Stir-fried Egg Noodles with Ham

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It is a never-ending delight to me to walk the streets of Bangkok and other Thai cities and breathe in the wonderful aromas of Thai cooking coming from the innumerable food stalls. These smells, sights and sounds always generate a good feeling and a sharp appetite. I know about ‘barhopping’, but ‘stall-hopping’ is my pleasure.

Among the most delightful of the food-stall offerings are the noodle dishes, as this recipe illustrates. It is of Chinese origin but the Thais as usual have made it their own, to our satisfaction and delight. This is a quick, easy, delicious dish.

Ingredients

  • 225 g (8 oz) thin egg noodles
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 175 g (6 oz) cooked ham
  • 2 tablespoons groundnut (peanut) oil
  • 2 small fresh red or green Thai chillies, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons finely sliced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • handful fresh basil leaves, shredded

Method

Cook the noodles for 3–5 minutes in a pan of boiling water. Drain and plunge them into cold water. Drain thoroughly and toss them in the sesame oil. (They can be kept in this state, if tightly covered with clingfilm for up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.)

Cut the ham into thin strips.

Heat a wok or large frying pan until it is very hot. Add the groundnut oil, and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the chillies, onion, garlic and spring onions and stir-fry for 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Then add the ham and noodles and continue to stir-fry for 3 minutes. Now add the soy sauce, fish sauce and rice wine and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the eggs and stir-fry for 3–4 minutes or until the eggs have set. Now add the shredded basil leaves and give the mixture several turns. Turn the mixture into a warm dish and serve at once.

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