Laotians make Kow-Poone often to celebrate happy occasions like a wedding, a farewell party, or just to enjoy an evening eating good soup. Nam means water, but in this case it's the kind of soup that goes with the rice noodles or Kow-Poone. For me, this is very similar to Pho that Vietnamese friends like to have. The kind of kow-poone called Kow-Poone Nam Pick Paa or Kow-Poone Nam Pick Moo will look redish since it will be spiced with red pepper and Nam Pa will just be a noodle soup with clear fish sauce, the most simple form of Kow-Poone. - Akongvee

Mom never wrote this one down. Fortunately there are a few relatives that still know how to put this one together. This recipe is being compiled and refined as we go. As with many recipes, each family their own adaptations. This is particularly true of Lao-American families where old traditions are tempered by newly-developed distaste for some of the more "old school" ingredients like tripe, and the availability of certain ingredients. Flycogen 12:41, May 24, 2011 (UTC)


  • 1 1/2 lbs of ground pork (I think 1 lb should be enough - which again can be added 20 mins before the end)
  • 1 lb of pork bone. (you should use pork gives the soup a distinctive taste, the original also asks for organ meats, which give it that flavour even if you don't want to eat the organs, pork liver, pork heart,port stomach etc)
  • 1 head of Galanga or a few dried slices of Galanga. (about 5 slices should be good)
  • 1 lb of fresh filet - this can be Talapia or Catfish try to avoid "fishy" fish. (1/2 - 1 lbs is ok)
  • 2 small bags of round thin rice noodle (Kow-poone) Dad's fav brand is JiangXi from China
  • 2 cups of shredded Cabage
  • 2 cups of shredded green papaya ( can be substituted with carot )
  • 2 cup of chopped mint leaves
  • 2 cups of shredded bamboo shoots ( usually they are available in can )
  • 1/2 cup of chopped fresh hot pepper or red chilli pepper powder.
  • chopped green onion
  • limes
  • instead of MSG, add a little bit (2 tsp) of sugar into the stock
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of fish sauce (you can adjust to taste - do not need to add to taste until later,otherwise it makes the whole house stinky)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt



basically cook the bones, with salt and galanka until the meat is tender, if you use organs, take out organ when it is at nice texture, add the ground pk and fish and fishsauce at the end, maybe cook for another 20-30mins after. (the whole process is about 1.5 hours)

Marinate the ground pork and the bone together with the fish sauce and salt for 15 minutes.(dont have to do this step)

Put water 3 QT of water into a 5 QT pot and bring it to a boil and then put the marinated meat and bone into the pot and lower the heat so that it will cook a little slower without foaming too much.

After 5 minutes, put the fish into the pot and let it cook. Once the fish is cook, take it out and grind it with the mortar and pestle and then put them back to the pot.

Prepare Kow-PooneEdit

Boil a seperate pot of water and put two packages of noodles in to cook briefly- about 30 seconds.

After the noodles are cooked, take them out and drain them with cold water so they won't stick together.

Use your hand or spoon to string them up and make a small hang on a plate. One bowl of serving may needs two or three hangs.


1. Put a little shredded vegetables in a bowl. You can choose as much as what you like, carrot, bamboo shoot, cabbage, or brocolli slaw. These veggies are called 'Saa' and traditionally is composed of shredded bamboo shoots, shredded bannanna flowers, and shredded green papaya

2. Put two or three hangs (handfulls of noodles shaped into a ball to drain) of Kow-poone on top of the vegetable.

3. Put the Nam Kow-Poone on the bowl and you are ready to mix and add hot pepper to you taste.

Kow-Poone is also great with one spoon in one hand and the other with a hand full of warm sticky rice. When I eat Kow-Poone, I do sweat. I can't think of any thing I do really enjoy unless I sweat. I hope you enjoy it too.

Originally Writen by Akongvee

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