The service will not be catered (featuring Pad Kee Mao aka Drunken Noodles)

The service will not be catered (featuring Pad Kee Mao aka Drunken Noodles)

Inspector Crumbtop stepped over the crime scene tape and pushed the front door open with the tip of his leather boot.  He followed the voices down the hall as he slipped latex investigation gloves onto each hand. 

“Crumbtop!  There you are.” barked Officer Brunoise, looking up from his notepad momentarily.  Brunoise was crouched over the body of a redheaded woman laying on the sofa in soft, plaid pajama bottoms and a black wifebeater t-shirt.  In her left hand, she held a fork; in the right, a pen. 

“Where’s the boyfriend?” asked Crumbtop. 

“He’s at the station.  He said he came home and found her like this.  He was shocked, but not surprised.  He said he knows she’s come close to this before.”

Crumbtop moved closer to the body.  She looked serene with the faintest smile on her lips. 

“She was a chef and caterer and was working on her food blog.  I guess she just could not stop eating.  Take a look at this.”  Officer Brunoise lifted the laptop computer that lay next to the body and handed it to Inspector Crumbtop, who rolled the cursor to the top of the page.  He sunk into the opposite couch as he read her post. 

{“The other day, I was thumbing my way through a Thai cookbook, seeking inspiration.  I was looking for something that combined all my favorite things about Thai food – a dish that challenged me with spices, stirred my curiosity with new flavors and comforted me with a tad of sweetness and carbs.  I picked up the phone to call my friend Blaine – who knows a lot more about Thai food than most guys from Rockland County.   

“What was that noodle thing you ordered at Spice called?” 

“Mmmmmmm. Pad Kee Mao.”

Drunken Noodles
Drunken Noodles
Golden Mountain Sauce
Golden Mountain Sauce

That was it for sure.  It was like Pad Thai with balls.  Still you have the comforting noodle aspect, but this time with a much spicier and less sweet base.  My research continued online, where I read that Golden Mountain Sauce– an intense, sweet soy sauce that is thought by some to be the magic ingredient to authentic Thai food and also contains no MSG or preservatives- was the key.  I trucked over to Kalustyan’s (see “I’ll have nothing with a side of tasteless”) and picked myself up a bottle.

Pad Kee Mao means “Drunken Noodles”.  Http://www.realthairecipes.com/recipes/drunken-noodles/ says: “In Thai, ‘pad’ means to stir-fry, and ‘kee mao’ means someone who likes to drink too much. ‘Kee’ literally means ‘shit’, and adding ‘kee’ in front of any verb means it’s a bad habit. ‘Mao’ means drunk. So, a ‘Kee Mao’ (shit drunk) is someone who has a bad habit of drinking.”  Other sources say that it’s called Drunken Noodles because it’s so spicy that you feel drunk after eating it and still other sources say that you have to drink a lot when you eat it because of the spice.  This is one of the great things about making it yourself.  Not only can you guarantee that everything added into it is fresh, you can decide how hot/sweet/ sour you want it to be.   You can also choose your main protein. Today, I used chicken and wanted more veggies than normal so I added about a cup’s worth of sliced, blanched snow peas and green beans (which are not listed in the ingredients below) and doubled the sauce to account for the extra goodies.  The combination was exactly what I was looking for.  I have tried making Pad Kee Mao without Green Mountain Sauce and it was still good, but I agree that it adds a little something special.  I’m always on the lookout for secret ingredients.

Pad Kee Mao aka Drunken Noodles with Chicken

Pad Kee Mao
Pad Kee Mao

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoon Oyster Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Palm Sugar or Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Soy Sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Sambal Olek or other Chili Garlic Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce
  • Juice of ½ Lime
  • ½ pound Wide Rice Noodles
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 6 Garlic Cloves, Chopped
  • 2 Thai Chiles, thinly sliced
  • 8 Ounces Chicken Breast, cut into medium cubes (can be made with pork, duck, or tofu too)
  • 1 cup Napa Cabbage, thickly sliced
  • 3 Scallions, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • ½ cup loosely packed Holy Basil
  • ½ lime
  1.   For sauce: In a small bowl, combine oyster sauce, fish sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, Golden Mountian Sauce,  Sambal and lime juice. Mix well and set aside.
  2. For the noodles: Soak noodles in cold water for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until tender but still firm, about 8 minutes. Drain most of water from pot, adding just enough cool water so that noodles stay warm but do not continue to cook.
  3. Place a large wok or skillet over high heat. When pan is hot, add oil. Add garlic and chiles and sauté to let flavors infuse oil, about 1 minute. Add chicken and cabbage, and stir-fry until chicken is opaque and beginning to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add basil and scallion tops.
  4. Drain noodles and add to pan. Add sauce, and toss until mixed and well-heated, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve hot, with lime wedges for squeezing over noodles.

A warning to my loyal fans:  I made this about an hour ago, and I simply cannot stop eating it.  I’ve had three bowls so far and fear I will soon go back for a fourth!”}

Inspector Crumbtop watched as Officer Brunoise stepped into the hall to explain the situation to Joe Stroganoff, the first EMT to arrive.  Crumbtop suddenly noticed a single wide noodle left on the plate next to the victim.  He surreptitiously plucked the morsel up and popped it in his mouth.

“Oh my god this is good”, he whispered to himself as he searched for another noodle. “At least she went happy.”  He took out his notebook and quickly started copying the recipe.

Sometimes, you just have to live on the edge.



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