Howdy people… no, I do not hail from Texas. So yes, I spent 10 days of this year in Thailand. Such a beautiful place! I will share my experiences with you soon on the travel section. I freaked out on tom yum! I love tom yum! So fresh and flavorful and of course their som tam (raw papaya salad). I make it at home but I can’t imagine being as gutsy as the Thai locals. They do not use fish sauce, instead, they squish the juices out of raw baby CRABS! I saw this happen and the salad just hits the right spots of your tongue!
We ate at this one restaurant by our hotel that made amazing Pad Thai. This recipe is inspired by the flavors of the same and is undoubtedly healthier.
I use a variety called egg noodles. Do not fret, as, this is available at all Asian stores and supermarkets. Egg noodles are made of whole wheat flour and egg powder. You find them as long thin strands, medium strands or thick strands. The taste remains the same; the only obvious difference is the chewiness of the noodles.
This is a complete dish by itself as it has all the essentials such as Prawns, Chicken and Mushroom! So let’s begin.
What you need
You all know by now that I am an airhead and I must’ve forgotten something. Right you are! I missed Sesame oil :p
You also need Chicken. I fileted the thick chicken breast shown below in 2 thin filets. This can be achieved only with a sharp knife.
The first step is prepping the noodles. This can be done in 2 ways.
- Bring the water to a rapid boil and boil the noodles for 3-4 minutes. Here, the chances of it becoming a mushy mess are higher.
- Bring the water to rapid boil and put off the flame. Soak the noodles and keep the pot covered. The noodles will be ready when you get done with everything else.
I use the second method and highly recommend the same.
1 nest of noodles feeds 1 perrson.
Dry roast a palm full of peanuts and half a teaspoon of sesame seeds until they release all their oils and turn lightly brown and fragrant. Set aside when done.
Just showing off here with my paper thin filets. I am exaggerating.
Season the filets with salt, pepper and five spice powder generously on both sides.
Five spice powder is another Asian ingredient. As the name suggests, it consists of five spices; cloves, cinnamon, fennel seeds, star anise and Sichuan pepper. Five spice powder is also used heavily in Chinese cooking. That reminds me of another story… I’ll narrate succinctly.
I went to pick up some cutlery recently and guess who I bumped into…none other than the head chef of Mainland China, Pune, India. Mainland China is one of the most renowned chain of Chinese restaurants in India. Oh, my jaw dropped when I was introduced to him! And not to mention…what a humble human being! Anyway, where were we…? The chicken was being seasoned.
Now, to flatten out the chicken evenly, wrap the chicken in butter paper and beat with a mallet or rolling pin. This also helps the seasoning penetrate the chicken.
Heat sesame oil in a pan.
Place the chicken in the hot pan and the right temperature is measured by the sizzling sound the chicken makes when it hits the hot pan.
Do not flip the chicken. Let it completely brown on one side first (about 3-4 minutes) then, flip and cook the other side.
Cut the mushrooms in half and add in the pan alongside the chicken.
Cleaning tip for mushrooms
Fresh mushrooms are coated with mud and dirt. I, peel the canopy by placing the knife right below it peeling the outer skin upwards. Once you have peeled the outer skin, wash the mushrooms and they are ready to use.
In a food processor, coarsely blitz chili (red or green), spring onion, coriander, garlic and ginger.
Do not add water.
Check on the chicken. Mine was done!
Let the chicken rest until you need it.
Let the mushrooms continue to wilt in the pan.
Heat sesame oil in a wok and add the mixture and cook for a minute or so. Add cleaned prawns and cook for another minute.
Now, for the noodles. Open the lid… Voila..!!! Done they are.
Drain and the noodles into the wok. Squeeze the juice of a whole lime. At this point, add 1 teaspoon of soy sauce. Check for seasoning.
Stir and put off fire. Slice the chicken to desired thickness.
Plate up with the mushrooms, peanuts and chicken as you wish!
You are going to love it!
Have a great day!
Sesame seeds half tsp
Five spice powder 1 tbsp
Sesame oil 2 tbsp
Mushroom 7-9 large
Ginger thumb size
Garlic 6 pods
Spring onions 3 strands
Juice of 1 lime
Boil water in a pot. Put off fire and drown the noodles in the water. Keep pot covered. Toast peanuts and sesame seeds. Season chicken with salt, pepper and five spice powder. Heat sesame oil and place chicken breasts in the pan. Scatter sliced mushrooms in the same pan around the chicken. Cook on each side for 3-4 minutes. Once done, remove the chicken and let it rest. Coarsely grind chili, ginger, garlic, coriander and spring onion. Heat sesame oil in a wok and add ground mixture. Cook for a minute and add prawns. Cook for another minute. Add the cooked, drained noodles, lime juice and soy sauce and stir. Adjust seasoning, arrange all elements and serve.