Drunken Noodles


Last week, I found myself craving Thai food, which is strange because it hasn't ever been one of my favorites!  When this Bon Apetit recipe showed up via Elly Says Opa, I added it to my weekly menu.  When we were starting to get things ready, I got myself kicked out of the kitchen when I sliced a pepper and my thumb right along with it!  Luckily, Joel finished everything up and we sat down to eat.  Elly said that the title of this spicy dish comes from how much water you need to drink to cool off after eating it.  Joel said that, having been to Thailand, the name comes from being a street food and eating it on the way home from the bars.  Perhaps he is right, but Elly is also certainly right...this dish is HOT!  Despite the heat, we really enjoyed this dish.  I swapped out the chicken for tofu, which was great.  My adaptation is below.

8-10 ounces Flat Rice Noodles
4 tablespoons Canola Oil, divided
6 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Bell Pepper, cut into strips
1 container Firm Tofu, squeezed dry and cubed
1 tablespoon Fish Sauce
2 tablespoons Black Soy Sauce*
2 tablespoons Golden Mountain Sauce or Light Soy Sauce*
1-1 1/2 tablespoons Sambal Oelek/Chili Paste (we used 1 tablespoon and it was hot!)
1/2 tablespoon Sugar
1 Plum Tomato, cut into 8 wedges
1/4 cup Thai Basil Leaves (we used regular)
1/4 cup Scallions, sliced

 *I did not look at the grocery store for these two ingredients, so I just used 4 tablespoons of regular soy sauce, and the dish still turned out fine.

Cook the noodles according to package directions.  We put them in a large bowl, poured boiling water over them (enough to cover), and let them sit for about 5-7 minutes, until they were tender.  In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat.  Add the tofu cubes and allow them to cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides, about 15 minutes total.  Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large, heavy pot (wok) over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.  Add the bell pepper and sauté for 1-2 minutes.  Add the tofu to the wok.  In a small bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, soy sauce(s), and Sambal Oelek.  In a large serving bowl (or right in the wok), combine the tofu mixture, noodles, tomatoes, scallions, and basil.  Pour the sauce over the top and toss to coat.