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Pad Ki Mow (Drunkard's Noodles) [Aug. 7th, 2006|10:52 pm]
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Pad Ki Mow is absolutely one of my favourite Thai dishes. The presence of multiple peppers contrast the palette of the rice noodles to make a delightfully colourful presentation that offers the taste buds a perfect blend of sweet, spicy, salty, and bitter. All this, and quick to make. It is known as drunkard's noodles because it is a favourite amongst Thai after a night of too much drinking and is known to kick-start the body. If one is not used to spiciness, the number of chillies can be reduced. Thai basil may be substituted for holy basil, although there are better recipes for this, such as Thai spicy noodles (recipe forthcoming).



  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 10 red birds eye chillies, coarsely chopped
  • 1 lb pork tenderloin (or boneless skinless chicken breast), cut into very thin slices
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp tapioca starch (or corn starch)
  • 1 red pepper (or orange pepper), cut into small squares
  • 1 green pepper, cut into small squares
  • 2 lbs ho fen rice noodles (or one package wide dry rice noodles, see below)
  • 1 cup fresh holy basil leaves
  • deep fried holy basil leaves (optional)

If using dry rice noodles, soak the noodles in plenty of cold water for at least one hour, and up to 24 hours.

Mix the water, palm sugar, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and soy sauce together in a bowl and stir to dissolve sugar. If the sugar does not dissolve on its own, apply a gentle heat to the concoction until it does.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.

In a wok over high heat, warm the oil. When hot, add the chillies and the garlic and stir for thirty seconds, taking care not to burn. Add the pork, reduce heat slightly, and stir-fry for one minute. Mix in the sugar-sauce concoction and cook for one more minute. Remove from heat.

Put the noodles in the boiling water. Stir with a fork or metal chopsticks until soft. If using fresh rice noodles, this will take no more than 30 seconds, and be careful not to overcook or they will disintegrate. If using dried rice noodles, the process is typically more forgiving and will take approximately a minute. The boiling is necessary since the noodles themselves will not be cooked in the dish and this is the only opportunity they have to soften.

Combine the noodles and basil with the stir fried mixture, stirring from the bottom up. Gentleness is required to prevent the noodles from breaking.

If desired, serve with deep fried basil as a garnish. Basil may be deep fried by heating a cup of oil in a small saucepan over high heat to about 170C (340F). Using a slotted spoon, submerge a small number of basil leaves. They will be completely fried within a matter of seconds. Drain and set on paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Sprinkle the leaves on top of the final dish for presentation and added flavour.

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: hagi
2006-08-08 03:11 am (UTC)

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You did a very good job handling the noodles. Indeed, they are very easy to be broken into pieces when stir fry them. I usually just toss the noodles like salad with the rest of the ingredients and sauce. Moreover, to substitute basil, spinach is also an ideal ingredient to be deep fried for garnishing the dish.
[User Picture]From: vorpal
2006-08-08 03:29 am (UTC)

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Thank you! I'm going to have to try the spinach suggestion next time. I've never deep fried it before... actually, I've only recently developed a taste for it, and I particularly love kneading it into fresh pasta dough *drools*.

My other recipe allows for Thai basil as a substitute, but since the flavour is different and less delicate, I tend to mix up and increase the other flavours to compensate for that... I'll post it as soon as I make it next so that I have a picture to include!

BTW... I love your feedback. It's always very much appreciated, so thanks for that!
[User Picture]From: hagi
2006-08-08 03:53 am (UTC)

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I learn the deep-fry spinach from a Shanghainese dish a few years ago. The dish is a very common one that includes chicken filets. I believe the spinach is for texture only, but it does give the orinary chicken filets some flavours and textures in depth. I also learn spinach can be mixed with spaghetti. Simply sautée the spinach with garlic and salt and then mix them with boiled spaghetti. I tried to go with seafood, such as shellfish, and spaghetti with spinach goes goes very well with the seafood. Try them one time!

I am very much enjoy your recipes that you post on your blog. It is very interesting to see your passion towards Thai cuisine because I find it fun to explore different cuisines and ingredients while composing a recipe of my own. When I am in the kitchen, I like to play with the food and spices. Hence, I hardly make any authentic dishes like you do. Honestly, I am still learning and improving; therefore, you are very welcome about my feedback. I simply response how impressive your dishes are and what I know on your entry or entrée.
From: epiphanyofhope
2006-08-08 03:35 am (UTC)

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Lately, have I ever told you that I loved you?

Suddenly Rod Stewart enters my head.
[User Picture]From: little_shaman
2006-08-08 06:53 pm (UTC)

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See, I think you should specify that this is Pad Ki Mow with Holly Basil. Your other Pad Ki Mow will probably apeal more to most people - so include both of your versions in your stuffs, h'okay?
[User Picture]From: ju_bear
2006-09-05 05:01 pm (UTC)

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Fab fab!! Love your work here. Have added you, if that is ok?