Last week I explored rice which is one of the staples in Thai cooking this week it is noodles which are also very much in the forefront of Thai Cuisine… Again noodles are sold everywhere both dried and fresh…
There are many types and thicknesses of noodles here made from wheat flour, mung bean, rice and or egg.
Egg noodles made with buck wheat and egg which gives them that yellow colour are generally used in soups or stir fries with chicken and herbs.
Quick to make it is a favourite in this house of hubby as he prefers food less spicy than me and the kids like it as it is mild flavoured but tasty and filling.
Glass Noodles as the name suggests look just like glass …made from mung beans they require no cooking just a quick soak in hot water to soften them before adding them to stir fries or soup. Dropped into hot fat they puff up and are used as decoration.
Rice Noodles come in 4 sizes vermicelli, thin, medium and wide. Gluten free they are a delicate noodle which again just require a quick soak in hot not boiling water before adding to soup, salads or stir fry.
1. Rice Vermicelli (Sen Mee) is made from mung been starch and generally sold in packs in small looped bundles. Often served cold topped with grilled meat or fish and a dip or used to make rice paper rolls with shrimp, lettuce and herbs these are one of my favourites. Rather than me trying to explain I have found an easy to follow u tube video. Just prepare your ingredients normally cucumber, spring onions, mint, Thai basil, carrot, some precooked chicken or prawns and some pre soaked vermicelli noodles. Julienne your cucumber, spring onion and carrots and pop everything in little bowls all ready to roll. A bowl of hot water and a packet of the rice spring roll wrappers.
2. Thin Rice Noodles (Sen Yai) are used in soups and stir fries.
3. Medium Rice Noodles are similar in size to linguine and used to make that famous Thai dish of Pad Thai.
4. Wide Rice Noodles which are a similar size to Pappardelle are used again in soups, stir fries and to make the famous Pad Kee Mao (Drunken Noodles)
This is a dish influenced by the Chinese people who live in Thailand and Laos…Kee Mao means drunkard and these spicy noodles which are perfect with an ice cold beer are said to also be a cure for a hangover… A hair of the dog scenario …methinks…
When you buy a bowl of the popular noodle soup you will see a selection of the above noodles and will select your favourite, mine are the thin rice noodles with which I will have the tasty broth, chicken, spring onions and the chilli accompaniments …Not for me the processed fish balls, tofu and the congealed pigs blood which most Thais will have. I have been told that it takes the noodle soup to another level and is very tasty…Just not for this lady…
Now Pad Thai (Phat Thai) is another popular Thai dish and one that I do like.
Pad Thai is the ultimate “street food” The best of these cooks have cooked the same dish day-after-day, year-after-year and have achieved near perfection.
A great Pad Thai is dry and light bodied, with a fresh, complex, balanced flavour. It should be reddish, brownish in colour.
Pad Thai is another perfect vegetarian dish, just omit shrimp and substitute soy sauce for fish sauce. Add tofu if you like and voilà, perfect for a vegetarian.
• 1/2 pack Thai medium rice noodles
• 1-1/3 cup bean sprouts.
• 1-1/2 cup Chinese chives.
• 2 tablespoon cooking oil
• 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
• 2 tablespoon sugar ( I use palm Sugar)
• 1 minced or finely chopped shallots
• 1/2 lime
• 2 tablespoons peanuts ( Optional )
• 1/2-1/4 lb shrimp.
• ground pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon ground dried chilli pepper
• 3 cloves minced garlic
• 1tbsp Soy sauce
• 4 teaspoons fish sauce
• 1 egg
The trickiest part is the soaked noodles. Noodles should be somewhat flexible and solid, not completely expanded and soft. When in doubt, under-soak. You can always add more water in the pan, but you can’t take it out.
In this recipe, pre-ground pepper, particularly pre-ground white pepper is better than fresh ground pepper.
For kids, omit the ground dried chilli pepper.
Tamarind adds some flavour and acidity, but you can substitute white vinegar.
Start with soaking the dry noodles in lukewarm or room temperature water while preparing the other ingredients. When you are ready to put ingredients in the pan, the noodles should be flexible but not mushy.
Cut the Chinese chives into 1 inch long pieces. Set aside a few fresh chives for a garnish.
Rinse the bean sprouts and save half for serving fresh. Mince or finely chop shallot and garlic together.
Heat wok on high heat and pour oil in the wok. Fry the peanuts until toasted and remove them from the wok. The peanuts can be toasted in the pan without oil as well. Add shallot and garlic; stir them until they start to brown.
Drain the noodles and add to the wok. Stir quickly to keep things from sticking. Add tamarind, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce and chilli pepper. Stir. The heat should remain high.
If your wok is not hot enough, you will see a lot of juice in the wok at this point. Turn up the heat, if it is the case.
Make room for the egg by pushing all noodles to the side of the wok. Crack the egg onto the wok and scramble it until it is almost all cooked. Fold the egg into the noodles. The noodles should soft and chewy. Pull a strand out and taste. If the noodles are too hard (not cooked), add a little bit of water. When you get the right taste, add shrimp and stir. Sprinkle white pepper around. Add bean sprouts and chives. Stir a few more times. The noodles should be soft, dry and very tangled.
Pour onto the serving plate and sprinkle with ground pepper and peanuts. (I serve peanuts) on the side as do many restaurants now.
Serve hot with a wedge of lime on the side, raw Chinese chives and raw bean sprouts on top.
Khao Soi is another dish made with noodles in the yellow curry and topped with crispy fried noodles that is probably my favourite noodle dish…Hot and spicy and full of flavour it is one of my all-time favourite Thai dishes.
