Remember when I told you that my Asian-inspired dinner party was a complete and utter success? Well, the stars of the event were the stir-fried beef and pad see ew (drunken noodles). Candidly, preparing the dish was a bit of a challenge to me — improvisational cooking, unlike baking, drives me INSANE IN THE MEMBRANE — and I was hesitant to even serve the dish to my friends, fearing failure. I’d never worked with so many new-to-me ingredients at once (I’VE BEEN EATING OYSTER SAUCE ALL. THIS. TIME.????), and, in retrospect, I should have studied the recipe to ensure I had my mise en place (mess in place). Out of all the dishes I made yesterday, the drunken noodles posed the greatest challenge, and ultimately, the greatest culinary reward. My friends devoured the sweet noodles and marveled over the charred chicken and the tender kale. The flavors will explode in your mouth and all you’ll want to do is eat more!
Now that I’ve got the basics down, I’ll definitely be making this again. Why not have drunken noodles at home instead of ordering from a restaurant where the ingredients may be suspect?
INGREDIENTS (Serves 4-6): Inspired by Chez Pim
For the marinade:
1 lb (16oz) chicken tender strips (alternatively, you can dice up chicken breasts, lengthwise, into strips)
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1/4 tsp dark sesame oil
Mix together in a bowl and let sit for 30 minutes.
For the noodles:
3/4 lb (12oz) flat rice noodles (I used flat udon noodles)
2-3 tbsps cooking oil
3 cups of mixed kale leaves (or 2 cups of Chinese brocoli, stalks and leaves)
fish sauce to taste
2 tbsp – 1/4 cup oyster sauce
1 tbsp thick soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
ground black pepper to taste
Many of the sites I explored relayed that it’s paramount that I get my mise en place because the cooking part happens rather quickly.
First, I cooked the noodles as directed (7 minutes). Once cooked, drain and run the noodles over cold water to stop the cooking process. Set the noodles aside.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a wok or large saucepan over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the kale and sauté for about a minute. Then add a splash of fish sauce, sautéing until the leaves are wilted. Remove the greens from the pan and set aside.
Add another tablespoon (or more) of oil to the pan and toss in the noodles, coating them with the oil. Add thick soy sauce, fish sauce and oyster sauce, and stir the noodles about until they are evenly cooked. Remove the noodles from the pan and set aside. Scrape off any remnants from the pan, add another tablespoon of oil and set over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and stir for a second, then add the chicken. Stir-fry until the chicken is almost cooked through. Push the chicken to the side of the pan and add an egg to the middle. Let it cook for a few seconds then stir it together with the chicken. Add back the kale and the noodles. Stir together. Remove from heat. Add more soy sauce and/or fish sauce to taste (you may not need any) and then toss the noodles with a tablespoon of rice wine vinegar and a few grinds of black pepper.