01. Drunken Noodles

May 15, 2009 at 5:55 PM (Recipe) (, , , )

Holy crap, my first food-related post. Totally nervous.

So this weekend I was even in more of a mood to cook than usual, and I decided to experiment with Thai food, which is something I’ve never made before. I wasn’t sure what to make (pad thai just seemed too obvious if you know what I mean), but since it was Mother’s Day weekend I settled on my mom’s favorite dish: drunken noodles.
I found the original recipe here external, but I ended up tweaking it a little bit. Here’s my version, and then more info on what exactly I changed and why:

Ingredients

  • 2 8oz. packages pad thai rice noodles
  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili and garlic paste
    (I used the vinegar, oil, and chili paste to make a quick marinade for the chicken, but it’s completely optional)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (olive oil works fine if that’s all you have on hand)
  • 1 medium head of garlic; peeled, chopped or pressed
  • 1/8th cup  (about 6 or 7) fresh Thai chilies, chopped
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 5 or 6 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 large green bell peppers, sliced into strips
  • 1/4 head of napa cabbage, chopped cross-wise

Directions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions (for me it was 4 to 5 minutes in salted boiling water) until tender but still slightly firm.  You’ll want to stir a lot, and once the noodles are cooked I would add a dash of sesame (or whatever you feel like using) oil to keep them from clumping until you’re ready to use them.
  2. If using marinade, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, and chili paste and pour over chicken. Stir to coat and refrigerate until ready to use (at least 15 minutes, but you could do this overnight).
  3. Heat oil in large pan (I used a 12-inch sauté pan) over medium-high heat. Add garlic and chili peppers; saute for about 30 seconds. Just don’t let it burn, that would not be good. Add the carrots and cook for a little bit longer, maybe another minute.
  4. Add chicken (if you marinated it, just discard any excess marinade), soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar, and cook until the chicken is done, about 4 or 5 minutes. I get really paranoid about salmonella so I would either split the biggest chunk to make sure it’s done or use a meat thermometer.
  5. Add noodles and whatever veggies you used; mix well to cover the noodles in the sauce. Remove from heat and serve!

Further details on the adjustments I made: for one thing, I couldn’t find the noodles the recipe called for, so I ended up just buying the closest thing I could find. I probably could have found the wider noodles but I wasn’t really going to drive across town to the Asian grocery store for one recipe.
Then, and this is purely because I’m such a picky eater…the idea of using ground chicken kind of gave me the willies. If you don’t mind using ground chicken, that’s totally fine and shouldn’t affectthe recipe, but I just preferred using regular chicken breast (and I happened to have a ton of it on hand thanks to my last trip to Costco).
I cut the amount of chili peppers called for in half, because those little guys are SPICY as hell, but of course you can use more if you like your meals to really burn your mouth and give you an ulcer. =D
Finally, the only veggies the recipe called for was Anaheim chilies and fresh tomatoes. I decided to use bell peppers instead because after my last cooking experiment (almost-vegetarian lemongrass soup, which I’ll write about after I’ve perfected it) I really wanted more flavor and less, you know…BURNING.  I did use the tomatoes, but they honestly don’t add anything to the dish so I’m going to leave them out when I make this again. I added carrots for crunch and flavor and some fresh Napa cabbage just because I thought it would go well (and I wanted to get it out of my fridge), but the dish is pretty versatile in terms of what vegetables you want to use, even if they’re not traditional.
One more thing–the original recipe called for Thai basil as a garnish, but unless you already have some on hand, I honestly wouldn’t bother. It might add a little special something but since I was just cooking for my family (or as I shall refer to them from here on out, The People) I didn’t really want to spend money on it.

The People’s Verdict

The People loved it! My mom said they were a great success, and my dad had two portions. You know something is good when he says “This is going to give me heartburn” even as he’s scarfing down his second serving. They make good leftovers, and as someone that hates leftoves, I don’t say that lightly.

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6 Comments

  1. erislyte said,

    *boing!*

  2. Mike said,

    I want some. Now.

  3. Eric said,

    oh honey let me tell you about every asian grocery store in moco

    • Stacie said,

      yeah unfortunately every asian grocery store in moco isn’t in the kentlands and i couldn’t go further than that. so, suck it.

      • Eric said,

        there’s one like by my house

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