Tag Archives: broccoli

Drunken Noodles à la Heidi

Can I just point out that I’ve spent almost my entire pregnancy to date not posting recipes? Partly because I’ve had a lot of other stuff to talk about–all the fun details of housing a baby in your body for the first time. Partly because I’ve been low on energy and haven’t wanted to cook new recipes that require more thought and effort. Partly because this lack of energy causes the camera to get neglected even when I do make something new and exciting. And finally . . . because of the sickness.

But at last, I have something to share! I cooked this up near the beginning of my sickness, and it’s delicious. However, in a semi-tragic turn of events, the strong smells set me against Thai noodles from the night I made this until last week, and thus the drafted post for this recipe just sat in my blogging line-up, causing me to wrinkle my nose every time I looked at it.

However, based on my positive experience with Pad Thai last week, I’m now ready to look at this thing again without feeling the bile rise! So here goes.

My sister Heidi is a huge lover of Thai food. She experiments fearlessly and works at the recipe until it’s perfection. I had her curry during our Alaska visit last summer, and . . . oh wow. She’s got that figured out (though I have yet to get the recipe from her!).

According to her, this recipe for Drunken Noodles may not be at its peak of perfection . . . but knowing her, she will probably always strive to tweak it even further. But ignore her–I think it’s amazing! She relayed me the instructions over the phone, which I repeated back to her and then actually wrote down a few days later. Then, the next weekend, I made it. Oh baby oh. It’s definitely spicy, but not burn-a-hole-in-your-palate spicy, and the noodles are cooked to perfection using her instructions. My husband loved it, and I loved it . . . except for the whole being pregnant thing. I ate it the first night, and then couldn’t look at it again after that. But my husband appreciated having the leftovers all to himself, so it all worked out for the best.


(Serves 4)

2-3 TBS vegetable oil
1/3 cup water, optional
1/2 head of cauliflower
1 crown broccoli
2-3 carrots
3 jalapeño chilies
1 chicken breast
2 TBS chili garlic sauce
1/2 lb rice noodles
1 handful fresh Thai basil leaves

For the sauce:

1/3 cup light (low-sodium) soy sauce
1 TBS dark soy sauce
1/3 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1-2 TBS sriracha

Soak the rice noodles in warm water for 1 hour.

By the end, they should be pliable (they don’t snap when you bend them) but still firm and crunchy if you bite into them.

And yes, all of today’s pictures have a blue cast to them . . . oh well. Maybe there’s a way that I can blame pregnancy for that, too.

Slice the carrots thinly on the diagonal, and chop up the cauliflower and broccoli. Set these 3 veggies aside.

Slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces on the diagonal, and de-seed and mince the chilies. Place the chicken, chilies, and chili garlic sauce together in a bowl to marinate.

Rip the basil leaves off the stems, and glory in their smell. Heavenly.

Mix all the ingredients for the sauce. I will call this sauce . . . Blue Lagoon.

Make sure to use low-sodium soy sauce, or you’re in for a salty surprise! And not of the pleasant variety either.

Heat 1 TBS of vegetable oil in a wok over high heat. When shimmering, add the bowl of veggies.

Stir fry for 6 minutes, until crisp and browned. If they aren’t tender enough at this point (especially if you cut them in larger chunks like I did), add the 1/3 cup of water and simmer/boil over high heat for a few minutes, until the water has evaporated and the veggies are more softened.

There’s probably a word for this technique, but I don’t know what it is. I’ll call it “fryboil.”

Remove the fryboiled veggies.

Heat another tablespoon of oil in the wok and, when shimmering, add the chicken.

Let it sit and brown for about a minute before stirring. Stir fry the chicken for 6 minutes, or until cooked through. Keep that heat high, Mildred!

Add the noodles and stir fry them with the chicken for a few minutes.

Add the sauce.

Bring to a boil, stirring to mix it into the noodles.

Add the veggies back in . . .

. . . and stir fry everything together for a few minutes. You can use tongs to mix the noodles more easily.

Stir in the basil and serve!

Okay, these pictures aren’t at the top of my photographic “game”–but it’s so delicious that I hope you can see through the blue and through the dark into its inner core of tastiness.


My husband was good enough to capture my reactions as I tasted this dish for the first time.

I love it! Thanks Heidi for verbally forcing me to make this.

