Makan Time in Singapore

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Pad Mi Korat Phet - hot noodles, Korat style

The route to this recipe started with a couple of requests for a "hot"
version of pad Thai.

Unfortunately for those that asked, whilst you can add anything you like
to pad Thai -- including chilis -- the result is not authentic. It
simply isn't done (which is not to say that Thais don't load their
plates of pad Thai with prik phom and chilis in fish sauce or vinegar
according to taste)

Pad Thai is quite an elaborate dish. The style usually found in Thai
restaurants outside Thailand is particularly elaborate, being referred
to somewhat insultingly my Thai housewives as "pad Thai Krungthep" --
the implication being that rich people in the capital do it that way to
show off.

Ignoring the countryside versus capital debate, there is a local, very
simple variant of the dish, known as pad mi Korat. Made with the round
egg noodles known as sen mi, rather than the narrow rice ribbon noodles,
and with a recipe that consists of partly cooking a cup of noodles, then
stir frying them with a cup of sliced and shredded pak bung (swamp
cabbage), adding a little tamarind juice for flavor, and drizzling a
beaten egg over it to complete it.

However my wife prepares a more elaborate version of pad mi Korat, which
is also fairly hot. This version I will call pad mi Korat phet (hot stir
fried noodles in the Korat style).

Before I get into the details, I would like to make two comments.

The original of this dish is made with sen mi (Thai egg noodles), but if
you can't find them I find it works very well with a spagghetti or
similar (the little shell shapes are good).

The original uses swamp cabbage, but any greens will do. If I fancy
splashing out we make this with a mixture of broccoli and asparagus.

To simplify the dish I should point out that it is actually made using
table condiments, thus the ingredients are not as complicated as they
look. I will first include recipes for the table condiments you need. In
Thailand these would probably be on every housewife's table, but if you
don't have them you should make them about a week before you intend to
cook the dish.

We make them in vast quantities for the restaurant (in 5 gallon
containers), but for home use we use 1 pint spring top preserving jars.
These have the advantage of fitting in the door shelves of our fridge...

--
nam pla prik

Put two thirds of a cup of prik ki nu (finely sliced green birdseye or
dynamite chilis) in a 1 pint jar, and fill with fish sauce. Seal and
keep for a week before using.

--
prik dong

Put two thirds of a cup of prik ki nu daeng (finely sliced red birdeye
or dynamtie chilis) in a 1 pint jar, and fill with rice vinegar (any
white vinegar will do, as will cider vinegar, if rice vinegar is
unavailable).

--
prik siyu wan

Put two thirds of a cup of prik chi fa (sliced red or green Thai
jalapenas) in a 1 pint jar, and fill with sweet dark soy sauce.

--
kratiem dong

Peel and slice two thirds of a cup of garlic, place it in the 1 pint
jar, add 1 teaspoon of palm sugar, and one teaspoon of salt and half a
teaspoon of MSG (optional but recomended) and topped up with rice vinegar.

--
khing ki mao

Julienne two thirds of a cup of fresh ginger (into match stick sized
pieces). Place in the 1 pint jar. Add half a cup of Mekong whiskey
(Mekong is a whiskey made from Rice. If you can't find it or prefer
something else, any spirits, even sherry, will do). Add half a cup of
rice vinegar, and fill up the jar with fish sauce.

------

Now we'll progress to the pad mi itself.

For this you will need a cup of noodles, half a cup of green veggies,
half a cup of mild peppers such as prik chi fa (Thai jalapenas). If you
want to try this but at a lower heat level, use the Thai chili called
prik yiek, or a bell pepper. You also need one large egg (preferably a
duck egg), some tamarind juice and sugar, and chillis, bai chi
(coriander leaves) and a sliced cucumber for garnish.

Method.

Place the noodles in water to soak for about 15 minutes.

Place two tablespoons of the liquor from each of the five condiments
listed above, together with two tablespoons of tamarind juice, in a
small saucepan and simmer to reduce it to half its volume. When this is
done heat a wok, and stir a teaspoon of the fish sauce from the nam pla
prik into the egg, and beat it lightly. Drain one tablespoon of the
pickle from each of the five condiments.

If you are using Italian pasta, boil it for half the normal cooking
time.

Add all the ingredients except the egg and the reduced sauce to the wok
and stir fry until the noodles are just "toothy" in texture. Add the
sauce, turn the heat to as high as possible, and when the sauce has come
to a vigorous boil, gently drizzle the egg into the mix, which will cook
it.

Serve immediately, with the listed condiments, together with sugar and
prik phom (powdered red chili), and decorate with the garnishes.

Special thanks to - Muoi Khuntilanont.