Here’s a delicious and simple Thai noodle dish that’s cousin to the more common Pad Thai. Actually, I’m not sure why it’s not more popular, given its great flavor, ease of preparation and use of generally common ingredients.
Other than soaking the noodles in cold water for an hour before cooking, this dish can be made in less than 15 minutes, including prep and cooking. And it really fills you up. The real beauty of Thai dishes like this is that you can readily vary the amount of most ingredients without ruining the result.
What you’ll need:
- High-temp oil (I used chili oil)
- 1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 or 2 red or green Thai chilis, thinly sliced—remove seeds if you don’t want the dish to be hot
- 4-6 oz cut up or thin sliced pork pieces (like for a stir fry, which is what this basically is)
- 1T fish sauce
- 1T dark soy sauce (regular works in a pinch)
- 1t sugar
- 1 medium-size tomato, chopped
- 8 oz (dry) rice noodles soaked in cold water for an hour and drained well
- Extras for garnish: slivered lime leaves and chopped cilantro
What to do:
Heat the oil in a wok or large fry pan. When the oil gets hot, fry the garlic until golden. Be careful—depending on the oil temp, the garlic can turn golden in less than 30 seconds. Whatever you do, don’t let it overcook because it will get bitter. In fact, if that happens, just start over with new garlic because over-browned garlic will ruin the dish.
Next, turn up the heat to high. Add the chilies and fry for a few seconds, then add the pork, stirring the entire time. In succession, add the fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar. Keep stirring and let the pork cook through (this shouldn’t take too long).
When the pork is cooked through or nearly so, add the tomatoes, continuing to stir until they’re cooked.
Now, add the drained noodles and stir continuously until they’re cooked through. They shouldn’t take too long to cook, but ensure they’re done before turning off the heat. Noodles not cooked enough will be tough. Believe me, I know.
Now you’re ready to serve with the optional lime leaf and cilantro garnish. Eat steaming hot!