Thai Fermented Rice Noodles


Making noodles from scratch was something I had never imagined I will do. And fermented noodles – I didn’t even know about them until recently. However, of late, we have been more inclined to consume grains in the fermented form. Rice and rotis are often replaced with idli, dosa and sourdough bread because that is the only form of fermentation I knew. I sometimes make dhokla and handvo which are also fermented foods. For the past few months, I have been researching on introducing more fermented grain dishes into our diet and came across this amazing recipe of Thai Fermented Rice Noodles.

Khanom Chin is fermented rice noodles originating from Thailand that are long, round, elastic and have a beautiful glaze on them. Their chewy texture, tangy and nutty flavour is absolutely delicious. Making fully fermented rice noodles is a long process which needs all your patience, and honestly, it is one of the most difficult dishes I have made. But since we do not eat noodles very frequently, it works well for us given I make it once every few weeks. Also, once you make them, there is no going back to the readymade noodles, at least not for us. I usually serve the noodles with indo-chinese dishes to make a complete and delicious meal.

It takes a good 7 or 8 days by the time you get the fruit of your labour. But the best part of making fermented food is that most of the time involved is just wait time, while nature does its magic. I have adopted the original recipe and have tried to make it in a traditional way. It is a learning process and will take a few times to get it right, but totally worth the effort. This recipe is a keeper if you love authentic traditional recipes.

I have explained the recipe with step by step pictures for better understanding. Refer to pictures as you read the recipe for better understanding.

Recipe source here.

Ingredients:

Rice (I have used sona masoori)
Water
Salt

Method:

FIRST FERMENTATION (3 DAYS)

  1. Wash the rice thoroughly
  2. Place the rice in sufficient water to cover it completely
  3. Cover with a plate
  4. Let it sit in a dark spot (like inside a cupboard) for three days
  5. Make sure you wash and refresh the water every day

SECOND FERMENTATION (3 DAYS)

  1. Add salt to the water and mix well to make brine (you will need 4 tbsp of salt for every 1 litre of water)
  2. Wash the rice thoroughly and soak in brine
  3. Leave the rice undisturbed in a dark spot for the next two to three days

COLLECTING THE RICE STARCH

  1. Wash the rice thoroughly
  2. Grind the rice with minimal water (I have used a stone wet grinder to grind the rice. If you don’t have a stone grinder, you can use a blender)
  3. Pour the ground rice into a vessel. Cover and let it sit overnight in the cupboard. This will help the rice particles to settle

DRYING AND THIRD FERMENTATION (2 DAYS)

  1. Place muslin or cheesecloth onto a sieve and place the sieve on a large bowl
  2. Pour the rice mixture onto the set cheesecloth
  3. Bring all the ends of the cheesecloth together and tie it
  4. Place a heavy weight onto it, allowing the excess water to drain off (see picture)
  5. Place it in the cupboard for two days

EXTRACTING THE CREAM STARCH

  1. Remove the dried starch from the muslin cloth and place in a wide tray
  2. Slowly add hot water and knead into a dough
  3. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap it in a fresh muslin cloth
  4. Place the wrapped dough in a steamer and steam for 4-5 minutes
  5. Remove the dough from the steamer. It will only be cooked partially at this stage
  6. Use a spoon to check the thickness of the cooked dough. The outer 0.5 cm should be cooked (gelatinised)
  7. Place the semi-cooked dough into a wide tray. Pound the dough and combine the gelatinised part of the dough with the rest of it. This must be done while the dough is still hot (refer picture)
  8. Once the cooked and uncooked dough is combined, add a small amount of hot water and knead it well
  9. Continue to knead until it reaches a creamy consistency (refer picture)
  10. Pass the creamy starch into a muslin cloth to remove any gelatinised part of the dough. Discard the gelatinous lumps

MAKING THE NOODLES

  1. Boil water in a large pot and bring it to a rolling boil. Add a small amount of cold water to remove the air bubbles
  2. Now swirl the water to create turbulence
  3. Pour the rice starch into an extruder (chakli press)
  4. Press carefully onto the hot water laying the noodles into it
  5. The noodles will initially settle down and when they are cooked, they will float on the water
  6. Carefully scoop out the cooked noodles and transfer them to cold water
  7. Rinse the noodles in fresh, cold water three times
  8. Remove the noodles from water and lightly press them to remove excess water
  9. The noodles are ready to be served
Soak the rice in water and let it sit for three days (First fermentation)
Let the rice soak in salt brine for two to three days (Second fermentation)
Grind the rice with minimal water
Let the ground paste sit overnight
Pour the ground rice paste onto a muslin or cheese cloth
Place heavy weight on top and let it ferment for two days (Third fermentation)
Dried rice starch after third fermentation
Add hot water and knead the rice starch
Add hot water and knead the rice starch
Rice starch after kneading
Place it in fresh muslin or cheese cloth and steam it
Steam until it is partially cooked
The outer 0.5 cm should be cooked (gelatinised)
Pound the dough and combine the gelatinised part of the dough with the rest of it
Add hot water and knead until the starch is creamy
Place the creamy rice starch onto a fresh muslin cloth
Pass the creamy rice starch through the muslin cloth
Discard the gelatinous lumps
Pour the rice starch into an extruder (chakli press)
Press the noodles carefully into boiling water
The noodles is cooked when it floats
Transfer the noodles into cold water
Rinse the noodles three time
Drain the excess water
Fermented rice noodles are ready to be served