Bacon and Egg Yaki Udon Recipe for Japanese Fried Udon Noodles for Weekend Eggs. Best breakfast noodle recipes from Asia. Copyright © 2023 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Best Breakfast Noodle Recipes from Asia – Khao Soi, Curry Laksa, Bun Cha and More

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Our best breakfast noodle recipes from Asia include recipes for creamy spice-laden coconut milk based broths, umami-loaded stir-fried noodles, and clear noodle soups topped with plenty of fresh fragrant herbs. We’ve got recipes for Cambodian nom banh chok, Chiang Mai khao soi, Indonesia’s soto ayam, Vietnamese bun cha Hanoi, Singapore curry laksa and more.

As you all loved the best breakfast rice recipes we published recently, we’re sharing our best breakfast noodle recipes from Asia for this week’s edition of Weekend Eggs, our series on quintessential breakfast egg dishes from around the world.

Not all our best breakfast noodle recipes feature eggs, but you could slide a fried egg or pop a jammy soft-boiled egg on top of many of these noodle dishes. Because everything’s better with an egg on top.

In the many years that we’ve lived in Southeast Asia, we’ve noted that eating habits have changed in Asia. Some of these noodle soups were only eaten for breakfast once upon a time, such as Cambodia’s nom banh chok, but these days are eaten any time of the day or night.

The same could be said of many Asian breakfast dishes, such as rice soups and rice porridges. Stroll by the Siem Reap riverside food carts in the evening and you’ll see locals buying everything from borbor, Cambodia’s congee, to nom banhchok, fresh rice noodles doused in a fish curry-like broth, both very traditional breakfast noodle dishes.

“They don’t really eat breakfast in Southeast Asia, do they?” asked an American friend who was recently here in Siem Reap. After a few weeks in Thailand and Cambodia, he was missing breakfast from home, such as cereal and eggs, and was craving a proper eggs Benedict.

Southeast Asians do eat breakfast, including eggs (see our Asian egg recipes), just not breakfast as our American friends know it. Breakfast in Siem Reap is a real delight. There’s everything from grilled pork with rice to beef lok lak with fried egg, and a whole array of breakfast noodles, from nom banhchok to kuy teav – and eggs, particularly omelettes.

The thing is that you have to get up early to eat breakfast on the streets with the locals here in Cambodia, as well as neighbouring Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar, where the streets are liveliest soon after sunrise. The other thing is that locals eat anything at any time of day. Indeed, snacking on sweet desserts before a savoury dinner is normal. I’m not complaining!

If you don’t find any weekend breakfast or brunch cooking inspiration below, do browse our Weekend Eggs archive (link above) or the Grantourismo recipe archives, which are heaving with hundreds of recipes from around the world.

You could also see our collections for 31 Noodle Recipes to Cook for Noodle Month and our popular recipe round-ups, such as the Most Popular Recipes of February, which are the top recipes our readers searched for, and included everything from sticky pork ribs and chicken cutlets to Asian egg omelettes.

But before I share our best breakfast noodle recipes, I have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader supported. If you’ve enjoyed our recipes, please consider supporting Grantourismo by donating to our Cambodian cookbook on Patreon, which you could do for as little as the price of a coffee. Or buy a handcrafted KROK, the best mortar and pestle ever, or something from our Grantourismo store such as gifts for food lovers designed with Terence’s images.

Alternatively, if you’re planning a trip, you could use our links to buy travel insurance; book flights with CheapOair, Kiwi.com or Etihad; rent a car; accommodation with Booking.com, Agoda, Expedia, Wotif, lastminute.com, ebookers, or Trip.com; a luxury holiday for less with Luxury Escapes or a beautiful apartment on PLUM; transfers, guided tours and tickets to museums and sights on Get Your Guide, bus and train tickets on 12Go, or a cooking class, food tour or meal with locals on EatWith. We may earn a commission but you won’t pay extra.

Or you could buy something on Amazon such as these cookbooks for culinary travellersclassic cookbooks for serious cookstravel books to inspire wanderlust, and gifts for Asian food lovers and picnic lovers. Now let me share our best breakfast noodle recipes.

Best Breakfast Noodle Recipes from Asia – Khao Soi, Curry Laksa, Bun Cha and More

Our best breakfast noodle recipes from Asia include recipes for both ‘wet’ noodle dishes, such as noodle soups and noodles doused in curry-like broths, and ‘dry’ noodles, typically stir-fried noodles.

