March 03, 2010

Pad See Ew

3/4 lb thin cut boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bit sized pieces
8-10 oz dried or fresh wide flat rice noodles
1 bunch gai lan (Chinese broccoli), sliced diagonally
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons black soy sauce
1 tablespoon mushroom flavored soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons black soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 Thai bird pepper, minced
1/2 teaspoon palm sugar
white pepper

Place the chicken and marinade in a resealable bag. Marinate 30 minutes. Prep the dry noodles according to package instructions. Set aside. Whisk together the sauces. Set aside. Cook the egg in a single layer in a nonstick skillet. Break into strips. Set aside. Heat a small amount of oil in a wok. Stir fry the gai lan until fragrant until bright green. Remove to a bowl. Add the garlic and stir fry until fragrant. Add the chicken (discard the marinade)and stir fry until almost cooked through and slightly charred on both sides. Add the fresh or prepped dried noodles and half of the sauce. Stir fry 1 minute, the noodles should char slightly around the edges. Add the egg and gai lan. Stir fry and toss with remaining sauce. Serve immediately.

My thoughts:
Pad see ew is a staple at many Thai restaurants. It has a balance of sweet-savory that is really appealing even if you are, like me, a spicy food lover. I had a lot of fun developing a recipe that mirrors what I've had at my favorite restuarant. Cooking each bit individually is key to this recipe's success. Marinating the chicken infuses it with flavor and helps the chicken stay juicy. Take care not to let too much of the actual marinade into the wok or the final dish will be too saucy. The bit of sugar in the marinade helps achieve the "wok char" on the noodles and chicken that adds a smoky flavor and complexity to the dish. It tasted fresher and better than what I've had out and I made it in less time than it takes to get to the restuarant and park.

Note: The really wide fresh (or dried) rice noodles needed for this dish can be difficult to find. Substitute the widest noodles available.