Traditional Thai Dish Gets an American Make-Over

Pad See Ew—the traditional popular Thai dish of chewy, lightly charred rice noodles, with chicken, crisp broccoli, and moist egg is bound with a sweet and salty soy-based sauce. In this Americanized version Thai-Style Stir-Fried Noodles with Chicken and Broccolini, eliminating much of the stirring in the stir-fry helps achieve the all-important char that characterizes pad see ew. So contain yourself and let the food stay put, stirring each ingredient just once or twice during cooking.

The 3 components to this dish are the noodles, the sauce, and the ingredients to stir fry. Have all of them ready to toss into the wok as once you start cooking, it only takes a few minutes so you don’t want to be scrambling around the kitchen. A heads up, while the total cooking time is only around 20 minutes, it requires a good bit of prep. And you need to cook the dish in batches, combining all of the components right before serving.

The unique technique with Pad See Ew is the cooking of an egg in the wok. Bits of scrambled egg gets stuck to the other ingredients and the char it creates adds to the authentic flavor of this dish.

The flat pad thai–style rice noodles that are used in this recipe can be found in the Asian foods section of most supermarkets. If you can’t find broccolini, you can substitute an equal amount of conventional broccoli, but be sure to trim and peel the stalks before cutting. We doubled the amount of broccolini because 10 ounces only measured one small bunch in the supermarket and we wanted a larger vegetable quotient.

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Ingredients

CHILE VINEGAR

  • ⅓ cup white vinegar
  • serrano chile, stemmed and sliced into thin rings

STIR-FRY

  • (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut against grain into ¼-inch thick slices
  • teaspoon baking soda
  • ounces (¼-inch-wide) rice noodles
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup oyster sauce
  • tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • tablespoon white vinegar
  • teaspoon molasses
  • teaspoon fish sauce
  • garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • large eggs
  • 10 ounces broccolini, florets cut into 1-inch pieces, stalks cut on bias into ½-inch pieces (5 cups)

Directions

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  1. FOR THE CHILE VINEGAR: Combine vinegar and serrano in bowl. Let stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.
  2. FOR THE STIR-FRY: Combine chicken with 2 tablespoons water and baking soda in bowl. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Rinse chicken in cold water and drain well.
  3. Bring 6 cups water to boil. Place noodles in large bowl. Pour boiling water over noodles. Stir, then soak until noodles are almost tender, about 8 minutes, stirring once halfway through soak. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain well and toss with 2 teaspoons oil.
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  4. Whisk oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, molasses, and fish sauce together in bowl.
  5. Heat 2 teaspoons oil and garlic in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic is deep golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add chicken and 2 tablespoons sauce mixture, toss to coat, and spread chicken into even layer. Cook, without stirring, until chicken begins to brown, 1 to 1½ minutes.
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  6. Using tongs, flip chicken and cook, without stirring, until second side begins to brown, 1 to 1½ minutes. Push chicken to 1 side of skillet.
  7. Add 2 teaspoons oil to cleared side of skillet. Add eggs to clearing. Using rubber spatula, stir eggs gently and cook until set but still wet. Stir eggs into chicken and continue to cook, breaking up large pieces of egg, until eggs are fully cooked, 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer chicken mixture to bowl.
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  8. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in now-empty skillet until smoking. Add broccolini and 2 tablespoons sauce and toss to coat. Cover skillet and cook for 2 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking.
  9. Remove lid and continue to cook until broccolini is crisp and very brown in spots, 2 to 3 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking. Transfer broccolini to bowl with chicken mixture.
  10. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in now-empty skillet until smoking. Add half of noodles and 2 tablespoons sauce and toss to coat. Cook until noodles are starting to brown in spots, about 2 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking. Transfer noodles to bowl with chicken mixture.
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  11. Repeat with remaining 2 teaspoons oil, noodles, and sauce. When second batch of noodles is cooked, add contents of bowl back to skillet and toss to combine. Cook, without stirring, until everything is warmed through, 1 to 1½ minutes.
  12. Transfer to platter and serve immediately, passing chile vinegar separately.

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Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

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