the perfect hangover cure? drunkard's noodles (pad kee mao)

I have no idea why these noodles are considered drunken . . . a quick look on the internet says that it is a favourite at noodles stalls with Thai men after a hard night of drinking (better than the ubiquitous British kebab!) . . . I must investigate further. It sounds like the perfect hangover cure. 

This recipe includes chicken, but it would be equally good with either prawns or marinated tofu.

Serves 2 – 3
Skill level: Easy

2 tbs Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
2 tbsp palm sugar or brown sugar
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp Maggi chilli sauce, or similar (my favourite is Linghams, which is made in Malaysia)
1 tsp sambal (Malay or Thai chilli-garlic paste) or dried chilli flakes
juice of ½ a lime

200g wide rice noodles
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 x garlic clove, finally chopped
2 x chillis (preferably 1 red and 1 green), seeded and thinly sliced
3 x spring onions, white bulb ends thinly sliced, green tops cut into 2 inch / 5 cm pieces
200g skinless chicken breast or thigh, cubed
I x Chinese cabbage such as bok choy or pak choy, thickly shredded
25g fresh basil leaves, coarsely torn
25g fresh coriander leaves, coarsely chopped
1 x lime, cut into wedges, to serve

  1. For sauce: In a small bowl, combine oyster sauce, fish sauce, sugar, mirin, rice vinegar, Maggi, sambal and lime juice. Mix well and put aside.
  2. For the noodles: Soak noodles in cold water for 15 minutes. In the meantime, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add noodles and cook until tender but still firm, (this should be about 8 minutes). Drain most of water from the saucepan, adding just enough cool water so that noodles stay warm but do not continue to cook.
  3. Place a large wok or frying pan over high heat. When pan is hot, add the oil. Add garlic, chillis and sliced spring onion bulbs, and fry gently to let the flavours infuse the oil, (about 1 minute).
  4. Add chicken and cabbage, and stir-fry until chicken has become opaque and beginning to brown, (about 2-3 minutes.)
  5. Add basil, coriander and spring onion tops and stir.
  6. Drain noodles and add to the pan.
  7. Add sauce, and toss until mixed and heated through, (about 1-2 minutes).
  8. Serve hot, with lime wedges for squeezing over noodles.

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