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Rice Noodle Soup (Bee Thai Bak)

Rice Noodle Soup (Bee Thai Bak)
Rice Noodle Soup (Bee Thai Bak) pictures (3 of 3)

I was reading the Flat Noodle Soup post on Eating Pleasure the other day and had a huge craving for Penang-style rice noodle soup, or Koay Teow Th’ng, which is a very common—and popular—Penang hawker food. I rushed to the market and got the ingredients for the dish. Instead of regular flat rice noodles, I bought a packet of Bee Thai Bak (米苔目), which is pretty much rice noodle but shaped differently. In Cantonese, they are called 老鼠粉, probably because of the shape of the noodles, which resemble rat droppings or tails?

Back home in Penang, a simple rice noodle soup can be served in a few variations, using different types of noodles and toppings. I personally am a big fan of Bee Thai Bak, which is QQ (springy) and easy to eat (not much chewing needed!)…

This rice noodle soup is a great recipe as a quick lunch, especially if don’t have much time to cook. It’s hearty, filling, and tasty. For me, it fixes my craving for Penang hawker food, until I go home in a couple of months.


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36 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Thanks for the link. Hubby is a big fan of bee thai bak, sure he’ll pester me for one when he saw this. :)

    The other day, it drove me crazy when I read on the news regarding over dosage of benzoic acid was found in local supplied hor fun, koay teow and bee thai bak. Oh Gosh…

  2. TominDC

    I’ve always thought the cantonese name for the noodles was in reference to rats’ tails. Then again, I have never really seen rat droppings, so for all I know they may be shaped just like the noodles.

  3. Omg Bee, i haven’t had these noodles in oodles! We have a different name for it besides bee thai bak, have you ever heard of it being called ngiao chu hoon? I grew up calling these noodles that name because my parents say they look like mice tails.

    • Have never heard of ngiao chu hoon, but it’s called “lou shu fun” (in Cantonese), which is similar I guess. I thought the name is because it looks like rat’s droppings, but I might be wrong, LOL.

  4. Bee, I saw many of these noodles dishes when I was in Penang. They are so fast putting it together with a big pot of hot soup and small dishes of this and that. I wish I could have a street stall setup so I could throw this together for my meals!

  5. Phil

    I’ve not seen rice noodles like that either. I’ll have to look much more closely in the asian grocers next time I’m in there. Can’t have too many different kinds of noodles on hand.

  6. Peter Pantry Raider

    Ngiao chu = rat in Hokkien just as lou shee = rat in Cantonese. The noodle is so called because they resemble the shape of rat droppings which are similar to the gecko (house lizard) droppings (long black with white dot at one end) but many many times bigger. The Malays have a joke about the lizard’s droppings but that is another story.

    Rat tails are very long so there is no resemblance at all to this noodle. Hope this clarifies the matter.

    I would surely like to add a spoonful of pork oil with some crispy pork fat pieces to the recipe. Enhances the flavor of the soup.

  7. ceri west

    Hello from Mallorca (Spain)
    I grew up in Malaya, Singapore and Hong Kong and always had the idea of opening a Satay Roti bar. Now the time has come and I have taken great insperation from your site. Do you know where I can source A1 curry mixes (I know its cheating….but good)and Ketupat rice cubes. It would be good to get both from one source if posssible, making shipping easier. Can you help? Keep up the wonderful work with Rasa Malaysia

    Ceri

  8. hb

    It is called Lou She Fun soup in the Klang valley. Has been a pretty long time to remember this noodle soup is called Bee Thai Bak in Penang Hokkien. Thanks for this reminder.

  9. I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now and this posting really perked me up! Bee thai bak is hands down my favorite food ever– growing up and even now. We have no Ranch 99 here in Chicago. Would you know any online asian grocers that might carry it?

    Looking forward to more posts!

  10. I always had kuey teow th’ng in Penang every month when I used to have to go up for work – it was one of my fav hawker foods! I think the ‘loh see fun’ is called that because it looks like rat tails – love the loh see fun cooked kuey teow th’ng style.

  11. AiAi

    Many many thanks for sharing the recipe of Bee Thai Bak.. It reminds me an extremely good Be Thai Bak in Bkt. Mertajam (Tua Sua Ka, Pek Kong Zeng 伯公埕)whose selling over 50yrs. Tradition Bee Thai Bak with unique sour chili sauce and green chili.. Yummy!

  12. susan

    There is this stall on Madras Lane next to Petaling Street in Kuala Lumpur that I must visit every time I am there. It is the best and still the same owner for the last 30 years. They also used beef balls & ground beef too. I am very fortunate to be in Vancouver, BC and able to special order from this wholesale company whose owners are from Malaysia. One can get the same shape like but a little different texture, the Hongkong Ngan Jumb Fun and the Vietnamese brand at the SF supermarket in Las Vegas or California. I like adding chopped cilantro on it like the Thai style, and it’s so….good!

  13. Felicia

    I cooked this dish today for lunch and my family love it very much. It is not too heavy and it is a healthy dish to enjoy ;o).
    Thanks for sharing.

  14. AMy

    That looks like a very simple yet delicious rice noodle soup. Thank you for posting the recipe. I’ll be making it next week. Will update.

  15. AMy

    I made this rice noodle soup this week. It was delicious. I used a different noodle, though. I love noodle soup because you can use any type of noodle and it’s still good.

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