Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Pad See Ew

We have a wonderful Asian market not far from us.  It is the place to go for vegetables, sauces, noodles etc.  While it's not far away, it is in a busy part of town so I try to make the most of my visits there and stock up on non-perishables each time I go.  I went a few days ago and they had the fresh, wide rice noodles - the ones just perfect for Pad See Ew.   I think Pad See Ew is just about my favorite Thai dish.  It's actually pretty easy to put together - a simple sauce, some garlic, broccoli, egg and noodles.

I really like the recipe from Nancie McDermott's "Real Thai" cookbook.  I have had the best results with this recipe and last night in particular, the dish was fantastic.  I usually make this dish with tofu but I happened to have on hand some vegetarian "meat" from the Asian market.  The ingredients are listed as whey, mushroom stem and vegetarian seasoning.  This particular item goes well with the Pad See Ew as the seasoning seems to be a ginger/sweet flavor.  The recipe is as follows:

Pad See Ew (Kwaytiow Paht Si-Yu) (adapted from Nancie McDermott)

2 tablespoons dark sweet soy sauce (or 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce and 1 tablespoon molasses or sugar)
1 tablespoon fish sauce (I substituted Bragg's but if you like fish sauce, by all means use it)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
4 cups Chinese broccoli, cut into 2-inch by 1-inch strips, or 3 cups small broccoli florets
1 pound firm tofu or vegetarian "meat" substitute, thinly sliced
1 pound soft, fresh flat rice noodle sheets, cut lengthwise into strips 1 inch wide (even though I had fresh noodles I had them sitting in a pot of hot water to separate and soften them)
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Combine the soy sauce, fish sauce (or Bragg's) and pepper in a small bowl and place next to the stove with all the other ingredients.

Heat a wok over medium-high heat.  Add 2 tablespoons oil and swirl to coat the surface.  When the oil is very hot, drop a piece of garlic into the pan.  If it sizzles immediately, the oil is ready.  Add the garlic and toss until it begins to turn golden, about 15 seconds.  Add the broccoli and stir-fry until tender, bright green and shiny, about 2 minutes (a little more if using regular broccoli).  Remove from pan to a platter.
Add a little more oil to the work, swirl to coat, and heat for 15 seconds.  Add the beef (or tofu or veg "meat") and stir-fry.  When browned, remove from the pan to the platter with the broccoli.

Add about 1 tablespoon oil to the wok and heat for 15 seconds.  Add the egg and let it sit for a minute or so and then toss until the eggs are cooked.  Drain the noodles and then add them to the wok.  Stir in the soy sauce mixture.  Once the noodles and eggs are covered with the sauce, add in the vegetables and meat/tofu.  We like it spicy so we added ground red pepper to our individual servings.

Working with rice noodles can be frustrating but this time everything worked perfectly.  The recipe actually calls for stir-frying the noodles and then making a space in the middle and adding the egg.  I did the egg first and then added the noodles - which seemed to work well because it gave the noodles some place to land without sticking to the wok. The whole dish went together very quickly.
 It received two thumbs up all around and was just as good leftover for lunch today.


Vic Robinson said...

Looks great. I am vegan so I would leave out the egg and for sure use the braggs! This is also one of my favorite thai dishes!

Guinnah said...

Hi HayMarket - some silken tofu would make a nice substitute for the egg. Of course I've eaten it many times with no egg, no tofu just a big plate of noodles :-)

Lynn said...

Sounds great & like something that might work for one of our weekly vegetarian meals. So what could you sub for the noodle sheets if you lived in a less cosmopolitan shopping area?

Guinnah said...

Hey Mommy Porch - you could get the dried noodles. I know I've seen Thai Kitchen brand wide noodles every now and then. In a pinch, the thinner ones meant for Pad Thai would work too. You could do some mail order as well: http://importfood.com/nobk1455.html

Even the market I shop at (which is HUGE) doesn't always have fresh.