Thai-Style Noodles with Chicken

During my frequent visits to Bangkok, I always savour this modest noodle dish. It is a typical Thai creation and a very popular item at the city’s street stalls, where it is cooked in a wok while the customer waits. The aromas rising from the hot wok as the noodles are being prepared make it impossible to pass by without sampling the dish. I suspect in origin it is a south Chinese recipe, but distinctive spices and flavourings make it an authentic Thai treat. It is equally good cold or at room temperature and it may be served during warm months as part of a simple grill.

Ingredients

  • 225 g (8 oz) flat rice noodles, rice vermicelli or rice sticks
  • 450 g (1 lb) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 egg white
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) groundnut oil or water
  • 1 tablespoongroundnut oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese black rice vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chilli bean sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoonShaoxing rice wine or dry sherry

For the Garnish

  • 50 g (2 oz) roasted peanuts, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions
  • Fresh sprigs of coriander

Method

Soak the rice noodles, vermicelli or sticks in a bowl of warm water for 25 minutes. Drain them in a colander or sieve. Cut the chicken breasts into strips about 7.5 cm (3 in) long. Combine them with the egg white, salt and cornflour in a small bowl; place it in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Heat a wok until it is very hot and then add the oil. When the oil is very hot, remove the wok from the heat and immediately add the chicken pieces, stirring vigorously to keep them from sticking. When the chicken pieces turn white (about 2 minutes), quickly drain the chicken. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the oil from the wok.

If you choose to use water instead of oil, bring it to a boil in a pan. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately add the chicken pieces, stirring vigorously to keep them from sticking. When the chicken pieces turn white (about 2 minutes), quickly drain the chicken and all the water from the wok.

Wipe the wok clean. Heat it until it is hot, then add the 1 tablespoon of oil. Mix the eggs with the sesame oil and salt. Immediately, add the egg mixture and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until the eggs have set. Remove and drain on kitchen paper, cut the eggs into strips and set aside.

Re-heat the wok and add the 2 tablespoons of reserved oil (2 tablespoons of fresh oil if you used water before). Add the rice noodles, vermicelli or sticks and stir-fry for 2 minutes, then add the sauce ingredients and bring to the boil. Return the cooked chicken to the pan and stir-fry the mixture for another 2 minutes, coating the pieces thoroughly with the sauce. Turn on to a large warm platter, sprinkle the garnishes over and serve at once, or let it cool and serve at room temperature.

Loading
Loading
Loading