In Thailand, there are both cooked and raw beef larb. While in Bangkok, you can expect most vendors to sell larb with cooked beef. However, just indicate in your order to be safe.
  • Pork larb: Pork larb sometimes also contains innards such as pork liver or intestine. If you are not a fan of innards, you should ask the restaurant to exclude them.
  • Spicy level: Larb (or Isan food in general) tends to be spicy. If you are not used to eating spicy Asian food, asking for a milder version might be a good idea.

Recipes for Beef Larb

Whether you are looking to cook beef larb or other variations like pork/chicken, the preparation method, herbs and seasoning are mostly similar.

For every 500g of beef, you will need:

  • Shallot: 3x
  • Onion: 1/2x
  • Chili flake/dried chili: 2-3 tablespoons (put less if you cannot handle spice)
  • Lime: 2 teaspoons
  • Fish sauce: 2 tablespoons
  • Ground roasted rice: 2 tablespoons
  • Chopped spring onion/parsley: 1-2 tablespoon(s), kaffir lime leaves can be added as well!

The cooking process is simple. First, boil minced beef until almost cooked then remove it from the cooking pan/pot. Mix all the seasoning and herb into the pan/pot at low heat then put minced beef back in. Stir well and lastly add ground roasted rice before serving. You can serve it with fresh lettuce or with kanom jeen /sticky rice.

Can larb be vegetarian?

We quoted larb as Thai meat salad earlier. While this is true, we recently come across many meatless larb dishes here in Thailand. Before we move on, we have to say that these larb dishes are meatless, however they may still contain fish sauce which is a product of fish.

So what type of meatless larb have we seen? We have seen tofu larb (made with fried tofu) or with various types of mushrooms as well as glass noodles. The meatless version of larb also tastes great with sticky rice and kanom jeen! Having said this, we still stand with our decision that beef larb is the best!

Should you try Beef Larb in Thailand?

Yes! If you have tasted other more popular Thai food like Som Tum, you should expand your horizon by trying other dishes like larb. Among other larbs, we enjoy beef larb the most. Since there are many types of larb that you can have, you can pick one to your liking. Plus, with the beef larb recipe that we shared above, you can make your own at home too. Simply change the meat option if you want to make your own chicken/pork/duck larb.

what does butterfly pea tea taste like_featured

What does butterfly pea tea taste like? Learn about its taste!

Have you seen nice blue or purple color in cafes or Thai restaurant? While you may have wondered if the drink has been colored artificially, the blue or purple colour might be natural! In Thailand, people have been using butterfly pea as a natural food and beverage coloring. With more innovative drinks coming out, we started to get questions like “What does butterfly pea tea taste like?” Let’s find out the answer in this article.

What are “butterfly peas”?

what does butterfly pea tea taste like_butterfly pea plant

First of all, what are butterfly peas and which part of the plants that people use to make coloring? Butterfly pea is a plant commonly found in South and Southeast Asia. The plant’s scientific name is Clitoria ternatea and it belongs to a flowering plant family. Butterfly pea flowers are typically dried and used for coloring, however you can also find butterfly pea extract directly.

What does butterfly pea tea taste like?

Butterfly pea itself has very little to no taste. So to answer the question “What does butterfly pea taste like?”, the answer is, little to no taste, that is for pure butterfly tea without any additives. There is no standard recipe for what people often call butterfly pea tea, in fact, there are so many different beverages that people commonly call “butterfly pea tea”.

Pure butterfly pea tea

Pure butterfly tea is made of dried butterfly peaflower and hot water. It is a flower tea without any caffeine! However, you will need to take note that unlike rose tea made of rose petals or buds, butterfly tea does not contain any strong fragrance. Hence, the tea itself will not have strong taste or smell. Some butterfly tea bag may have a bit of added fragrance or some may choose to add honey into the mix in order to add smell or taste. Nonetheless, brands that are promoting butterfly pea tea for health benefits usually will only have 100% butterfly pea in their tea bags.

