One thing that really surprised me on my trip to Thailand was that despite trying it 5 or 6 times, i never did find a Pad Thai as good as the really good ones you can find here, or indeed even as good as my own! Maybe it was my own personal tastes but i found most of them too gluggy, too sweet and too saucy. I didn't try any other noodle dishes, but i wish i tried this one over there.
The key to making this dish stand out is the charring of the noodles. I learned after making this that you really need to make sure you don't overload the wok with noodles, and really don't be afraid to leave them to the point of almost burning. The small amounts of charred noodles that i DID manage to make had a wonderfully smokey flavour that was sadly absent from most of the noodles. Next time!
Ingredients (serves 3)
- 250gm chicken fillet
- 600gm fresh wide flat rice noodles
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp corn flour, mixed in with 2 tbsp water to form a paste
- 1 pinch salt
- 3 large cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp black bean sauce
- 1 tsp soy
- Fish sauce to taste
- Chilli powder to taste
- 1 bunch bok choy, sliced into 3cm strips
- 1/2 cup salt to season wok
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- Black pepper
MethodFirst, season the wok by placing 1/2 cup in the wok and moving the salt to different portions of the wok,
heating that portion to a high heat each time.This helps in imparting a smokey flavor to the noodles.
Seperate the noodles a little bit and place in a steamer, steaming until soft
Heat wok to very high
Rub the noodles with a touch of soy, then fry in the dry wok in 3 batches, letting the edges of the noodles crisp and singe before tossing.
Transfer the noodles to the serving bowls and keep warm
Add 3 tbsp of oil to the wok
Add the garlic and 1/2 tsp salt and saute until fragrant
Add the chicken and saute until golden and sealed
Add the black bean sauce and saute for a further one minute
Add the stock and a good grind of black pepper and bring to the boil
Add the sugar and bok choy and stir until bok choy is well softened
Add the cornflour mixture and stir until the sauce is slightly thickened
Season with fish sauce
Spoons some meat and bok choy over the noodles then ladle over 1 ladle of the sauce
Sprinkle with chilli powder