Sometimes something happens that you just can’t get out of your head.
It could be someone you meet or a place you visit, or even something that seems so much more mundane like a food you eat. But for whatever reason it speaks to you.
Last year on our trip to Thailand, Mike and I fell in love with the weekend market in Phuket (scroll down toward the bottom of this post for pictures of it). So much that we went back the very next day.
The food at the local market was delicious, unbelievably cheap, and the perfect way to get to sample a variety of authentic Thai fare. My favorite dish there (and undoubtedly the best noodles I’ve ever had) was this. And since then, those noodles have pervaded my thoughts.
Noodle Vendor at the Local Market in Phuket, Thailand Last Summer
The lady making the noodles asked us what kind of noodles we wanted; we chose the egg noodles on the far right in the photo above. After that she asked us if we wanted meat (we chose chicken), and then she worked her magic. She added a few veggies (not many at all, truth be told…I definitely remember bean sprouts and scallions, but I don’t think anything else), and a sweet/spicy/salty/umami soy sauce that was all kinds of wonderful. Her noodles also had egg (which I didn’t add to my noodles here, but go ahead and do it for extra protein!) and crushed peanut on top.
Isn’t this elephant salt and pepper shaker set adorable? The lady I bought them from in Thailand told me that elephants symbolize luck and fortune in Thai culture.
It’s impossible for me to describe those noodles we had in Thailand. Suffice to say, they were exquisite in a messy-food-but-its-so-good-who-cares-if-you-have-noodles-on-your-face kind of way.
This Thai-Inspired Soy Sauce Noodles with Vegetables and Chicken is my answer to her masterpiece noodle dish. I upped the veggies (come on, it’s me…of course I did), but my main concern was keeping the integrity of her sauce intact. Flavor-wise, I did a pretty good job of it. The one difference I noted was that her noodles were saucier than mine; there’s an easy fix for that (go a bit heavy-handed on all the liquids in the recipe), but with high-sodium components like soy sauce, oyster sauce, and fish sauce, I kept this dish a bit lighter on the sauce so the sodium level here isn’t quite so through the roof. (By all means though, do what you have to do and up the sauce if need be! I promise I’m not judging…and don’t tempt me because I may just join you. ;) )
This recipe is a great way to use leftover or rotisserie chicken, but just about any protein would be good; steak and shrimp are fabulous, and tofu would also be tasty.
So the next time you’re in the mood for Thai, I highly recommend this dish. It brought me back to our time in Thailand.
- 2-3 cloves garlic, grated or crushed
- 1 tablespoon fresh-grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- ½ to 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
- ½ lb (250 g) thin Asian egg noodles (or any noodles you like, cooked to al dente)
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- ¾ lb (340 g) thinly sliced green cabbage
- 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 medium-large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- ¾ lb (340 g) boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked (you can use leftover or rotisserie chicken)
- 2 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons peanuts, finely chopped
- Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
- Fresh lime wedges, for squeezing on top
- Whisk together all ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
- If you’re using thin Asian egg noodles, bring a medium-large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, salt the water and then add the noodles. Cook until they’re al dente, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain immediately.
- Heat the sesame oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cabbage, onion, and red bell pepper and cook (uncovered) until tender, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir the sauce, chicken, and noodles into the vegetables and cook until everything is warm, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Serve with any garnishes you like.