Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Pad See Ewe - the best EVER Thai dish

If you have ever eaten take out with me, you know that I have a strong preference for Asian food, both Thai and Chinese. Normally, I don't see the appeal in getting take out that I could make myself at home and my common refrain is "yeah, but that is just as sandwich."

I used to get Thai almost weekly with one of my friends. When I lived in DC, I also had the "Pad See Ewe Summer" where myself and a few other Pad See Ewe (PSE) enthusiasts went to many, many Thai restaurants in the District to see which one made the best PSE.

This delectable dish, goes by many different spellings - Pad Si Ew & Pad See Ewe being the most common. If you haven't tried it yet, RUN do not WALK to your nearest Thai restaurant. When you are totally hooked, come back here and we will try to make it at home together.

A word of warning, PSE noodles are the great white whale of ingredients. At least they have been for me, I have literally gone to 3-4 Asian groceries and had an unsuccessful Amazon search before I finally found them at a massive Asian Market called Li Ming's in Durham, NC, that I had been meaning to visit for the last year, for the express purpose of finding PSE noodles. Now that I know they have have them I will definitely be back.

Li Ming's also carries what is definitely the largest selection of soy sauce I have ever seen. I am not even nearly culturally equipped enough to shop at this store; I can only identify uses for about a 1/2 of the items they carry.

But the point is, if you cannot find the fresh flat rice noodles, you can substitute dried rice noodles. Sometimes, you gotta make it work.

My weekly Thai food eating friend, sent me a PSE recipe she made a few weeks ago which spurred on my desire to go to Li Ming's. I like to have "saucy" and "eggy" PSE, so I made a few alterations, I have put the recipe I used below with my alterations.

  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 3 tablespoon Dark Soy Sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lb Fresh Flat Rice Noodles
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 6 tablespoons regular Soy Sauce
  • 2 tablespoon sugar  
  • 1/2 lb, your protein of choice, sliced thin or extra veggies
  • 2 tablespoon olive or other cooking oil

If your fresh flat rice noodles are not pre-cut, cut them into strips of 1 inch wide. Chop your broccoli (Chinese or regular) into pieces. Heat a wok or large skillet to high heat and then add 2 tablespoons of oil. Drop in the chopped garlic and stir. Add your protein and saute to cook. While your protein cooks, mix your soy sauces and sugar together in a bowl on the side. When your protein is almost fully cooked, add your sliced rice noodles and pour you sauce over it, stir it together.

Push your noodles to the side, clearing a space to drop in your eggs. Put the eggs into the open space and scramble them until fully cooked, then mix them in with the noodles. Add broccoli and stir together. Let it heat in the pan for a few minutes to cook the broccoli and give yourself a little char on the noodles. PSE is not normally spicy, but if you want a little kick, add some cayenne pepper now.

The verdict:
Even with increasing the amount of sauce, I still felt it could have been saucier, so I'll need to work on that. I think this sauce isn't quite right also, it's good and it's close but it's not perfect. I might need a little fish sauce or oyster sauce, or something. I'm not quite sure yet, I'll keep trying! I also, did not include this in my recipe but I made mine vegetarian, so I added some cabbage and bean sprouts I had. Normally, I like my PSE with chicken but the veggies were good too! They soaked up the sauce nicely.

It was also surprisingly quick to make! I will definitely be making this again and keep fine tuning the sauce as I go.