Pad Kee Mao

I love new beginnings & fresh starts more than pretty much anything. I think of many of mine-- the first time I wore black, the first time I smoked a cigarette, New Year's Eve 2014-- all of which were really indicators of other things that were going on that had very little to do with what color I was wearing, and much more to do with my own awareness of what those things meant to me in the narrative of my life.

I keep thinking about the upcoming solar eclipse.  I don't really care about seeing the eclipse, but I like the idea of it, because I can't help but feel that afterwards, things will be different in the best way. 

This summer felt different, less carefree maybe? I haven't installed floating shelves or gone to the pool as much as I thought I would. I did however, uncover a deep love for Pad Kee Mao, a spicy Thai noodle dish that pretty much sates every craving I've ever had. I like this dish most from a restaurant called Thai Kitchen, where occasionally the cook will add so many Thai chilies that I cry a little bit-- which is how I like it the most. Point being, I've started to make this at home because I crave it so much.

It's that good. 

 

Pad Kee Mao

from The New York Times

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark sweet soy sauce 
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 5 bird’s eye chiles
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup sliced onion
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • ½ cup sliced bell peppers
  • 12 ounces fresh rice noodles
  • 2 handfuls of holy basil leaves (or Thai basil, in a pinch)

PREPARATION

  1. Whisk together the fish sauce, soy sauce and vinegar, and set aside. Roughly chop the garlic and 3 of the chilies together. Smash the other two chilies with the flat of a knife, and set aside.
  2. Put a wok (or a large frying pan) over medium-high heat; when it’s hot, add the oil, the garlic-and-chile mixture and the onion. Cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the pork and a splash of the sauce. Cook, stirring to break up the meat, until the pork is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the peppers and noodles. Turn the heat to high, and add almost all of the sauce (save a spoonful or two to add later if needed). Cook, tossing everything together and separating the noodles if necessary, until the noodles are coated in sauce and take on a slightly charred flavor from the wok. Taste, and add more sauce if needed. Toss in the basil and the smashed chiles, and serve immediately.