Q: What is "Boat noodles"?
A: It is a style of noodles that is sold from the boat. Have you ever tried one? Not yet? Let 's get some boat noodles in a floating market!
According to history, the water transportation was very important to people in the past, therefore the boat noodles came from a merchant who sold it from their boats in a floating market. It is usually served in a small bowl, either to the customers on land or on the boats. The size of bowls needed to be small in order to minimize the risk of spilling while handing the bowl of noodles over to the customers and for the seller; to hold with one hand because the other hand would be busy with taking ingredients and pouring the soup into the bowl.
The ingredients of the boat noodles are as follows:
Compound 1. Soup: Dark soy sauce, Pickled bean curd,cow or pigs blood mixed with salt (Nam Tok)and some other spices such as garlic, fried garlic, radish, cinnamon, bean sprouts, parsley, morning glory and some paprika.
Compound 2. Meat: Beef or meatballs and liver (not everyone likes liver!)
Compound 3. The noodles for boat noodles could be rice noodles in different sizes or egg noodles,commonly served with pork rinds (skin of pigs) and basil.
In the floating market, the boat sellers also sell other things as well such as seafood, grills, tropical fruits:
1. Need of waiters/waitresses to help the boat noodles seller (imagine when a customer would order 2-9 bowls of noodles), theoretically, it is not practical at all for selling food. Nowaways, it is served in a small plastic container in some places.
2. Need of at least one more dishes-cleaner (personal cost would be very low otherwise sellers would not have profit at all)
3. Some of them clean the dishes in the river--> water pollution (It is bad for people who live in this area and we don't need to mention the hygenic problems that come with this method.)
Since floating markets became the hubs of thai communities in the Ayutthaya Period (1350-1767), a name of boat noodles is called "Ayutthaya boat noodles".
There are some advantages of having several adjoining canals. The water network was suitable for trading, later the floating markets gained popularity among tourists and thai people who live near the riverside.
This type of markets are not only found in Thailand (Amphawa floating market and Damnoen Saduak floating market), but also in Indonesia (Lembang Bandung) and Vietnam (The Mekong Delta, Vietnamese: Đồng bằng Sông Cửu Long "Nine Dragon river delta"). The boat sellers offers various food, exotic fruits and desserts:
If you would like to try this kind of noodle, there are 2 type of spices that you can cook easily at home.
1. Beef noodle soup paste
2. Beef noodle soup powder
Happy floating! Please check out our adventure program if you plan to visit Thailand for having a delicious food in a floating market: