Cambodian Sweet Soy Noodle Bowl with Pickles

Course Main Course
Cuisine Southeast Asian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4


  • 8 ounces dried thin rice noodles banh pho
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic smashed and peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Sweet Soy Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar or 1-1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar


  • 1/2 cup assorted pickles celery, fennel, cucumber
  • 8 ounces Broiled Tofu
  • 2 cups bean sprouts blanched for 30 seconds
  • 4 large hard boiled eggs chopped
  • 2 tablespoons preserved radish soaked, drained and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Microwaved Crispy Garlic Bits
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts crushed


  • 2 tablespoons green onions green parts only, chopped
  • 1 cup assorted herbs plucked from their stems Thai or Italian basil, cilantro, parsley
  • 1 large lime quartered
  • soy sauce
  • chili paste such as sambal oelek


  1. To make Sweet Soy Sauce, combine the soy sauce, water and palm sugar in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium for 1 minute, then stir until the sugar dissolves.

  2. Bring a large pot of water of water to a rolling boil. Submerge dried noodles in boiling water and turn off heat. Stir to loosen and unravel them. When noodles are completely limp, test for doneness. They should be cooked through but still al dente, 6-8 minutes. Pay attention, because they'll turn mush if overcooked. Drain and rinse noodles under cold running water. Drain again in a colander over the sink to dry off the noodles as much as possible.

  3. Swirl the oil into a large wok or skillet and set over medium heat until shimmering hot. Swish the garlic around in the oil until golden to flavor the oil, 4-5 minutes. Remove and discard.

  4. Toss the cooked noodles in the oil for a few seconds, then pour the Sweet Soy Sauce over the noodles and toss until well coated. Sprinkle with the salt and mix well. Remove the noodles and toss until well coated. Sprinkle with the salt and mix well. Remove the noodles from the heat and divide among 4 large bowls. 

  5. To serve, top each bowl of noodles with a fourth of the pickles, tofu, bean sprouts, eggs, preserved radish, Microwaved Crispy Garlic Bits and peanuts. Serve immediately with garnishes alongside in small dishes.

Recipe Notes

Reprinted with permission from Farm To Table Asian Secrets by Patricia Tanumihardja. Use gluten-free soy sauce if needed for dietary considerations.