Cooked over high heat and caramelised with dark soy sauce, the noodles should be quite dry before being drenched in gravy, which usually contains fermented soybean sauce for a salty, full flavour.






Skill level

Average: 5 (1 vote)


  • 170 g (6 oz) dried rice vermicelli
  • 80 ml (2½ fl oz/⅓ cup) vegetable oil
  • 80 ml (2½ fl oz/⅓ cup) dark soy sauce
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) banana prawns (shrimp), peeled
  • 2 bunches Chinese broccoli (gai lan), finely sliced on the diagonal
  • 1.5 litres (1½ quarts/6 cups) pork stock
  • 1 tbsp fermented soybean sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp caster (superfine) sugar
  • 75 g (2¾ oz) cornflour (corn starch)
  • ground white pepper, to serve
  • chilli flakes or pickled chillies, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Drying time: 15 minutes

  1. Fill a large bowl with cold water and soak the vermicelli until softened. Drain in a colander and set aside for 15 minutes to dry.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok over medium heat and stir-fry the vermicelli and dark soy sauce until the noodles are evenly coated. Transfer the noodles to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining vegetable oil in a clean wok over medium heat and sauté the garlic until fragrant, then add the prawns and stir-fry until coloured all over. Add the Chinese broccoli and stir-fry for 2 minutes, until wilted, then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil and season with the fermented soybean sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the cornflour and 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) water, stirring until smooth. Slowly drizzle the cornflour mixture into the wok, stirring constantly until the stock thickens.
  5. To serve, divide the vermicelli among four plates and ladle over a generous amount of gravy. Arrange the prawns and Chinese broccoli on top. Season with pepper and chilli flakes or pickled chillies to taste.


Recipe and images from Bangkok Local by Sareen Rojanametin and Jean Thamthanakorn, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99