If I was asked to choose my favourite Thai dish, I’m not sure I would be able to make a choice. All of it is wonderful, full of flavour – hot, sweet, sour and salty. For two years, while living in Thailand, I enjoyed curries and noodle dishes for lunch and more often than not, for dinner as well. All were very much enjoyed. Except of course, when I put too much chilli on!
In my top five there would have to be; Pad Krapow Muu, Pad Pak Ruam Mit, Geng Kiaw Wan, Kow Pad Gai and Pad Sieu. All of these were routinely cooked on order at roadside stalls or the local market throughout the day. We would walk 200 metres down the road from our office and order from what was on offer, or make a custom order. My custom order was often Pad Sieu. Made with wide rice noodles, stir-fried with a little pork, egg and kale and seasoned with oyster sauce, it was simple and delicious. And, with the four condiments – vinegar, fish sauce, sugar and chilli – on the table, customising the flavour further was completely under my control.
Imagine my delight when, while waiting at the supermarket checkout here in Australia I picked up a cookbook and found a reasonably authentic recipe for Pad Sieu. I immediately purchased the copy for my collection and took it home!
This is the first time I’ve attempted the recipe, and because of Alex’s prejudice against fish sauce, will have to add that myself… I won’t tell him about the oyster sauce!
Here ‘tis. The pork has been replaced with chicken and the kale for buk choy, but you could swap them back in again as you wish. There is no egg, but I might add some in anyway.
1 kg fresh wide rice noodles
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 fresh small red thai chillies, sliced thinly
600g chicken thigh fillets, chopped coarsely
250g baby buk choy, quartered lengthways
4 green onions, siced thinly
2 tablespoons kecap manis
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon grated palm sugar (sub brown sugar)
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh coriander
1 tablespoon fried shallots
Place noodles in large, heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water; separate with fork, drain.
Heat oil in wok, stir-fry garlic and chilli until fragrant. Add chicken; stir-fry until browned lightly. Add buk choy and onion; stir-fry until onion softens and chicken is cooked through.
Add noodles with kecap manis, sauces and sugar; stir-fry, tossing gently to combine.
Remove from heat; add coriander, tossing gently to combine. Sprinkle with fried shallots.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Recipe is taken from ‘Stir-Fry favourites’ published by The Australian Women’s Weekly.