Kuay jab (ก๋วยจั๊บ) is one of those dishes I don’t eat very often…

But when you’re slurping the hot peppery soup, sweat dripping down your forehead, bumping shoulders with other happy eaters, you’re reminded just how incredibly delicious and soothing it is.

Probably influenced from southern China, kuay jab (ก๋วยจั๊บ) is a Thai dish that includes rolled up wide rice noodles in a very porky and peppery broth, and it’s one of the top Thai street food dishes to try.

And when you’re in Bangkok’s Chinatown, Kuay Jab Nay Lek (ร้านก๋วยจั๊บนายเล็ก (อ้วน) is one of the great street food stalls that serves kuay jab(ก๋วยจั๊บ).

best food in Yaowarat
Kuay jab nam sai (ก๋วยจั๊บน้ำใส) – Must eat in Yaowarat

Kuay jab nam sai (ก๋วยจั๊บน้ำใส)

There are two main types of kuay jab in Bangkok, kuay jab nam sai (ก๋วยจั๊บน้ำใส) and kuay jab nam khon (ก๋วยจั๊บน้ำข้น).

There are big fans of each type of kuay jab, but the popular version to eat in Yaowarat is kuay jab nam sai (ก๋วยจั๊บน้ำใส), and it’s the type I prefer.

Kuay Jab Nay Lek (ร้านก๋วยจั๊บนายเล็ก (อ้วน)
Kuay Jab Nay Lek (ร้านก๋วยจั๊บนายเล็ก (อ้วน)

Kuay Jab Nay Lek (ร้านก๋วยจั๊บนายเล็ก (อ้วน)

Located along Yaowarat road, and within the lanes of Yaowarat, you’ll find some of the most famous and most delicious bowls of kuay jab (ก๋วยจั๊บ) in all of Bangkok.

Another street food stall, Kuay Jab Uan Pochana (ก๋วยจั๊บ อ้วนโภชนา), located outside the old theater along Yaowarat is also extremely popular, and they serve an incredibly good bowl as well.

However, lately I’ve really enjoyed the kuay jab from Kuay Jab Nay Lek (ร้านก๋วยจั๊บนายเล็ก (อ้วน), a street food stall that sets up on the corner of Yaowarat Road and Itsara Nuphap (Soi 11).

As soon as they open, they will be busy.

Thai kuay jab
The wonderful meat that will be a part of your kuay jab

What to order?

You don’t have a choice for what type of kuay jab to eat here, they only serve nam sai (น้ำใส).

But you do have a choice of what meats to include – if you want everything included, or if you don’t want the organs, and only pork belly.

If you enjoy organs, I would highly recommend the full option with all the organs. They are cooked so well and they are so soft and tender, you’ll hardly even notice they are organs.

Price – 50 THB ($1.39) per bowl

Kuay jab tuk yang (ก๋วยจั๊บทุกอย่าง)

For myself, the absolute best thing about eating at Nay Lek (ร้านก๋วยจั๊บนายเล็ก (อ้วน) is the peppery broth.

The pepper taste in the soup is strong, but it’s calming and soothing at the same time, and not to mention incredibly addictive as well.

I love to eat chili with just about everything, but with a bowl here, I barely even added any extra chili flakes, because the taste of the broth was so superb as it comes.

In addition to the broth, one of the things that Kuay Jab Nay Lek (ร้านก๋วยจั๊บนายเล็ก (อ้วน) does so well, are all the bits of the pig.

The pork belly was mind-blowing delicious. The edges of the pork belly were fully crispy while the inside was creamy and juicy, and each piece melted in my mouth along with the peppery broth.

The organs were also wonderful, each with their own unique texture, yet none of them were chewy or tough, but cooked to tender perfection. The tongue in particular was excellent.

Finally, the noodle rolls, which float around somewhere within the soup, were soft and plain, pairing well with the taste of the soup. Although the noodles were good, they are sort of overshadowed by the other delicious floating pieces of meat in the bowl.

kuay jab in Bangkok
One of the best bowls of kuay jab in Bangkok

Conclusion

Kuay Jab Nay Lek (ร้านก๋วยจั๊บนายเล็ก (อ้วน) is one of the many famous street food stalls in Yaowarat (Chinatown Bangkok) that serves kuay jab nam sai (ก๋วยจั๊บน้ำใส), noodle rolls in a clear pork bone soup.

What I love so much about the version at Kuay Jab Nay Lek (ร้านก๋วยจั๊บนายเล็ก (อ้วน) is that the broth is intensely peppery and so flavorful that it doesn’t need any extra seasoning.

Kuay jab (ก๋วยจั๊บ) to me is not very filling, but more soothing and just tastes amazing, so if you’re in Yaowarat, you could easily eat a full seafood meal, and then have a bowl of kuay jab afterwards.

Kuay Jab Nay Lek (ร้านก๋วยจั๊บนายเล็ก (อ้วน)

Address: Yaowarat Road, Soi 11 – right on the right hand corner of Yaowarat Road and Soi 11 at night only
Open hours: 6 pm – Midnight daily
Prices: Bowl of noodle with everything is 50 THB ($1.39)

ที่อยู่ ถ.เยาวราช (ปากซอยเยาวราช 11) ตลาดน้อย , สัมพันธวงศ์ , กรุงเทพมหานคร 10100
เปิดบริการทุกวัน 18.00-24.00 น.

How to get there: The street food stalls opens up at around 6 pm everyday right on the corner of Yaowarat Road and Itsara Nuphap (Soi 11), right along the busy and hectic Yaowarat road. To get to Yaowarat, you can walk from Hua Lamphong MRT station (15 minutes) or you can take a taxi directly there.

44 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Arnaud

    1 year ago

    Hi Mark,
    Hope you’re doing well. I had the chance to eat in Nay Lek during my last trip in Thailand following the recommendations of Thai friends. OMG what an amazing food they do. The moo krop is fabulous, and the pepper broth absolutely perfect. I loved it so much and went back a second time the day after. According to those friends, that’s probably the best moo krop in town, which I agree so far.

  • Nathan Pai Schmitt

    2 years ago

    Any chance you or your wife know where I could find a recipe for kuay jab nam sai broth? Tried like 5 places on Yaowarat, and I’m kind of obsessed haha. I really want to make it this winter in Denver!

  • Sonu

    3 years ago

    One my my fav stalls my uncle introduced me to this noodles . I make it a point to go there as soon as I land in Bangkok. Try the watermelon slush sold by the stall right next to it

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Sonu, awesome to hear that, glad you enjoy this place!

  • Eko

    3 years ago

    Super yummy. And good video. Thanks.

  • Anthony Tam

    3 years ago

    Hi Mark,
    I ate this particular stall on my last stay in Bangkok. I was taken aback by the extremely peppery soup which I didn’t expect. Although it was tasty, it was way too peppery hot for me as it burned my tastebuds to numbness. I’m wondering how this stall compares to the other stall, Kuay Jab Uaan Pochana you wrote about in your eBook.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Anthony, thank you for sharing, glad you got to try it. I think they are similar, but if I remember correctly, this one is a bit more peppery, which is why I think overall I would prefer it. But it really depends on how much peppery you enjoy.

  • DougK

    3 years ago

    Enjoyed reading your articles. We’ve been to Thailand three times and I’m ready to go back anytime.
    We visited the ChinaTown in Bangkok but during the “day”. Had I been aware of the street stalls at night, I would have gone !!!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Thank you Doug, glad you enjoy Thailand so much. Yah, in the evening, you’ll find an entire different set of street food stalls in Yaowarat.

  • Stan

    3 years ago

    Mark – as a long time reader of your blog and guides, I was excited to see you written up in the Weekend Australian (by John Leathlean). Quite a prominent and lengthy article in the Travel (or Food) section. Well done on that and great to see you getting more exposure. Hopefully we have more people travelling for local food experiences.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Stan, thank you very much, really appreciate it. It was really great to have a chance to meet with John.

  • nui acain

    3 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing Kuay Jab. I like it and I grew up with it in Huay Tod, Trang in Thailand. My daughter who is American born went to Thailand a couple of trips and she also loves it.
    Thanks again.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Nui, thank you for reading, glad you enjoy kuay jab as well.

  • Tara

    3 years ago

    Hi Mark,

    Kuay jab is unchanged from its Teochew origins right down to its name. I’m guessing it came to Southeast Asia from the early 20th century wave of immigration from that part of China – now called Guangdong province but specifically, the Teochew part and not Cantonese or Hakka.

    I don’t know if it’s evolved since in its homeland as have never been to that part of China. I didn’t see it in Xi’an in the Central Plains when I went last summer, where the Teochew originated before they began migrating south 2000 years ago. They do use a lot of vinegar and pickled foodstuffs in that region which is quite Teochew.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Tara, thank you for sharing your experience. It would be amazing to visit the Teochew area of Guangdong province to see how much influence there is in so many Thai dishes.

  • Scott

    3 years ago

    Hi Mark,
    This is without doubt one of the jewels of Yaraowat. My wife bought me a bowl of it, along with some Phad Thai from the vendor nearby, and the Kuay Jap was to die for.
    She warned me it would be very spicy which I took to mean full of chilli, but when the pepper hit me I was over the moon.
    This is one a many dishes worth getting on a plane for.
    I had mine with all the organs in it…best way to go.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Scott, awesome, totally agree with you, over the moon is a good way to describe the sensation you get when taking a bite of this peppery soup!

