For my last dinner (and last post) of 2013, I made Spicy Thai Drunken Noodles.
They were really good, but not really spicy. I’d planned to make these for two people. At the last minute, my daughter invited a friend over for dinner. I didn’t have enough jalapenos to make it for four people (daughter plus friend). So these were just Kind of Spicy Thai Drunken Noodles.
I got the basic recipe from Miranti Borvornsin’s excellent blog The High Heeled Gourmet. Since I got on a Thai kick a few weeks ago, she’s been my go-to source for Thai advice. I’m very new to Thai cooking. From what I’ve learned so far, the techniques aren’t hard. It’s just cutting up the meat and vegetables properly, then quickly cooking them in a wok with the right spices and seasonings.
What is hard is the “feel” for the dishes. Everything is made from fresh ingredients which can vary widely in flavor. Every recipe calls for “1/2 to 1 TBS garlic” or “2 to 4 stalks lemongrass”. It just depends on how fresh and how flavorful the ingredients you have on hand are. If you grew up watching your mother or grandmother make these dishes, you would have an instinctive feel for how much of everything you have to add.
I don’t have that. So I have to follow the recipe as closely as I can, then make adjustments at the end of the cooking.
Some day I’ll get this down. For now, what I’m making is pretty good if not great.
Recipe – Serves Four
2 cups wide flat rice noodles, fresh or dried
2 tsp corn starch
6 TBS soy sauce, reserved
2 TBS corn oil or sesame oil
2 TBS garlic, minced
1/2 cup onions, thinly sliced
4 jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced diagonally
2 cups tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
2 TBS fish sauce
1 cup fresh basil, use Thai if you can get it.
If using dried rice noodles, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Add noodles and boil for 2 minutes. Drain noodles and run under cold water to stop cooking. Separate noodles and set aside.
Rookie mistake – I didn’t separate my noodles after boiling them. They made a sticky mess which I had to peel apart before adding to the dish.
Whisk corn starch together with 2 TBS of soy sauce. Reserve rest of soy sauce.
Add sliced chicken to corn starch/soy sauce. Toss to coat chicken.
Heat oil in wok until almost smoking. Add garlic and toss. Add onions and jalapenos. Cook, stirring constantly, until onion is translucent.
Add chicken. Toss and sear on every side.
Add tomatoes. Toss and cook until tomatoes release their juices.
Add noodles, reserved soy sauce and fish sauce. Toss.
Push noodles to far side of wok. Pour eggs into near side of wok. Break yolks and cover eggs with noodles.
Slowly count to 15. Stir eggs and noodles together.
Remove from heat and add basil. Stir together so residual heat of noodles cooks basil.