Pad See Yu. Who, me?


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Foodies will tell you the best Thai in New York (or maybe even the east coast) is Sripaphai. And yeah, it’s good, and I’m no expert on Thai food. But I will tell you the best Thai iced tea, pineapple fried rice, and nearly the best pad see yu I’ve ever had are a few blocks down Jamaica Avenue at Thai Kitchen. I can only speak to the fact that this is the most satisfying Thai in my dining history, out of probably two dozen venues.

Anyway, so I’m a poor freelancer, and I really wanted Thai, but it was a lean week. Thank golly the internet will tell you how to make your own rice noodles and pad see yu.

Just soak a cup of rice in a cup of water overnight in the fridge. Next day, whir that thing in a blender until it looks like milk.

Now in the recipe I just linked to, they recommend a double boiler. I’m poor, so here’s what I did to keep the thing moist yet hot. I have two Anchorware glass pans. I oiled the smaller one, put an inch of water in the larger one, then put the smaller in the larger. I put my rice slurry in the oiled pan, and covered it all with an aluminum cooking pan large enough to cover the whole shebang. Into the oven it went on high.

Making rice noodles at home

The result was pretty perfect. You just lift the top aluminum every ten minutes, add a layer of oil, another layer of rice slurry, and continue until you’ve got a pan full of thick rice noodles.

Let it rest for a few minutes. It will get more cohesive as it cools.

While it cools, heat a large frying pan or wok, add a little bit of oil (not a lot!) for a crushed garlic clove, and some onions or scallions if you like. Then add the raw chicken and broccoli, and turn the heat to low. Cover. You might want to add a little soy sauce & lime juice before you do, or a tablespoonful of water, just so things stay moist. If you’re going to use cashews or peanuts in your pad see yu, add them at the beginning so they soften.

You'll have rice noodle sheets you can cut into ribbons

You can throw the noodle ribbons straight into the pan. At this time you want to add the softer ingredients: peppers, cucumbers, etc. You’ll also want to add the lime juice and soy sauce if you haven’t already. I used a little Srichacha hot sauce, but honestly, I think it distracts from the flavor. Add a little straight hot sauce if you must go for the zip. Cover again for a minute or two, lifting occasionally to stir.

Lemongrass goes great here if you have it

Finally, take the lid off, and wait for the water to boil away while you keep pushing everything around. I like one last dose of soy sauce & lime juice here. You don’t have to use cilantro, but this is when I add it. I might also add some more chopped onion, to get that intermediate point between raw and cooked. Add an egg and keep stirring.

Pad see yu sees you

Once the egg congeals, you’re done. Take everything out and add some raw onion (this might be too much for some folks, but this is how it’s served). sliced tomato, sliced cucumber (the cool vegetables are a delightful treat in the middle of the hot food), and your last shpritz of lime juice.

Oh honey, it's courtin' time

Final thought: don’t use as much lime juice as it sounds like from this recipe. It goes a long way and can really overpower a recipe. Stick to half a lime or a whole small one if you intend to boil off a lot of it quickly as it cooks.

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