March 31, 2010

Drunken Noodles


10 oz dried wide flat rice noodles
10 oz gai lan
10 oz shrimp
6 cloves garlic, minced
3-5 Thai bird peppers, minced
3/4 cup torn holy or Thai basil leaves

for the sauce:
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons black soy sauce
3 tablespoons golden mountain sauce or dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar

Prep the dry noodles according to package instructions. Set aside. Whisk together sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside. Heat a small amount of oil in a wok. Stir fry the garlic and chiles until fragrant. Add the shrimp, gai lan and sauce and stir fry, until it is nearly fully cooked. Add the noodles. Stir fry until the shrimp is fully cooked then stir in the basil. Serve immediately.

My thoughts:
Drunken noodles are a Thai restuarant staple. The origins of the name is somewhat cloaked in mystery but the most popular seems to be that these noodles are so spicy that you'll want to drink a lot. I've also heard that they are a good dish after you've had too much to drink. Frankly, I don't think you need an excuse to eat these noodles. My favorite version, which I reproduced here, has gai lan (Chinese broccoli) in it to make it more of a full meal; some versions are basically just sauce, protein and noodles. The trick to drunken noodles is using the correct sauce and if you can find it, holy basil or at least Thai basil. You can swap out the shrimp with an equal amount of chicken, pork or tofu. Ground meats work well too.