"Taste, texture and deliciousness are all paramount in this deceptively simply fast stir-fry which calls for a smoking wok - the "breath of the wok" adding an extra layer of flavour to slippery, sexy rice noodles, tofu and vegetables with lashings of soy sauce - the name of the dish translates to “fried with soy sauce”. Chef David Thompson, a world authority on Thai cooking, says this is a street food favourite dish throughout Thailand, that follows the principles of balancing of sweet, salty, bitter, sour and spicy flavours with the additional sensual bonus of the pure pleasure of a good noodle. "I’ve become enthralled by the twirl of the noodle,” says David. "I guess I’m just getting back to my peasant roots rather than the pretentious cook I aspired to be when I was cooking courtly food. The older I become, the less precious I’ve become. Even though it’s (this pad sii uu recipe) is bloody simple, it’s delicious!” We could not agree more!" Maeve O'Meara, Food Safari Earth
A wholesome and hearty noodle bowl of egg, tofu, broccoli and garlic, welcome to the healthy side of Thai cooking.
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- pinch sea salt
- 45 ml rice bran oil
- dash dark sesame oil
- 2 tbsp firm bean curd cut into small batons
- 4 - 5 small stalks Chinese broccoli, blanched and halved
- 1½ tbsp Healthy Boy yellow bean sauce
- 1½ tbsp Healthy Boy light soy sauce
- 3 tsp Healthy Boy brown label dark soy sauce
- 3 tsp Healthy Boy orange label dark soy sauce
- 200 g thick fresh rice noodles
- large pinch freshly ground white pepper
- large pinch sugar
- 1 tbsp perfumed oil (see Note)
- 1 duck egg
- 1 chicken egg
- 1 tbsp deep-fried garlic (see Note)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Pound the garlic and a pinch of sea salt in a mortar and pestle into a coarse paste.
Heat a well-tempered wok over high heat. Make sure it’s damned hot and scrupulously clean. Reduce the heat to low, then add the rice bran oil, sesame oil, garlic paste and the bean curd and stir fry for 30 seconds or until fragrant, being careful the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the blanched broccoli and yellow bean sauce, increase the heat to high and stir-fry until sizzling. Add the soy sauces and rice noodles and toss until well coloured. Add the pepper and sugar and continue tossing until the noodles have absorbed the sauces and seasonings.
Move the noodles to the side of the wok and pour in the perfumed oil and another dash of sesame oil. Crack the eggs into the oil and fry until nearly set- do not overcook or burn them. Push the noodles back over the eggs and toss to incorporate, trying not to break up the eggs too much. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary – make sure it’s not too salty and has a well-rounded taste. Place the noodles in a serving bowl, then sprinkle with ground pepper, the deep-fried garlic and a drizzle of sesame oil. Serve immediately with a caddy of fish sauce, white sugar, chillies in vinegar and toasted chilli powder.
• To deep-fry the garlic, thinly slice 4 cloves garlic. Heat 80 ml rice bran oil in a small saucepan and fry the garlic until golden but not burnt. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Reserve the perfumed oil for cooking the eggs.
Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Emma Warren. Creative concept by Belinda So.