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Recipe

Phat Si Ew (Stir-Fried Rice Noodles with Pork, Chinese Broccoli & Soy Sauce)

By Andy Ricker From Moveable Feast Season 218-220, Ep.Pok Pok
Austin Bush © 2013

Servings: 1 as a one-plate meal

A quick cook in a screaming-hot wok—what I now recognize to be the Chinese stir-fry technique—is the key to achieving the smoky, charred flavor common to the best versions of the dish. The recipe serves one; to make more, double or quadruple the ingredients, but cook each batch separately.

Ingredients

For the pork

  • 1-1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 small clove peeled garlic, lightly crushed into small pieces in a mortar
  • Scant 4 oz. boneless pork loin or lean shoulder, thinly sliced against the grain into bite-size (approximately 1/8-inch-thick) strips
  • 1/2 tsp. Thai fish sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. granulated sugar

For the noodles

  • 6 oz. fresh wide (about 1-1/2-inch), flat rice noodles
  • 1 Tbs. Thai thin soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. Thai black soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • Small pinch ground white pepper
  • 1 Tbs. Naam Man Krathiem (Fried-garlic oil) or Naam Man Hom Daeng (Fried-shallot oil)
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 11 grams peeled garlic cloves, halved lengthwise and lightly crushed into small pieces in a mortar (about 1 Tbs.)
  • 2 oz. baby Chinese broccoli, stems trimmed to 1 or 2 inches and clusters separated, or regular Chinese broccoli, leaves coarsely chopped and stems thinly sliced

Preparation

Cook the pork

  • Heat a wok over very high heat, add the oil, and swirl it in the wok to coat the sides. When it begins to smoke lightly, add the garlic, take the wok off the heat, and let the garlic sizzle, stirring often, until it’s fragrant but not colored, about 15 seconds.
  • Put the wok back on the heat, add the pork, and stir well. Then add the fish sauce and sugar and stir-fry (constantly stirring, scooping, and flipping the ingredients) until the pork is just cooked through, about 1 minute. Transfer the pork to a bowl. You can cover and refrigerate it for up to 2 days.

Prepare the noodles

  • Carefully separate the noodles. Unless you’ve found freshly made noodles, either microwave them briefly or briefly dunk them in boiling water (for a few seconds) just until they’re pliable enough to separate without crumbling. Drain them well before proceeding.

Stir-fry and serve the dish

  • Combine the thin and black soy sauces, sugar, and pepper in a small bowl and stir well.
  • Wipe out the wok, if necessary, then heat it over very high heat, add the garlic oil, and swirl it in the wok to coat the sides. When the oil begins to smoke lightly, crack in the egg. It should spit and sizzle violently and the whites should bubble and puff. Cook without messing with it until the egg turns light golden brown at the edges, about 30 seconds. Flip the egg (it’s fine if the yolk breaks), push it to one side of the wok (up the wall of the wok is fine).
  • Add the noodles and cook for 15 seconds or so, prodding and stirring them lightly them so they spread out a bit and don’t clump together. Add the garlic and cook for 15 seconds or so, stirring to mix and to break up the noodles and egg slightly. Add the Chinese broccoli and stir-fry (constantly stirring, scooping, and flipping the ingredients) until the leaves just begin to wilt, about 15 seconds.
  • Add the pork, then the soy sauce mixture (add a splash of water, if necessary, to make sure nothing’s left behind in the bowl), and stir-fry, letting the egg break up as you do, until the pork is heated through and the noodles have had a chance to absorb the liquids, about 1 minute. Transfer it to a plate and season to taste with the fish sauce, sugar, vinegar-soaked chiles, and chile powder.

Tip

The ideal Chinese broccoli for phat si ew is the young, thin-stemmed kind that’s sometimes called gai lan miew (essentially, “little Chinese broccoli”) or gai lan “tips” and occasionally labeled choy sum. (The term choy sum essentially means “small shoots” and is used to refer to many different vegetables in their young form.) If you can’t find this type, you can make do with the thick-stemmed version.Reprinted with permission from Pok Pok by Andy Ricker with JJ Goode, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

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