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Pad See Ew

For years I pretty much only ordered curry from Thai restaurants–green curry, red curry, yellow curry, Panang curry–I loved (and love) them all. Then something happened. In May of this year, our Bible study leaders David and Beth ordered a smorgasbord of Thai food for our group. As I sampled all the new flavors and my taste buds sang a song of celebration, I realized that I had been shortsighted in my years of curry exclusivity. I’d been missing out on fantastic dishes such as Pad Kra Pao, Pad Woon Sen, and the awesomest of awesomes: Pad See Ew.

Pad See Ew has become one of our staple orders from what is hands down our favorite Thai restaurant in Chicago, Siam Noodle and Rice. At $6.50 for a dinner-sized portion, it’s a great deal and it has a fabulous flavor.

Pad See Ew is very simple: Chinese broccoli, wide noodles, pork, and egg are its main ingredients. I’ve been hankering to reproduce this dish at home for quite a while now. I even briefly considered accosting the owners of the restaurant and demanding a no-pay internship in their kitchen so that I could learn the secret of this dish. Though I have yet to take that bold step, my recent trip to Golden Pacific Market enabled me to make it at home. It’s not 100% like what we get at the restaurant, but it’s in the ballpark, which I am very happy with for now. Further experimentation will ensue, but I couldn’t withhold this from you until that future and possibly unattainable point of perfection . . . so here is an excellent version you can toss together in 20 minutes at home. Simple ingredients, minimal prep time, and quick cook time make this a great and interesting weeknight meal. An added plus–for you vegetarians out there, I have also made this substituting the pork chop with 2 extra eggs, and it’s equally fantastic. Let’s have at it!


(Serves 2)

2 TBS peanut oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pork chop, thinly sliced

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 TBS sugar

2 TBS light soy sauce

2 TBS dark soy sauce

1 tsp fish sauce (optional)

1 lb fresh flat rice noodles

1 lb Chinese broccoli (can substitute kale or regular broccoli)

The dish comes together very quickly, so first prep all your ingredients: mince the garlic, thinly slice the pork, beat the 2 eggs together, and mix the two soy sauces, sugar, and fish sauce in a small bowl or cup.

Wash the Chinese broccoli–you can substitute kale (so I’ve been told) or regular broccoli, but this stuff is amazing and you should get your mitts on it if at all possible.

Now chop the broccoli in 2-inch slices.

You can use the broccoli stems if you split them lengthwise down the middle and then give them a rough dice, or you can just use the leaves.

Take the large flat noodle (which in my case, came in one big sheet) . . .

. . . and slice it into rectangles about the length and width of two fingers put together.

Make sure to peel the noodles apart so that they’re not stuck together. This is much easier to do if the noodles are room temperature, so if you can remember (I never do), take the noodle sheet out of the refrigerator an hour or so before you start making this.

Let’s get cooking! Heat the oil in a wok or large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. When very hot, add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Add the pork slivers and fry for another 1-2 minutes.

Very quickly, the pork will start to cook through:

While it’s still pink in places, add the noodles and stir to incorporate for another minute.

You’ll notice in the picture above that I hadn’t separated the noodles, thinking they would naturally come apart once they were heated. I was wrong, and this caused problems for me, but that’s why I’m here. To be your guinea pig. To help you avoid the pitfalls. So read my lips: all your noodles should be separated before you add them in!

Add the sauce mixture:

Stirfry for 2 minutes until well incorporated. Quick note–I’ve made the sauce both with and without the addition of fish sauce, and it’s really good both ways. Fish sauce is awesome and very important in Thai cooking, but its effects in this particular dish are very subtle and you may only notice its presence/absence if you’re really thinking about it.

Make a well in the middle of the pan or wok, and add the eggs.

Let them set into a half-cooked “omelette” before breaking them apart and stirring them into the dish.

Finally, add the broccoli stems (if you’re using them) and stirfry for a couple minutes before adding the leaves and stirring them in until wilted.

Give ‘er the old taste test, and if you like the dish sweeter or saltier or saucier, simply add a little more sugar and/or soy sauce.

Isn’t it beautiful? I love the bright green broccoli leaves.

Who would have though that such a simple sauce could create such a wonderful flavor?

*Note: Many recipes I found online include oyster sauce. I asked the owner of a Thai restaurant in town I frequent (Azha) about this, and he told me that their chef doesn’t use it. However, he does use a Thai sweet soy sauce, which I’ll be searching for on my next trip to Golden Pacific Market. The experimentation is not over, and if I find a better version you can be sure I will share it with you all!

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