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Thai Yen Ta Fo Recipe

Thai Yen Ta Fo Recipe

Yen Ta Fo is a traditional noodle soup from Thailand consisting of a pink broth with rice noodles, seafood or meat, and a variety of different vegetables as well as fermented tofu. The dish is served as a popular street food and is a favorite with the locals and is served with a variety of different toppings depending on where it’s prepared. 

Origin & Cultural Significance

Yen Ta Fo originated in China as a noodle soup with stuffed tofu and fish balls and the name originates from the Chinese name Yong-Theu-Fu which translates to ‘stuffed tofu’.

The dish is sold by street vendors up and down the country, or as a side dish in restaurants both in Thailand, and internationally. 

The soup gets its vibrant pink color from fermented tofu and uses a variety of ingredients including bird’s eye chillies, cilantro, and vinegar – creating a unique dish that is sweet, spicy, savory, and sour.

The soup is particularly popular in colder months and the rainy season, treated as a comfort food. However, it’s possible to find the dish all year round in good Thai restaurants and from street vendors. 

Thai Yen Ta Fo

Thai Yen Ta Fo Recipe

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Yen Ta Fo is a traditional noodle soup from Thailand. The dish consists of a pink broth with rice noodles, seafood or meat, and a variety of different vegetables as well as fermented tofu.


  • Rice noodles - 8 oz
  • Fish balls (halved) - 8
  • Shrimp (peeled and deveined) - 1/2 lb
  • Squid (cleaned and sliced into rings) - 1/2 lb
  • Firm tofu (cubed) - 1/2 block
  • Chinese morning glory (kangkong) (chopped) - 2 cups
  • Bean sprouts - 1 cup
  • Garlic (minced) - 4 cloves
  • Fermented tofu (red or pink) - 2 cubes
  • Soybean paste - 2 tbsp
  • Sugar - 1 tbsp
  • Vinegar - 2 tbsp
  • Fish sauce - 2 tbsp
  • Chicken or vegetable broth - 4 cups
  • Red food coloring (optional)
  • Fried garlic and cilantro - for garnish


  1. Cook the rice noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, heat some oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  3. Add the fermented tofu and soybean paste to the pot. Stir fry until well combined.
  4. Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth, fish sauce, sugar, and vinegar. Bring to a simmer.
  5. If using, add a few drops of red food coloring to achieve the desired pink hue.
  6. Add the fish balls, shrimp, squid, and tofu cubes to the broth. Simmer until the seafood is cooked through.
  7. Stir in the chopped Chinese morning glory and bean sprouts. Cook for another minute.
  8. To serve, divide the cooked rice noodles into bowls. Ladle the hot Yen Ta Fo broth over the noodles.
  9. Garnish with fried garlic and cilantro.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 622Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 303mgSodium: 1827mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 68g

Nutrition is provided and calculated by Nutritionix. It is for general information purposes and is only a rough estimation.

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