Butterfly pea lemonade

what does butterfly pea tea taste like_lemonade

Butterfly pea lemonade is where it gets more interesting (and refreshing!). It is very common to add lemon or lime into butterfly pea tea, but whether the beverage is classified as tea or lemonade, it depends on the amount of lemon.

You can brew the butterfly pea and then mix it with lemon (or lime juice in Southeast Asia) and a bit of sugar for a refreshing sour and sweet taste. Some recipe also introduces soda water for some fizz. You can also add herbs like lemon skin or rosemary for more taste and fragrance! So what does butterfly pea tea taste like here? The answer here is: it can taste like lemonade!

Butterfly pea milk tea

We have covered sour and refreshing taste of butterfly pea lemonade, but another popular butterfly pea tea beverages is butterfly pea milk tea! Butterfly pea milk tea, like its cousin Thai milk tea – is a milky beverage. But here we use butterfly pea tea as a base instead of the red Thai tea (hence the drink base color is blue!)

Common ingredients include hot water, dried butterfly pea flower, fresh milk, some syrup and ice. In Thailand, people also add evaporated milk for extra milkiness! So what does Thai butterfly pea tea taste like here? Milk tea!

Health benefit of butterfly pea

The popularity of butterfly pea is not only because it adds interesting blue color to food/drinks, but also its health benefits.

Butterfly pea’s blue color is due to anthocyanins, which are antioxidant compounds. Specifically the name of the antioxidant responsible for the bright blue color is ternatins. Studies show that ternatins can alleviate inflammation and prevent cancer cell growth. There are other antioxidant compounds in butterfly pea that have different functions like anti-cancer, antimicrobial, antiviral, and boosting immunity.

Many people also consume butterfly pea tea for weight loss, to stabilize blood sugar and also they put topically on the skin for hydration.

Is butterfly pea tea nice to drink?

Yes, it is nice to drink and there are variations of butterfly pea tea, each with a unique taste. If you like it more herbal and healthy, you can have it just as is, brewed like the way you brew tea. But if you like it more refreshing with some citrusy smell or taste, you can make a butterfly pea lemonade. And, if you like milky taste and texture, you can create a butterfly pea milk tea. Pick your favorite.

Other than its unique color, butterfly pea tea is also packed with antioxidants that are healthy for the body. This makes butterfly pea tea drinks not only attractive in color and tasty but also healthy. 

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Thai fried egg_basil pork

Thai fried egg: what it is and how to make one

You are most likely familiar with sunny side up, over easy, medium and hard. But have you tried Asian fried egg? Thai fried egg in particular is crispy and it enhances the flavour and texture of many Thai dishes! Having said that, you should find out more about this type of fried egg and what makes it unique with us!

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What is Thai fried egg?

Thai fried egg or Kai Dao refers to a way that egg is commonly fried in Thailand. However, keep in mind that it does not mean fried egg made from Thai chicken or eggs. Instead, what sets this Thai style fried egg apart is the way to cook it such that the egg white becomes crispy while egg yolk is still runny (or completely cooked if that’s your preference).

While Thais often serve this egg alongside other Thai dishes, you can eat it alone with white rice as well. However, normally we will add a simple sauce made from fish sauce, chili, and sometimes lime to the dish for some extra taste.

Thai fried egg_chili

How to make Thai style crispy fried egg

There are a few simple tricks to achieve the crispiness of Thai fried egg while keeping the egg yolk runny.

The heat: To achieve the ultimate crispiness, you will need high heat. Hence, cooking with a stove/gas would be easier than an induction cooker

The pan: Curved pan (commonly used in Asia) or we call it “wok”

The oil: Generous amount of oil to ensure that it can cover all of the egg white

The cooking method: First, heat the oil with a big fire then reduce to medium right before you add the egg. Second, add the egg into the center of the curved pan to ensure that the egg white is surrounded by oil. Then, use a spatula or wok turner to scoop up oil from the side to pour it over the egg yolk until it suits your liking (runny or over medium). This will produce crispy egg white with runny egg yolk in the middle!

Thai style crispy fried egg

What dishes go well with this egg?

We would not call Thai fried egg a dish, however, this egg makes many other Thai dishes a lot better. In fact, many restaurants in Thailand offer this egg as part of the dish. Otherwise, you can pay an extra THB10 – THB15 for it.

