Saturday, August 6, 2016

Thai-Style Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao)

Except for a little bit of rice wine, there's really nothing remotely "drunken" about this popular Thai noodle dish.  "Legend" (I use this term loosely) has it that the dish was concocted by someone who was drunk and craved some good eats after a booze-fest. Who knows, and who cares, because all that matters is that it tastes pretty damned good whether or not you have a hangover. The Chinese influence is evident in the use of oyster sauce and soy sauce, but the addition of fish sauce, basil and chiles is what makes the dish distinctively Thai. This is my version, which incorporates chicken as the protein. However, feel free to substitute with beef or shrimp.

Chicken & Marinade:

1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed & diced or sliced into 2" pieces
1 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. cornstarch
3 tbsp. water


4 tbsp. oyster sauce
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. dark soy sauce
4 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1 tbsp. rice wine or Shaohsing wine
1 1/4 cups water

2-lb. pkg. fresh rice noodles

3 tbsp. vegetable oil

4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
3 scallions, sliced on the bias into 2" pieces
3 fresh Fresno (red) chiles, seeded and sliced (leave seeds in if you like extra spicy)
1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and sliced (leave seeds in if you like extra spicy)
1 green or red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
2 cups Thai basil leaves (ok to substitute with sweet basil if you can't find Thai)
2 cups bean sprouts

Lime wedges for garnish

1. Add the marinade ingredients to the sliced chicken in a medium bowl & combine well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

2.  Combine all the sauce ingredients together in a 2-cup measuring cup or bowl. Set aside.

3. Heat 3 tbsp. oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add the garlic, sliced bell pepper and chiles and saute about 10 seconds.

4. Add the chicken and cook until the meat just loses its pink color.

5. Add the sliced onion and scallions.

6. Stir in the noodles and toss gently to separate. When the noodles are heated through (2-3 minutes), stir in the sauce. Bring to a boil, about 1-2 minutes. 

7. Add the basil. Stir briefly then add 2 cups of bean sprouts. 

8. Serve the noodles immediately while hot with lime wedges on the side. 

 Slice the chicken into 2" pieces.

 Combine the marinade ingredients with the chicken and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

 Thai basil leaves, minced garlic, sliced green bell pepper, sliced jalapeño and Fresno chiles, sliced red onion, and chopped scallion

For the sauce: oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, regular soy sauce, rice wine (Michiu), fish sauce, and white pepper

 Combine all sauce ingredients together in a bowl.

 2 lbs. of fresh rice noodles, available in most Asian markets

 Saute the garlic, sliced bell pepper, and chiles in 3 tbsp. oil for about 10 seconds until slightly softened

 Add the marinated chicken and cook until the meat has lost most of its pink color

 Stir in the sliced onions and chopped scallions

 Gently stir in the noodles then add the sauce; bring to a boil, about 1-2 minutes

 Stir in the basil leaves

 And, finally, stir in the bean sprouts

 Serve the noodles immediately, with lime wedges on the side if desired

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