Thursday, January 15, 2009
Thai Rice Noodle Bowls
Is it soup yet? Not as we know it, but this soupy noodle bowl, or a variation of it, can be found in cafes and on street corners throughout Asia. This is the ultimate DIY meal. Pick a noodle, some protein and a vegetable and you have a meal in minutes. I use wide rice noodles here; they're paired with leftover chicken in a broth flavored with Thai fish sauce. I do fuss a little and make my own crisp fried garlic . It's available in some grocery stores but what you buy is no match for what can be made at home. Make no mistake about it - this dish is about noodles that happen to find themselves floating in a little broth. It's really not a soup. If you're still trying to overcome holiday indulgences this light but filling noodle bowl will really hit the spot.
Thai Rice Noodle Bowl
1/2 pound wide dried rice noodles
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 heaping tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
5 cups chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 cups chopped cooked chicken, shrimp or pork
1/4 cup Thai fish sauce
1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
3 scallions (white and tender green), thinly sliced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1) Bring three quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Remove from heat. Add dried rice noodles and let sit until tender enough to eat, about 10 minutes. Rinse with cold water. Drain and set aside.
2) Heat oil in a small skillet until it shimmers. Add garlic and cook until it is golden brown. Pour oil and garlic into a small heatproof bowl. Set aside.
3) Bring chicken broth to a boil. Add chicken, pepper flakes if using, fish sauce and black pepper; simmer until meat is heated through, about 2 minutes.
4) Divide noodles among 4 soup bowls. Top each serving with reserved garlic and oil mixture. Ladle broth and chicken over noodles; sprinkle with scallions and cilantro. Yield: 4 servings.
Adapted from a recipe by Nancie McDermott
I sending this recipe on to Presto Pasta Night sponsored by Ruth at Once Upon A Feast. This week's event is hosted by Ivy at Kopiaste.