  • Kra pao: Kra pao or Thai basil stir-fried is one of the staple dishes in Thailand. The dish however is not complete without Thai fried egg! Or better yet 2 of them
  • Thai green curry: Thai green curry is delicious with rice or Ka Nom Jeen noodles. However, whether you like rice or noodles, the green curry will taste better with a fried egg! (boiled egg also works as an alternative)
  • Pad Kee Mao: Pad Kee Mao tastes great on its own, however adding a fried egg can make it even better!
  • Garlic pork: Stir fried pork with a lot of garlic and soy sauce and white pepper also goes really well with fried egg or Thai chili sauce
  • Fried rice: Thai fried egg and chili fish sauce add taste and texture variation to fried rice on top of bringing more nutrition. Check out simple fish sauce recipe here
Thai fried egg_basil pork

Is Thai style crispy fried egg different from Thai omelette?

If you have heard of Thai omelette with crab, it is different from Thai style crispy fried egg. Similar to their Western counterparts, fried egg and omelette are different things. We will be covering Thai omelette in a different article.

How much do we enjoy this egg and why?

We especially love this egg when it comes with other dishes, especially Kra Pow rice. This is because the egg really adds texture to the food, especially the crispy edges of the Thai fried egg. Moreover, if you have runny yolk, it will add moisture to the dish. We do not know about you, but we do not like our dish to be too dry sometimes. In conclusion, go ahead and try Thai fried egg and see whether you like it as much as we do!

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lard na_soup noodle

Lard Na (aka Rad Na): Thai noodle with thick soup

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!

Table of Contents

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_lard na soup

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!


lard na_ingredients

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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Pad See Ew calories_featured

Pad See Ew Calories: How healthy is this dish?

We have covered many stir fried noodle variations in Thailand. Previously we make a comparison between two popular Thai stir fried noodles Pad Kee Mao vs Pad See Ew. In this article, we will be breaking down Pad See Ew calories and how to make a lower calories version of this Thai noodles.

Pad See Ew calories

A serving of Pad See Ew has roughly between 500 to 900 calories depending on the serving portion. For our estimation, we use a recipe from Phol Food Mafia. Compared to other Thai stir-fried noodles like Pad Thai and Pad Kee Mao, Pad See Ew have a relatively simple recipe and their calories for 1 to 2 servings can be found below.

  • Noodle: Large rice noodles 484 calories
  • Protein: Pork and egg 270 calories
  • Vegetables: Chinese Kale 30 calories
  • Sauce and seasoning: Dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, and oil 135 calories

A combination of the above ingredients totals up to 900+ calories for 1-2 servings. Note that in Thailand, Pad See Ew is often served with a range of optional seasonings like sugar, chili, fish sauce, and fish sauce. So if you add any of these (especially sugar), the calorie count will go up as well!

Noodles calories in Pad See Ew

Pad See Ew noodles calories mostly come from carbs, or the noodle itself. This dish typically makes use of big rice noodles which has a relatively high-calorie count when compared to other noodles. Another popular noodle alternative for Pad See Ew is vermicelli which contains 150 calories / 100g as opposed to 220 calories / 100g. Making this switch can reduce Pad See Ew noodle’s calories from carbs by more than 40%.

Ways to reduce calories in this dish

Pad See Ew calories_vermicelli

If you are health conscious, you might want to cut down the Pad See Ew calories further. Similar to the alternatives that we offer to cut down Pad Thai calories or Pad Kee Mao calories, you can cut down Pad See Ew calories too.

You can simply opt-out from adding any other optional seasonings like sugar or fish sauce. Meat and egg are a must for Pad See Ew. However, you can choose to replace pork with leaner chicken in order to reduce calorie count!

Is Pad See Ew healthy?

Consuming anything in moderation is still considered healthy. Similarly, if you consume Pad See Ew in moderation you will be fine. However, keep in mind that this dish tends to be sweeter. In addition to the carbs (noodles) used in this dish, the sugar in seasonings can pose a risk to those with blood sugar health problems. 

