Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao)
I am a big fan of Ethnic cuisines, and I especially love those with an Asian descent. But I’ve got to say, out of all of them, Thai food is probably my favorite (or at least it’s pretty close). I love the mix of sweet and spicy (I will often order a 9 out of 10 on the spicy scale), the plethora of vegetables, and the feeling of content you get after eating it – not stuffed, but pleasantly full.
I don’t often make “authentic” Thai dishes at home, due to the lack of specific ingredients they entail, but I will make Thai-fusion dishes that taste pretty similar to the real thing.
Thai basil, fresh rice noodles, lemongrass, etc. are not ingredients that most people just have lying around, and really can only be purchased if you go to a specialty market. Well, I decided to take that trip yesterday and I was not disappointed. Thank you 99 Ranch Market for turning my Thai cravings into a reality!
The Dish: I love Thai Drunken Noodles*. Until yesterday, I had never been able to have them unless I went to a restaurant. Not to say that I didn’t make similar dishes, but truly authentic Pad Kee Mao (as it is known in Thailand), has several ingredients that only certain stores carry, and therefore, I have not.
Essentially you can make anything ‘kee mao’ by including a lot of chilies, fresh peppercorns & Holy Basil (also known as Thai Basil). Depending on where you go, there are different vegetables, meats, etc. in the dish. Since I aspire to make everything as healthy as possible, (without foregoing the taste of course), I added a ton of vegetables to my version. I also used some Braggs Amino Acids instead of “dark soy sauce” and Stevia instead of sugar. Trust me, these minor subtleties will not make a difference in the taste, but will make the dish just a little better for you. Consider it my treat to you.
* Fun Fact: In Thai, ‘pad’ means to stir-fry, and ‘kee mao’ means someone who likes to drink too much. ‘Kee’ literally means ‘shit’, and adding ‘kee’ in front of any verb means it’s a bad habit. ‘Mao’ means drunk. So, a ‘Kee Mao’ (shit drunk) is someone who has a bad habit of drinking! I’m not quite sure what this dish has to do with drinking too much though? Either, it is due to the fact that people eat this spicy dish to help sober them up, or they drink a ton while eating it to combat the heat.
But don’t let this scare you, for those of you who aren’t a big fan of spicy foods, you can go easy on the chilies and it will still taste delicious.