My brother happens to be studying abroad in Thailand (I know, what I life!) and one of the things I asked him was “please learn how to cook everything so when you come back I can actually cook authentic Thai food”. Because, as I’m sure we all know, most of what we think of as ‘Thai food’ is highly westernized. I know, a little disappointing, but there it is. I’ve talked to him a couple of times on Viber, and learned what he’s been eating, but still can’t totally move away from what I know and love as Thai food. Anyway, I missing my brother a lot these days, so I thought I’d write a post in homage to him…sort of.
I love Thai food. Really, I love ethnic food in general, but typically Thai and Indian are at the top of my list. I love the fragrance of the food, I love noodles, I love the use of curries and coconut milk. So it’s no surprise that since I often try to replicate my favorite dishes based on what I used to get for take out (as opposed to authenticity I suppose), that Drunken Noodles would be on the top of my list. (Although it is neither a curry or uses coconut milk…)
This dish is SPICY. The name doesn’t indicate that there is alcohol in the dish, rather, how much you are going to want to drink when you eat it (great, right?). I love spicy food, and often, when I go to take out here in the States, they tend to err on the mild side of the spice index. So, to ramp it up, I decided to recreate this dish, from memory (scary thought, I know). I’ve had it a ton, I thought I’d be okay.
This is what you’ll need;
1 pkg of flat medium sized rice noodles. I got these at my local grocery store, and if they sell these here, I’m positive you can find them where you are
3 tbsp vegetable oil
4 red Thai chilis, chopped fine
2 baby Bok choy, washed and separated
1 lb chicken
12 garlic cloves, sliced
2 green peppers cut into bite sized pieces
6 pieces baby corn
handful of snow peas
1 medium sized red onion, chopped
1/4 cup dark soy sauce
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
2 tomatoes, sliced into 6 pieces
2 scallions, chopped
Prep all your vegetables. Chop, mince, dice and set aside in a bowl.
Okay, you will need two pans if you are going to do this relatively fast (I like it this way as it ensures everything is hot and ready in about 20 minutes).
Put your noodles into a pot of boiling water and cook until al dente. This is about 5 minutes as rice noodles cook quick. Place in a strainer in the sink. Pour 1 tbsp vegetable oil on top and stir through to make sure noodles are coated and aren’t sticking together.
In your other pan, add the 2 tbsp of vegetable oil and cook your chicken. I used breasts this time, but have been known to use tenderloin as well. Use whatever you want as you are going to slice up the chicken into bite-sized pieces once it is cooked through. Cook your chicken, flipping to ensure even cooking, until it is cooked through. Keep it in the pan and slice it up. Add onions, garlic and red chilis. Saute for about 2 minutes. Next add all of the sauces and sugar. Stir for 2 minutes. Add everything but the tomatoes and scallions. Stir and cover for 5 minutes. Uncover and add noodles, tomatoes and scallions. Give it a stir and cover for 2 minutes. Your noodles will soften and it should now be easy to move them through the sauce to coat them. Uncover, remove from heat. Stir until everything is coated with that beautiful thick sauce. Taste. Add anything YOU think is missing. I chose a lot of these vegetables because they are what I had in my fridge. Add what you have and what you like.
I added a tbsp of my Sweet Thai Basil Pesto because most restaurants serve this dish with basil and I didn’t have any. It was fantastic and really heightened the flavors of the dish.
I have to say, this came the closest I’ve ever come to recreating a restaurant dish. I hope you love it!