You can choose to reduce the sweet soya sauce and oil when making this dish if you are health conscious. Also, reduce the calories of the dish by following our recommendation for alternatives. 

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Pad Thai vs Lo Mein_difference

Pad Thai vs Lo Mein: difference, origin, taste and more

Are you a fan of dry or stir-fried noodles like us? You can find many delicious stir-fried noodles all across Asia whether it is Pad Thai, Lo Mein, chow mein, yakisoba, japchae or even ram-den (from the famous parasite movie). Having lived in China, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore, we will be drilling into the difference between Pad Thai vs Lo Mein. Previously we have other noodle posts as well: Pad Thai vs Pad Kee Mao and also Pad Kee Mao vs Pad See Ew: similarities and differences. So tag along and know more about your favourite noodles.

Difference between Pad Thai and Lo Mein origin

As the name suggest, Pad Thai is a stir-fried noodle dish from Thailand (Pad means stir-fry in Thai). Pad Thai is a common dish you would find in Thai restaurant around the world. In Thailand, Pad Thai are commonly sold by street side vendors as an affordable staple food. However, at the same time, you may also find fancier Pad Thai in restaurants like those served with large river prawns or Pad Thai nicely wrapped in egg.

Lo Mein, on the other hand, is a dry noodle dish from the Chinese cuisine. The word Lo means toss or mix while mein (or mien) generally refers to noodles in Chinese. Interestingly, Lo Mein may or may not be stir-fried. For example, one way to make Lo Mein is to boil all the ingredients before tossing them together with sauces. You can also boil the noodles and stir-fry them with ingredients together with the sauces.

Pad Thai vs Lo Mein: taste and texture

pad thai calories_sauces

The most striking difference between Pad Thai vs Lo Mein is the taste and texture.

Pad Thai is a stir fried dish with a complex taste made up of sweet and savoury tastes, a bit of creaminess/nutty-taste from egg and peanut. The dish has your usual stir-fried noodles texture. However, you will feel a lot of texture variations from other ingredients like peanuts and fresh/raw vegetables like beansprout, raw-green mangoes or even banana blossom.

Lo Mein, on the other hand, has a nice but simpler flavour mostly consisting of salty, savoury taste derived from soy sauce. There are many variations of Lo Mein. Some versions of Lo Mein also draw fragrance from sesame oil, while some other use scallions / scallion oil.

Pad Thai vs Lo Mein: ingredients

Pad Thai vs Lo Mein_ingredients

Both Pad Thai and Lo Mein have a good degree of flexibility in recipes. So there are many variations of both dishes. However, key differences in common ingredients include:

  1. Noodle

Pad Thai make use of “chan” noodles, a special noodle originated from Chantaburi province in Thailand which is made from rice flour. Meanwhile, Lo Mein use wheat flour. Many noodles used to make Lo Mein also contain egg, hence they are slightly yellow in color.

2. Sauce/seasoning

Pad Thai makes use of palm sugar, tamarind, fish sauce and peanut to give that sweet and savoury flavour. On the other hand, Lo Mein primarily use soy sauce/dark soy sauce, while some variation also add in oyster sauce, sesame or scallion oil.

3. Protein

Most Pad Thai will have tofu and eggs as ingredients, and the most classic version will come with shrimp. There are Pad Thai with chicken or pork as well but they are a lot less common. Based on what we have seen, Lo Mein has a lot more flexibility when it comes to the protein source.

4. Raw vegetables

Pad Thai is usually served with raw vegetables on the side. Common vegetables include bean sprout, chives, raw mango and banana blossom. Lo Mein are usually not accompanied by raw vegetables.

Which noodle should you try?

If you have not try both, try all! They are quite different in taste and texture, so decide which one is your favorite after you eat both. Try Pad Thai when you are in Thailand, whereas Lo Mein is more or less the same in any Chinese restaurant in or outside Thailand.

Personally we prefer Lo Mein to Pad Thai because of the taste. Pad Thai tends to be a bit sweet, whereas Lo Mein is on the savory side. If you have sweet tooth and peanuts, most likely you will enjoy Pad Thai!

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