It can’t be denied that travel influences us over a multitude of spectrums. Travel often forces ourselves out of our comfort zones and challenges us to adapt and survive in sometimes very foreign territory. Sometimes travel reveals more about ourselves and our capabilities. Other times it changes stereotypes and preconceived notions about a certain demographic…and even about certain types of food.
One noticeable influence from my trip this past summer in Southeast Asia is the choice of cuisine I now cook. I’d like to say my roommates and friends who have had the chance to try my version of Thai dishes haven’t been disappointed. Basically I only know two that I have recreated multiple times trying to perfect each one: Thai fried noodles and Thai yellow curry with chicken, cashew nuts and pineapple (mmmm…pineapple!). As much as travel has broadened my horizons and outlooks on life, I’d like to say it’s equally expanded my palate to new and often hot food—even though my tolerance for spiciness has remained unchanged! Without a doubt, food is intertwined with culture and so here in a house in Cambridge, my weekly culture consists of a new twist to the fried noodles I first tried half a world away. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I do!
Helen’s Twist to Fried Noodles
This dish is not a product from a lesson or any cooking school from Thailand—please don’t hold the country accountable for the outcome if it’s not desirable!
This dish can easily serve 4. Make it in as big a stir frying pan as possible. Adjust chili powder and chili sauce to taste. Crackers are a nice side to offset the spiciness!
- 2 spoonfuls of Korean chili sauce/ chili garlic sauce (I know this isn’t Thai per se, but work with me…this is the twist part…among other elements!)
- ½ bag of Thai rice noodles
- ½ chopped onion
- 4 cloves of chopped garlic
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup of mushrooms
- 2 limes, slice into fourths
- Chili powder
For the sauce, mix in a separate bowl:
- ½ cup of water
- ¼ cup of fish sauce (it smells bad, but bear with me…it’s worth the wait!)
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of lime juice (I prefer to squeeze a lime slice)
- 1 tablespoon of paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne
Cook the Thai rice noodles like you would any pasta. They cook really fast, like 5 minutes fast, so cook and drain them and then set them aside until you’re ready to add them to the stir-fry mix.
- Add a little olive oil to the frying pan
- Brown the garlic and onions
- Add two spoonfuls of Korean chili sauce
- Add eggs and scramble in pan
- Once eggs are scrambled, add mushrooms and let them heat up
- Add a couple of shakes of chili powder to dish, adjust to taste
- At this point you can add the Thai rice noodles to your frying pan
- Then add the sauce to it
- Let the noodles soak up the sauce and mix frying pan items together, should take around 3 minutes
When you serve the noodles, squeeze the lime slices over the dish and serve crackers on the side. If you can use chop sticks, have at it!
If you get hiccups, then you’ve added too much spiciness!
In a later blog I’ll share with you my yellow curry recipe which is my favorite dish that I ate while in Thailand. It’s much sweeter with the pineapple. Until then, happy ethnic eats!