  • Vivian

    3 years ago

    Thanks for the recommendation!! Pretty good.. I will visit the shop when I am back to Bangkok again. The photo looks tempting

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Vivian, you’re welcome, hope you enjoy it.

  • Wpoh

    3 years ago

    One of this day I will go to Bangkok to meet you

  • Craig Adams

    3 years ago

    Thanks for that Mark, didn’t know you could get full pork legs in Bangers! The holly grail for khao moo begins!!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Craig, yes definitely at some places, like Charoen Saeng Silom!

  • Des

    3 years ago

    Hi Mark, that looks nice for carol but how do I ask for it without meat… As you know I am veggie but I do eat fish as long as it’s not too meaty &
    tough. Des :)

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Des, would the pork broth be alright? You could try ordering, “kuay jab mai sai neau sat,” which would mean with no meat.

  • Anya

    3 years ago

    Hello Mark,

    Your videos and photos are very awesome :) I love your stories!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Thank you very much Anya, really appreciate it.

  • Chad

    3 years ago

    I can’t believe I passed on that place a couple weeks ago, my fixer said it shouldn’t be missed while I was shooting there.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Chad, you’ve got to come back for some!

  • Alex Strötgey

    3 years ago

    Hello Mark, im following your posts and your vlogs on youtube for quite a long time. I can say you do a great work. Im living here now for over a year in Khon Kaen with my wife. If you Come along through Khon Kaen i would like to show you some of my favourite food stalls here. Hope to see you soon here in beautiful Isan. Alex

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Alex, great to hear from you, thank you very much. Alright great, will let you know if I come to Khon Kaen anytime soon.

  • timinphuket

    3 years ago

    Wonderful – please can I have permission to post your information?

    Giving you credit without a doubt.

    with best regards

    Tim

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Tim, thank you. I don’t really allow any reposting as I don’t want any of my content to be duplicated on the web. What did you have in mind? or what would you like to post?

  • Baz

    3 years ago

    I love your videos and enthusiasm for exploring delicious street food, but I’d be careful with the transliterations that you use….. You’ll have a load of foreigners wandering around asking street vendors for “Painful Penis!”
    yes a lot of books will translate a gaw gai to a K, but I personally think a G is much more accurate, and in this case a lot safer! Jab can sound very near Jep, particularly in this context, and could leave some street vendors doubled over with laughter :)

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Baz, thanks for the comment and support, and tips. Yah, transliteration is something I think about a lot, and it’s such a difficult subject since there’s no standard. From research I’ve done, the most common form of spelling is kuay jab, but yah it could easily be guay chap as well. But I often think, though the same letter, “gai” sounds like a “G” while “guay”, perhaps due to the vowel that proceeds, sounds more like a “K.” I’m actually not really sure what to do in a situation like this, as it would be a bit too complicated to explain in words, which is why I hope videos can also help, especially for Thai pronunciation. Thanks!

  • Sean green

    3 years ago

    Great article and information i will defiantly be visiting yaowarat road in September and after watching your vidios two weeks in bangkok we will be visiting SOEI at sam sen railroad station Thanks for the great information

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Sean, thank you very much, glad you’ll be visiting Bangkok soon!

  • Michael

    3 years ago

    Greetings Mark,

    I’ll admit I did not know what to exist after signing up for your $1 Thai Menu, and found a link in my email to this article today, but I can easily say wow! what a wonderfully descript thai food lovers experience!

    Thank you for your details of location blended neatly with poetic writing of particular enjoyed nuances of the dish – admitting how you skip adding extra chili flakes as the broth is so tasty at Kuay Jab Nay Lek (ร้านก๋วยจั๊บนายเล็ก (อ้วน). I understand that thought process and it speaks volumes to a fellow food/flavor lover.

    I’m making a trip to Thailand towards the end of April and in my planning of the trip came across your wonderful site! I’m overjoyed by such synchronicity!

    Thank you again for sharing your incredible detail Mark! Your delectable attention sold me on kuay jab nam sai (ก๋วยจั๊บน้ำใส), I would have never even thought of trying before this reading! :)

    Excellent article Sir!

    I look forward to your next Thai foods adventure!!! It’s clear you have found your bliss in combining your love of writing, photography, and Thai food :)

    Sincerely,

    Michael

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hi Michael, really appreciate the kind message, thank you for reading. Great to hear you’ll be coming to Thailand soon, hope you can try kuay jab nam sai when you’re here. Glad we share a passion for spicy and flavorful food!

  • Ksee

    3 years ago

    Your video is very good and is so yummy

  • Yi @ yireservation.com

    3 years ago

    wow what an awesome site you have. Thanks for linking to my Chinese braised aromatic meat recipe so I could find yours. I am drooling just looking at the crispy pork :)

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Yi, you’re welcome, thank you for all the great information on your blog as well!