My hometown of Korat is about three hours east of Bangkok. Some people call it “the gateway to Isaan” because it’s one of the biggest cities in the northeastern part of Thailand. Farming is popular there, so all around you’ll see lush green fields where they grow rice. Even my grandpa was a rice farmer. The famous noodle dish in Bangkok is pad thai, of course, but in Korat we have our own style, pad Korat—it’s a little more on the spicy, savory, and saucy side. I cooked pad Korat all the time for the kids growing up. If there was meat or seafood tossed in, that meant Daddy had some money, but if it was getting near the end of month, sometimes it would be made with just vegetables. Either way, it reminds me of home.
These days, I cook Korat noodles for Chrissy, Luna, and Miles at least twice a week and my claim to fame is that I can make it with just about anything we have in the fridge—chicken, beef, tofu, eggs, vegetables. All I need are some pad ai rice noodles and my cupboard of sauces. The possibilities are endless. Instead of soaking the dried noodles beforehand, I add them to the wok with the sauce, so they soak up all the sweet and savory goodness in the pan. At the very end I toss in scallions and bean sprouts so they stay fresh and crunchy, then serve the noodles with lime wedges and chile powder so everyone can tweak the spicy-sour flavor to their own taste.
Reprinted from The Pepper Thai Cookbook Copyright © 2021 by Vilailuck Teigen. Photographs copyright © 2021 by Jenny Huang. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 teaspoon Roasted Chile Powder (recipe below)
½ pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (2 to 3 thighs), cut into bite-size pieces (see Note)
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons Thai soybean paste, or 4 teaspoons brown miso paste mixed with 2 teaspoons water
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or the brine from any jar of pickled vegetables)
8 ounces dried vermicelli (thin rice stick noodles)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1½ cups bean sprouts
4 scallions, green parts only, cut into 1-inch pieces
Roasted Chile Powder
Fresh, easy, and vegetarian friendly!
Pepper's simple and delicious pork chop recipe.
Crispy rice chips on top FTW.