Cau Lau – Hoi An noodles

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Ive just come back from a trip to Vietnam where I discovered Cau Lau, a noodle dish found in the ancient town of Hoi An. This noodle dish differs from typical Vietnamese noodle dishes, as it is not a soup.  The noodles are light to eat, but thick and chewy and are coated in a tasty marinade and served with fresh herbs, meat and vegetables.

New year in Hoi An -‘Chuc Mung Nam Moi’

Legend has it that this dish can only be made with water from the ancient Ba Le well, and that only lye ash from a tree grown on the nearby Cham Islands can be used in the making of the noodle dough, but I seem to have made a simple and tasty version here in Sydney using ingredients found in local markets.

Cau Lau at the Sunrise Resort



  • Japanese Soba noodles
  • Bunch of mint
  • Bunch of coriander
  • Bunch of basil
  • Spring onions
  • 1 lime cut up
  • 1 red chilli sliced thin
  • 1 cooked chicken breast sliced thin


  • Marinade
  • 5 cloves garlic crushed
  • 5 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 2 teaspoon 5 spice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • pepper



  1. Place noodles in boiling and boil until done, about 6 mins.
  2. Mix marinade ingredients together
  3. While noodles are cooking, boil 2 cups stock and add half the marinade, leave to simmer for a few minutes to reduce
  4. Break up the herbs, thinly slice the spring onion and place into bowls
  5. Mix remaining marinade with ½ cup stock and simmer in a small pot for a couple of minutes. Just before serving, add sliced cooked chicken to coat
  6. Drain noodles when done and add to the stock/marinade mixture and mix through before placing in bowls, on top of herbs
  7. Place chicken on top and a squeeze of lime juice.
  8. serve with a wedge of lime and slices of chilli
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