I first had Thai food many years ago when I worked at a different company. A lovely co-worker Sarapee knew of a restaurant called “The King and I” in Amherst, New York. Every Thursday we would order out for lunch and she suggested this restaurant, as she knew the owner. I was hesitant because I never had Thai food and did not know what to order. I still remember all of us surrounding Sarapee as she explained the menu to us. Which lunch special I selected I do not remember. However it was a stir-fry with rice, chicken, and vegetables. I never had anything like it and it was spicy for me. At that time, I did not add any heat to my food. But I did try Thai food again and found that I really enjoyed it. For years I have been wanting Greg to try Thai food but we never made it to Amherst for dinner. We have started going to Cozy Thai in Hamburg, New York. They have authentic Thai food that is just wonderful.
The first time we went there I had the Pad Ba-Me since I enjoy a stir-fry and fried noodles. The first time I had it at mild heat to be safe. Now I have it at medium heat adding more hot sauce that is served as a condiment. Over the past months, I have been adding more heat to my meals experimenting with different hot sauces. I even tried one of their meals with hot sauce!
Pad Ba-Me is one of those meals that you want to make at home. After researching a few recipes, I decided upon the below one. If you do not have all of the ingredients, do not worry since you can substitute or eliminate certain vegetables if you do not like them. You could also make it vegetarian using tofu.
Select Your Meat:
Chicken, sliced thinly
Pork, sliced thinly
My Stir-Fry Ingredients:
5 to 8 ounces (140 to 226 g.) Chinese-Style Noodles
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
2-3 tsp. Grated Ginger or 1 tsp. Dried Ginger
1 small Sweet Onion, sliced
1 Carrot, sliced thinly
1 Small Broccoli Head, chopped into florets
1 small Red Pepper, sliced thinly
1 small Zucchini
Fresh Cilantro or basil to garnish
2-3 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil or Stir Fry Oil
My Stir-Fry Sauce:
3 Tbsp. Fresh Lime Juice
3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp. Fish Sauce or 1 tbsp. Soy Sauce, Worcestershire, Miso, or Hoisin
3 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar
3 Tbsp. Oyster Sauce
1 1/2 to 2 tsp. Sugar
1/4 tbsp. White Pepper
1 teaspoon Red Pepper Chili Sauce
Making the Stir-Fry Sauce
Mix the ingredients for your stir-fry sauce together and set aside.
Cook Your Meat
Pour a small amount of olive oil or stir fry oil in a frying pan. Place your meat in the frying pan and season with salt and pepper. Periodically stir until the meat is cooked. You can cook your meat first and then place on a warm plate and cover. I tend to cook my meat at the same time I am stir-frying the vegetables.
Stir-Fry Your Vegetables
Pour a small amount of olive oil or stir fry oil in a braising pan or wok. Add garlic and ginger and cook for about a minute. Add the carrots, onions, broccoli plus a tablespoon or two of the stir-fry sauce and cook until they almost reach the desired tenderness. Add the red pepper and zucchini and cook for another minute or two.
Boil Your Noodles
Boil noodles in lightly salted water until ‘al dente’, veering on the side of undercooked (you will be stir-frying them so avoid overcooking them now). Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent sticking. Set aside.
Bring together the sauce, meat, vegetables, and noodles
Add your cooked meat to your vegetable mixture and add your sauce. Then fold in the cooked noodles using two utensils to properly stir-fry. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the flavors are blended and everything is heated through. Be sure to take a taste test, as you may need to add more fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar or other ingredients to get the desired level of sweetness or heat.
Serve immediately topping with cilantro and a slice of lime. Have a small bowl of the Red Pepper Chili Sauce and extra slices of lime on the table so your guests can add more toppings. Plus make extras because it does warm over nicely!