Wok Week continues with Drunken Noodles, fusion food at its finest in every sense. Pad Kee Mao combines multicultural attributes in a comforting and healthy way.
When you sit down in a Thai restaurant here in the states, there are a few dishes you will nearly always find on the menu: Pad Thai, Thai Fried Rice, Coconut Curry, and Pad Kee Mao, also known as Drunken Noodles.
However, Drunken Noodles are a tasty example of asian “fusion food” in its truest form. This dish became popular in Thailand, after Chinese immigrants crossed the borders in surrounding countries and started selling the common street-food dish, Phat Si Ew, made with wide noodles.
The biggest difference between Phat Si Ew and Pad Kee Mao is that over time, the Thai people added spicy peppers and sweet Thai basil. A brilliantly fragrant addition, in my opinion.
In fact, there are many stories of how these noodles became known as Drunken Noodles, due to the fact that there is no alcohol in the recipe.
One theory is that they are so spicy, those partaking get drunk in the process of trying to quench their thirst.
Of course you can adjust the heat to your liking; no need to worry about sending dinner guest home in a state of inebriation.
Pad Kee Mao is traditionally made with wide rice noodles, however I prefer the density of DeLallo egg noodles. They soak up the sauce and create wonderful richness in the dish. You can use either in this recipe.
Start by mixing all the wet ingredients to create a sauce. You’ll need 3 bottled Asian ingredients: Maggi Sauce, Oyster Sauce, and Fish Sauce.
These can be found in most mainstream grocery stores and at all Asian markets. Maggi Sauce (or Golden Mountain) is a heavily seasoned soy based sauce. All of these ingredients are salty, so you will not need to salt this dish at any point.
Now heat a wok to high heat and add a touch of oil along with the beaten eggs. Cook the eggs until set, then push up the side to slow the cooking. Then sauté the garlic, onions, and Thai chiles. If needed add another small amount of oil, and then the chicken.
Once cooked, push the mixture up the side and quickly stir fry the veggies. I used bell peppers and carrots (and added tomatoes later) but you could also add snow peas, broccoli, or baby corn.
Once the veggies are just barely cooked (but still firm) add in the noodles and the sauce. Toss and mix with fresh green onions, thai basil leaves, and tomatoes.
It’s that easy!
Plus you use so little oil, drunken noodles is a dish you can feel good about serving your family.
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