I've already mentioned my love of/obsession with Thai food in my post on Gai Pad Grapow. In the comments of that post, I mentioned that I wanted to make pad kee mao next, as it was one of Steve's favorite Thai dishes. Turns out it's one of mine too. I crave it now almost as often as any of my other standbys. And tonight was finally the time to give it a shot.
As with any stir fry, you want to have everything prepped before you start. Suggestion: put the chicken in the freezer until stiff so you can easily slice it as thinly as you'd like.
About halfway through...
The noodles get tossed in...
Pad Kee Mao Gai
(Drunken Noodles with Chicken)
adapted from Epicurious
1/4 cup vegetable oil
12 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Thai chiles
1 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced into thin pieces (about 1" x 1/4")
1/4 cup fish sauce (I used nuoc nam)
1/4 cup black soy sauce
1/4 cup Golden Mountain sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 cup fresh Thai basil leaves
28 ounces fresh wide rice noodles (they come in a 2-pound bag; I just scaled back a bit), separated into individual noodles
Heat oil in wok over high heat. When oil begins to smoke, add garlic, onion and Thai chiles. Stir fry until golden, no more than a minute.
Add chicken, fish sauce, black soy sauce, Golden Mountain sauce and palm sugar (note: it will seem very saucy; don't worry, the noodles will soak it all up later). Stir fry for 2 minutes, then add red and yellow bell peppers. Continue stir frying for 2 to 3 more minutes until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are soft.
Turn off heat, add basil and stir until just wilted. Add the rice noodles and toss thoroughly to coat. Serve immediately.
Oh man, it was awesome. No pretense here, no beating around the bush. This kicked ass. One bite and I was jumping for joy. I just couldn't believe it: my pad kee mao tasted like pad kee mao!
I was just so damn thrilled. Before making this, I looked online quite a bit for recipes, and for tips, and plenty of other home cooks said they have never been able to achieve that "Thai restaurant" flavor of pad kee mao at home. So, I honestly didn't think I would nail the flavor my first time out of the gate. But I did. And now I feel even more confident about moving forward with all my other Thai favorites. I think that's almost the best part. That, and having leftovers for lunch tomorrow.