Now that the trip to Ireland is over and done, it’s time to get back to some everyday cooking again. I made a few different meals this week, but the one that stands out as something different was this one. I recently started a subscription to Cook’s Illustrated and when my first issue came, I had picked out this recipe as the first one I wanted to try. It is a Thai dish called pad see ew. It is a traditional street dish of charred rice noodles with some kind of meat, Chinese broccoli and eggs in a sauce. It looked good and the recipe seemed pretty straightforward to me and it seemed like something the whole family would eat. I am the first to admit, I do not normally like pasta or noodles, but the rice noodles had a little bit of different texture and taste to them and since they were crisping up in the cooking, I didn’t mind them at all. The hardest part I had was finding all the ingredients locally. Serrano chiles are apparently hard to come by around here, and it took a little work to find some broccolini and oyster sauce as well, but I did track them down at a local market that has mostly Asian food.
Stir-Fried Noodles with Chicken (Pad See Ew)
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 serrano chile, stemmed and sliced into thin rings
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut against the grain into 14-inch thick slices
1 teaspoon baking soda
8 ounces rice noodles
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon molasses
1 teaspoon fish sauce
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
3 large eggs
10 ounces broccolini, florets cut into 1-inch pieces, stalks cut on the bias into 1/2-inch pieces
For the Chile Vinegar: Combine the vinegar and the serrano chile in a bowl. Let stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.
For the Stir-Fry: Combine the chicken with 2 tablespoons of water and the baking soda in a bowl. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Rinse the chicken in cold water and drain well.
Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Place the noodles in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over the noodles. Stir, then soak the noodles until they are almost tender, about 8 minutes, stirring once halfway through the soak. Drain and rinse the noodles with cold water. Drain well and toss with 2 teaspoons of the oil.
Whisk the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, molasses, and fish sauce together in a bowl.
Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil and the garlic in a large nonstick skillet over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is a deep golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chicken and 2 tablespoons of the sauce mixture, toss to coat, and spread the chicken in an even layer. Cook without stirring until the chicken begins to brown, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Push the chicken to one side of the skillet. Add 2 teaspoons of the oil to the cleared side of the skillet. Add the eggs to the clear space. Using a rubber spatula, stir the eggs gently and cook until they set but are still wet. Stir the eggs into the chicken and continue to cook, breaking up the large pieces of egg, until the eggs are fully cooked, about 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer the chicken mixture to a bowl.
Heat two teaspoons of the oil in a now-empty skillet until smoking. Add the broccolini and 2 tablespoons of sauce and toss to coat. Cover the skillet and cook for 2 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking. Remove the lid and continue to cook until the broccolini is crisp and very brown in spots, 2 to 3 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking. Transfer the broccolini to the bowl with the chicken mixture.
Heat two teaspoons of oil in the now-empty skillet until smoking. Add half of the noodles and 2 tablespoons of the sauce to coat. Cook until the noodles are starting to brown in spots, about two minutes, stirring halfway through cooking. Transfer the noodles to the bowl with the chicken mixture. Repeat the process with the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil, the noodles and the sauce. When the second batch of noodles is cooked, add the entire contents of the bowl back to the skillet and toss to combine. Cook without stirring until everything is warmed through, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer everything to a platter and serve immediately, passing the chile vinegar separately.
It’s a pretty simple meal that I think turned out quite well. Michelle and Sean both loved it, and I liked it too. And it’s nice because it fits easily into a one-pot meal for easy cleanup as well.The whole meal itself does not take long to cook and prepare, so it fit well into a school night meal.
As I said, finding some of the ingredients can prove to be a challenge depending on the type of markets you have locally to you. If you can’t get broccolini, you could substitute regular broccoli with no problem. I think you need to get the rice noodles to make it authentic and it does add to the taste, though I found the rice noodles to be quite expensive ($6.99 for a 1 pound box of noodles).
I had my budding photographer Sean take the picture of the meal for me as it cooked. He wants to be my blog photographer, so the job is his right now. I think he did a pretty good job on this one.
That’s it for today. i do have some more recipes to post that we have done recently, including some tacos and a bacon-wrapped tilapia, so look for those over the next few days. Until then, enjoy the rest of your fall day and enjoy your meal!