Chiang Mai Khao Soi Gai Recipe

This Chiang Mai khao soi gai recipe makes the wonderful curry noodle chicken soup that foreign visitors to the Northern Thailand city tend to become fixated with and it tops our list of best breakfast noodle recipes from Asia.

Thailand‘s old Lanna kingdom capital, Chiang Mai is famous for its fantastic Northern Thai-style Lanna food and khao soi gai must be its best-known dish. The one-bowl meal of egg noodles in a rich and oily, coconut cream-based stock, with a leg or thigh of bone-in chicken (‘gai’ is Thai for chicken) topped with crunchy noodles could have arrived with Chinese Muslim traders from Southern China.

However, khao soi gai shares a little DNA with Myanmar’s chicken coconut noodle soup, ohn no khao swe, above, which could have travelled to Lanna along the old established trading route between Moulmein and Chiang Mai, which was well-traversed during the roughly 200-year Burmese rule (1558-1775) when, among other things, coconuts were shipped to Chiang Mai from the Southern Myanmar port of Moulmein.

One of the sure signs of a good khao soi gai is a slick of bright red oil on top, created from the splitting of the coconut cream and stock – which only really happens with fresh coconut cream. What this does is help coat the noodles with oil and stock with each mouthful.

Khao Soi Gai Recipe – How to Make Chiang Mai Curry Noodle Chicken Soup 

 

Ohn No Khao Swe Recipe

This ohn no khao swe recipe for Myanmar’s beloved Burmese chicken coconut noodle soup is next on our list of best breakfast noodle recipes from Asia. It’s a dish that Terence has been making since we first became enamoured with it on our first trip to the country when we sampled it at Yangon’s grand old hotel, The Strand.

Probably the most popular dish alongside mohinga, Ohn no khao swe consists of egg noodles in an aromatic chicken curry soup with a coconut milk base that is typically garnished with crunchy fried noodles, boiled eggs, shallots, fried garlic, dried chilli, lime, coriander (cilantro), and sometimes fried chickpea fritters.

Indeed, in Cook and Entertain the Burmese Way, published in 1978, author Mi Mi Khaing, who was of the Mon ethnic group but married a royal from the Shan States, writes that garnishing your ohn no khao swe is one of the most fun bits about eating this noodle soup, and she describes the “festivity because with such dishes guests do the final mixing with small accompaniments to their individual tastes”.

Ohn No Khao Swe Recipe for Burmese Chicken Coconut Noodle Soup

 

Cambodian Nom Banh Chok Recipe for Khmer Noodles

Next on our list of best breakfast noodle recipes from Asia is this recipe for Cambodia‘s nom banh chok, one of our most popular recipes of 2022. Nom banh chok, also written as ‘nom banhchok’ is both the name of the fresh rice noodles and the dish itself.

Nom banhchok is an ancient Khmer specialty that has influenced other dishes in Southeast Asia, from Thailand’s khanom jeen to a Southern Vietnamese Khmer dish from Vietnam’s Mekong Delta called bún kèn.

There are a handful of types of nom banh chok but this nom banh chok recipe makes Cambodia’s most beloved ‘Khmer Noodles’ called nom banh chok samlor proher, a popular breakfast dish of rice noodles doused in a yellow-green coconut-based fish curry, garnished with fragrant herbs, seasonal vegetables, edible flowers, and wild herbs.

Authentic Nom Banh Chok Recipe for Cambodia’s Beloved Khmer Noodles

 

Cambodian Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe for Kuy Teav

This traditional Cambodian chicken noodle soup recipe makes kuy teav sach moan, another one of Cambodia’s most popular breakfast noodle soups and another of our best breakfast noodle recipes from Asia

This chicken soup is in the restrained style of kuy teav that you’d typically find at a simple local eatery, market or street food stall here in Cambodia.

A good clear flavourful stock is the hallmark of this soup rather than a bowl abundant with ingredients, so have a good chicken stock on hand.

We use shredded poached chicken breasts, but you could use other chicken parts. Provide pepper, sugar and fish sauce – Cambodians tend to use fish sauce instead of salt in soups – and soy sauce, chilli sauce, chilli flakes, and homemade chilli oil to customise the soup.

Classic Cambodian Kuy Teav Recipe for Cambodia’s Favourite Chicken Noodle Soup

 

Vietnamese Bun Cha Recipe

Of all the Vietnamese specialties I could crave, it’s bun cha (bún chả) that I miss most from our travels in Vietnam and this Vietnamese bun cha recipe is another of our best breakfast noodle recipes from Southeast Asia.

Bun cha must be one of the most quintessential Hanoi dishes after pho (phở) and this recipe makes the bun cha we used to lunch on in the Vietnam capital several times a week when we rented an apartment on ‘Food Street’ six years ago.

