Thai fried noodles

Thai fried noodles

Sen chan phat thai

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From
South East Asian Food

Noodles either in soup or fried are the standard lunch dish of urban Thailand. Most are close to the Chinese prototypes from which they are derived. The unique Phat Thai, however, contains flavours that are characteristically Thai. This particular version of the dish gets its name from the use of Chantaburi noodles, but use Thai sen lek noodles, available as ‘A grade Banh Pho imported from Thailand’ in Asian food shops.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
250g narrow dried rice noodles
4 garlic cloves
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 large raw prawns, shelled and deveined but tails left on
3 shallots
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
100g hard white beancurd, ut into very small dice
2 eggs
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2-2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons tamarind water
2 tablespoons dried shrimp, washed well and then ground
2 cups beansprouts, tailed and washed
1/2 cup chinese leeks or garlic chives, cut into 2.5 cm pieces
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, very roughly ground

Garnish

Quantity Ingredient
20 leaves indian or asian pennywort
or 1-2 leaves slightly bitter lettuce such as italian endive or tree lettuce or mignonette lettuce
1/2 cup beansprouts, washed and tailed
a few spring onion curls
1/2 cup roasted and very roughly ground peanuts
1 lime, cut into wedges the thai way

Method

  1. Prepare all the ingredients first and place in separate bowls around the cooking area. Soak the noodles in cold water for 30 minutes, drain thoroughly and then cut them into manageable lengths with scissors (about 3 cuts across should be enough). Smash and chop 1 clove of garlic, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok on medium heat and fry this portion of garlic until it is yellow. Add the fresh prawns and stir-fry until they are cooked. Remove and keep warm. In a mortar or a food processor attachment mash the rest of the garlic, the shallots and the chilli flakes to a fine paste.
  2. From this point on the cooking will be more easily done in two batches in order to allow plenty of room in the wok or pan for tossing. Add 2 more tablespoons oil to the wok and when it is hot put in half of the garlic, chilli and shallot paste and stir-fry until it smells cooked. Put in half the noodles, add a splash of water and stir-fry, turning constantly to prevent sticking and to ensure that everything is well mixed and oiled. Push the noodles to one side of the wok. Add a little more oil if necessary, add half of the beancurd and stir-fry for a minute. Push aside in the pan also. Break one egg into the wok and pierce its yolk. When the egg starts to set on the bottom, stir and scramble it lightly with the edge of the spatula. Return the noodles and the beancurd to the middle of the pan and continue stirring until everything is mixed together well. Turning the heat down a little, add half the fish sauce, sugar and tamarind water and toss everything together until the sugar has dissolved. Add half the dried shrimp, 1 cup beansprouts and half the Chinese leeks. Taste and adjust the flavours to your liking then turn off the heat and stir in 1⁄4 cup of the roasted peanuts.
  3. Place in a bowl and keep aside while you cook a second batch. After doing this add the first batch to the pan for a final stir and warming, then dish everything up on to one side of a serving platter. Arrange the prawns on top or on the outside edge. Arrange the pennywort or bitter lettuce leaves, a handful of washed beansprouts, a few spring onion curls and the remainder of the roughly ground peanuts decoratively in separate mounds on the other side of the dish. Add attractively cut wedges of lime for individual diners to squeeze over the noodles to their taste and have on the table a bowl of fish sauce with rounds of small red chillies in it (Nam pla phrik), one of chilli flakes (Phrik pon) and one of white sugar so that each person may adjust the seasonings as desired.
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