Khao Soi originated from here in the North and holds almost iconic status…said to originate from the Chiang Mai area the name means ” cut rice” in Thai although it is thought the word originates from the Burmese word for noodles and is a corruption of the word Khao swe.
To make absolutely from scratch including the curry paste is very time consuming and the amount of ingredients puts many people of making it.
There are some very good Thai pastes available from Asian supermarkets around the world Mae Ploy is a very good one and I used to use that when I lived in the UK…
• 4 chicken thighs
• 500 g coconut cream
• 200 g chicken stock
• 2 tbsp fish sauce
• 1 tbsp coconut sugar
• 250 g egg noodles
• Coconut oil
• 1- 2 tbsp yellow or red curry paste ( I would start one and add once you have tasted it)
In a large sauce pan or wok, stir-fry the curry paste in a little oil until the fragrance has released add the chicken thighs stirring gently.
Add the coconut cream little by little and then add the stock. Bring to a slow, rolling boil and lower the heat then add fish sauce and coconut sugar.
Mix well and cook for about 15/20 minutes on low heat.
While the chicken is cooking prepare the noodles…
Cook the egg noodles as per the packet instructions until the egg noodles until cooked (if using fresh noodles, cook only half of them).
Set aside half of the noodles. To deep-fry the other half: warm-up the oil and, in your hands, form “nests” with the noodles. Deep-fry the nests on both sides (about 1 minute each side). Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
In individual bowls, place first boiled noodles and then pour the hot curry sauce on it. Add in each bowl, 1 chicken thigh, 1 nest of deep-fried noodles and 1 teaspoon of each of the side dishes. Serve immediately. (See image)
Serve with side dishes:
- Pickled mustard leaves, sliced or Pak Dong (Thai pickled cabbage)
- Spring onions and coriander, chopped
- Shallots, sliced
- Lime wedges
Deep-fried chilli paste…This is fiery and not for the faint hearted.
This type of chilli paste should be accurately called nam prig pud but most people know it as nam prig pow. The term pow is referred to roasting method in an open flame until the outside is charred. Pud (or pad) is stir fry method i.e. Pad Thai – stir fried. This chilli paste is made with ground spices, and then stir fried with oil. The true ‘nam prig pow’ has roasted ingredients and is not stir fried with oil. However, the term ‘nam prig pow’ now includes ‘nam prig pud’, and often ‘nam prig pud’ refers exclusively to ‘nam prig pow,’ as evident in store-bought chilli paste.
It is quite a time consuming task so I would advise buying a commercial one if you want a hot paste although sometimes they are too sweet so you may want to add some lime juice to offset the sweetness.
Pak Dong Thai Pickled Cabbage:
• 1 white cabbage. cut or torn into pieces.
• 8 large spring onions chopped
• Coarse Salt.
Pickled cabbage is very easy to do and there are many variations I have seen it with fresh chillies. It can also be made with Chinese cabbage or Pak Choy…Our preference is just plain old white cabbage and spring onions it is quick, easy and very moreish it can be eaten on its own, stirred into soup or with a curry as an accompaniment. It doesn’t last long here at all as our little granddaughter loves it and just eats it on its own.
Layer Cabbage, Onions and salt in the dish add a little water. Mix it all together with your hands.
We then leave the dish covered on kitchen top or in the sun for 1 day.
Then drain and lightly rinse and add more salt if required. Cover and leave for 2/3 days or until it reaches your ideal taste. With pickled cabbage, it is purely down to personal taste some like it saltier than others. Just play with it and you will soon discover your ideal version.
Then refrigerate and enjoy!
Pad Kee Mao (Drunken Noodles) are spicy and hot…
• 4 tbsp fish sauce
• 3 tbsp sweet soy sauce
• 2 tsp rice vinegar
• 6 cloves garlic
• 5 Thai chillies
• 3 tbsp coconut oil
• ½ large onion thinly sliced
• 1 pound ground pork
• 1 red bell pepper sliced
• 12 ounces wide rice noodles
• 2 large handfuls Thai basil (or sweet basil) roughly torn
• 1/2 lime juiced
• Lime wedges for serving
Soak the rice noodles in warm tap water for about 30 minutes.
Stir together the fish sauce, soy sauce and vinegar, and set aside.
Roughly chop the garlic and 3 of the chillies together. Chop the other two chillies, and set aside.
Preheat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat; when hot, add the oil, the garlic/chilli mixture and the onion. Cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic releases its fragrance, about 30 seconds. Add the pork and a splash of the sauce.
Cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until the pork is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Drain the noodles and add them with the bell peppers to the pan. Increase the heat to high, and add the sauce. Cook, tossing everything together and separating the noodles, until all ingredients are coated with the sauce and it thickens slightly.
Toss in the basil, lime juice and the additional two chillies. Serve immediately with a side of lime wedges and a cold beer.
I hope you have enjoyed this post about noodles until next week enjoy the sunshine if you are lucky enough to have some…and if you need rain I hope you get some
©Carol Taylor 2018
Well I don’t know about you but I am definitely peckish after reading that… off to the kitchen. My thanks to Carol for sharing so many wonderful recipes to spice up our lives.
The other posts in the Food and Cookery Column can be found in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/
About Carol Taylor
Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.
I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.
Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.
Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!
Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS
Connect to Carol
If you have missed previous posts in the Cook from Scratch series you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-recipes/
Thank you for dropping in today and Carol would be delighted to answer any of your questions and we always enjoy your feedback. Thanks Sally