Although not as popular as the boat noodles, Yen Ta Fo is a beloved pink seafood style noodle soup that most street restaurant will sell in Thailand. The dish usually serves wide rice noodles, with an assortment of tasty toppings like chunks of pork, fish balls, fried tofu, and veggies. But what makes this noodle soup unique is the distinct pink color! The pink color comes from fermented soy bean paste that gives it its classic taste and appearance. The added ingredient gives the pork or chicken broth a lightly sweet and almost flowery taste. So if your mood is ever in need of a pickup, nothing beats a bright pink delicious Yen Ta Fo!
Ingredients (serves 6-8)
Pork or Chicken bones for stock. Either or both can be used.
Soy Sauce (2 tsp)
SAUCE (Need a blender!)
4 cubes Chinese red bean curd
Red Bean curd liquid (2 tbs)
Siracha hot sauce (3 tbs)
White Vinegar (5 tbs)
Sugar (3 tbs)
Garlic (5 cloves)
Thai Chilis (1-2, optional)
Fish Sauce (2 tsp)
Fried tofu (bean curd) in cubes
Fried garlic or shallots
Fish cake (Narutomaki)
Fish balls and/or squid balls
Spinach or your choice of veggies
Wide rice noodles
Lets prepare the sauce first. Get out all your ingredients. The one difficult ingredient to get is the Red bean curd which you will find at most Asian markets. Make sure it has the cubed curbs and liquid inside. Also need siracha, vinegar, fish sauce, garlic, and sugar.
Dump all the ingredients into a blender and blend until it becomes a nice paste. You can test taste it and should be a bit spicy and sweet. Put the sauce in a separate tupperware, which we can save in the fridge.
Here are the toppings for the dish. Fried bean curd (small), fish and squid balls, fish cake which you should cut in slices, and fried shallots. All found in Asian markets.
Just out of the package and plated out. Also spinach for some veggies. These are actually water spinach.
You can use pre-made chicken or pork broth, or make your own. I always encourage making your own as it is healthier and more has a more full taste. Not pictured here but to make your own, you just boil the chicken or pork bones for a minute, then dump out all the liquids and clean the bones. Then you reboil the bones for a few hours until you get a rich stock.
To start preparing the dish, start by boiling water, then adding the fish balls and boil for a couple of minutes. Add the fried tofu and spinach and boil for another minute. Then add the noodles to blanch for 30 seconds.
Strain all the ingredients and place it all in a bowl. Next add 1-2 tbs of sauce into your bowl. We can add more later if need be. Next, add a few ladle full of stock to your bowl. Taste it first and if you like more flavor, add more sauce! The add cilantro and fried shallot to top it off and you're done!