The lovely woman who set up her stall each morning on the curb-side grilled the smokiest char-grilled pork patties and pork belly (the ‘chả’), which she served in a warm dipping sauce, fresh rice noodles (bún), aromatic herbs and greens (perilla, fish leaf, basil, mint, coriander, butter lettuce, maybe sprouts), and Vietnamese fried spring rolls.

While the pork is clearly centre-stage, bun cha would be nothing without the freshly made rice noodles.

Vietnamese Bun Cha Recipe for Char-Grilled Pork Patties, Pork Belly, Noodles and Herbs

 

Vietnamese Meatballs and Rice Noodles Recipe

My Vietnamese meatballs and rice noodles recipe will make you a delicious Vietnamese rice noodle bowl and it’s another of our best breakfast noodle recipes.

Mouthwatering tender meatballs are doused in a delightfully tangy-sweet sauce, sprinkled with crispy fried shallots, and served with a carrot-daikon quick pickle, crunchy cucumber, and fragrant herbs.

The dish is inspired by bún chả, a traditional Hanoi specialty, but it’s not bún chả. (See the recipe above for authentic bún chả; this is what a typical bún chả looks like).

This is the dish to make when you don’t have time to get the grill going and coals smouldering and don’t want your clothes reeking of smoke.

Vietnamese Meatballs and Rice Noodles Recipe with Tangy Sweet Sauce and Fresh Herbs

 

Meatball Noodle Soup Recipe with Jammy Eggs

My juicy meatball noodle soup recipe with jammy soft boiled eggs, aromatic herbs, crunchy fried onions, chillies, and chives makes a Southeast Asian style noodle soup with deliciously rustic homemade pork meatballs.

Another version of Cambodian kuy teav, this comforting bowl of soup is typically eaten for breakfast here in Cambodia’s northern city of Siem Reap.

The main differences between my meatball noodle soup recipe and the soup you’ll slurp in a local noodle joint are the style of meatballs and boiled eggs.

When eggs are served with noodle soups and rice porridges here they’re typically hard boiled, while the meatballs are firm, dense and chewy, and mine are soft, rustic and juicy.

Juicy Meatball Noodle Soup Recipe with Jammy Soft Boiled Eggs and Aromatic Herbs

 

Phnom Penh Noodle Soup Recipe for Kuy Teav Phnom Penh

Our Phnom Penh noodle soup recipe makes kuy teav Phnom Penh, named after Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh, and it’s another of our best breakfast noodle recipes, especially for pork lovers.

At a minimum, Phnom Penh noodles is made with a pork stock base and dried rice noodles (kuy teav), topped with seasoned ground pork, but can also include any combination of pork loin, pork belly, pork ribs, pork blood cake, pork liver, and other pork offal. The traditional breakfast soup is known for its abundance.

Other distinguishing ingredients are plump prawns or shrimps, lettuce leaves, bean sprouts, fresh coriander, fried garlic and fried shallots. You can use dry noodles such as dried rice vermicelli or rice stick noodles, dunked into the soup in a stainless steel spider or mesh basket with handle.

Phnom Penh Noodle Soup Recipe for Kuy Teav Phnom Penh or Hu Tieu Nam Vang

 

Singapore Curry Laksa Recipe

This Singapore laksa recipe is another of our best breakfast noodle recipes. It makes the rich coconut milk-laced version of this classic Southeast Asian noodle soup.

While there’s an infinite array of laksas to be slurped, there are two main types: one with coconut milk and one without.

The laksa with coconut milk combined with a stock and curry paste broth is ubiquitous in Singapore and southern Malaysia. It’s called curry laksa or curry mee (‘mee’ means noodles).

The other type is asam laksa or Penang laksa, Penang being the dish’s spiritual home, and the broth is a fish stock often made from mackerel and sardines, and no coconut milk to sweeten up the sour tamarind.

Terence has been making Singapore laksa since we first started tucking into the spicy coconut curry noodle soup in Sydney, Australia, in the 1980s, at the hugely popular ‘Singapore Curry Laksa’ stall in a Chinatown food court.

Singapore Laksa Recipe – How to Make the Spicy Coconut Curry Noodle Soup

 

Lao Khao Soi Recipe

This Lao khao soi recipe is another of our best breakfast noodle recipes. It makes a hearty soup with wide rice noodles and a generous dollop of a rich tomato-based pork mince sauce that resembles an Asian take on an Italian ragu Bolognese.

The recipe is one Terence has been perfecting for years, since we fell in love with Lao khao soi on our first trip to Luang Prabang, Laos, after our guide Bounmee pointed out a rustic noodle joint in a ramshackle corrugated iron shed that he claimed ladled out the best Lao khao soi in town.

It’s served with plenty of fresh greens – crispy long snake beans, aromatic mint, basil, and lime halves – and that Luang Prabang cook gave us an array of condiments to add, including shrimp paste, fish sauce, chilli sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper, but all I reckon it needs is a sprinkle of dried chilli flakes.

Just like a good ragu Bolognese it’s going to take a few hours to make, but having eaten this countless times, I guarantee it’s the best few hours you’ll spend making an Asian noodle soup.

Lao Khao Soi Recipe – How to Make the Laotian Soup with a Ragu Bolognese Style Sauce

 

Soto Ayam Recipe for Yogyakarta’s Indonesian Chicken Noodle Soup

This soto ayam recipe for the beloved Indonesian chicken noodle soup is based on the aromatic breakfast noodle soup we became smitten with on our last day in Yogyakarta. ‘Soto’ means soup and ‘ayam’ is chicken and this chicken soup with noodles is the go-to breakfast for many locals.

Terence’s soto ayam recipe was inspired by the soto ayam we sampled, which stood out for the consommé-like clarity of the light soup and fragrant stock, however, some recipes Terence spotted during his research called for coconut milk, so don’t be surprised if it differs from others you’ve tried.

There seems to be a soto ayam recipe for every village, town, city, and region on Indonesia’s 18,307 islands, but if there’s one thing that Indonesians seem to agree on, that’s that soto ayam is the country’s chicken noodle soup for the soul.

Like all good chicken soups, soto ayam is comfort food, eaten as a healthy filling breakfast to kickstart the day, and recommended for it restorative properties when you’re feeling unwell. This is easily another of our best breakfast noodle recipes.

Soto Ayam Recipe for Yogyakarta’s Indonesian Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul

 

Korean Spicy Noodles Recipe for Stir-Fried Udon with Kimchi

Our Korean spicy noodles recipe makes stir-fried udon noodles with kimchi, bacon and fried eggs and it’s yet another of our best breakfast noodle recipes although you can eat this at any time of day.

While the Japanese fried udon noodle dish, yaki udon, has a soy based sauce, this Korean-style yaki udon heats things up with kimchi, the spicy Korean chilli paste called gochujang and Korean chilli flakes gochugaru. We love to slide fried eggs on top.

If you’re a lover of Japanese udon noodles but prefer the spice of Korean food, you’re going to love this Korean spicy noodles recipe, although it’s a dish for pork lovers as much as lovers of noodles and spice.

Korean Spicy Noodles Recipe for Stir-Fried Udon with Kimchi, Bacon and Fried Eggs

 

Bacon and Egg Yaki Udon Recipe for Japanese Fried Udon Noodles for Weekend Eggs

This bacon and egg yaki udon recipe makes my idea of a deliciously hearty Japanese noodle breakfast for the weekend and it’s another of our best breakfast noodle recipes.

It takes inspiration from classic Japanese fried udon noodles and tamago kake gohan or Japanese egg on rice. The udon noodles are fried with bacon and mushrooms and served with a raw egg yolk stirred into the piping-hot noodles before eating, although you could certainly use cooked eggs.

It’s not a traditional yaki udon, but a breakfast noodle dish was inspired by cravings, my indecisive nature, and the need to use some leftover mushrooms and bacon.

I was craving both this Korean spicy noodles recipe made with udon noodles, kimchi, bacon and eggs, and tamago kake gohan or Japanese egg on rice, but couldn’t decide which to make.

I’d read that in Japan, tamago kake gohan made with European ingredients such as Italian Parma ham and Parmigiano-Reggiano has become popular since our last trip, so I thought why not?

Bacon and Egg Yaki Udon Recipe for Japanese Fried Udon Noodles for Weekend Eggs

 

Please do let us know in the comments section below if you make any of our best breakfast noodle recipes as we love to hear how our recipes turn out for you.

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A travel and food writer who has experienced over 70 countries and written for The Guardian, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Feast, Delicious, National Geographic Traveller, Conde Nast Traveller, Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia, DestinAsian, TIME, CNN, The Independent, The Telegraph, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, AFAR, Wanderlust, International Traveller, Get Lost, Four Seasons Magazine, Fah Thai, Sawasdee, and more, as well as authored more than 40 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, DK, Footprint, Rough Guides, Fodors, Thomas Cook, and AA Guides.

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