© Copyright 1995-2020, Clay Irving <email@example.com>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA
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Recipe from: Colonel Ian F. Khuntilanont-Philpott
This dish is traditionally made in Thailand from phak khana, which is variously translated in English as "Chinese Broccoli" and "Chinese Kale". This is a brassica with the botanical name Brassica oleracea. In the past my wife & I have found this hard to find in the West, and so this recipe uses conventional Broccoli, This is widely available now in Thailand (albeit rather expensive). However the variety available here has rather a lot of stalk and leaves when you buy it, and the Thais are not inclined to waste food, so this is the conventional preperation here (if phak khana is available, then, of course, use it.)
The noodles are the broad rice ribbon noodles, known in Thailand as sen yai (about 2 cm wide). Of course if these are not available then any noodles can be substituted, and the Italian fettucini styles are as good a substitute as any.
The bai magkroot and bai kaprao (lime and basil leaves), can be considered optional.
The prik yuet is a mild sweet chili often called the Thai bell pepper, and if it isn't available then bell peppers may be substituted.
The thickening agent used is arrowroot, but you could easily use cornstarch or rice starch instead.
The MSG is of course optional.
Maggi Seasoning is a dark (almost black) sauce derived from soy sauce, and widely used as a seasoning in the orient. It is freely available in specialty and oriental groceries in the West (not surprising as Maggi, part of the Nestle group is a Swiss company).
Finally let me say that kuaitiao dishes are common 'hawker' food in Thailand and are usually prepared fairly blandly. The bowl of noodles is then seasoned to taste from the seasonings on the table. As a rough guide I include my wife's final preparation at the end of the method.
1 cup of pork loin, thinly sliced, and cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup of sen yai, soaked until soft in warm water (10 minutes).
one and a half cups of broccoli
quarter of a cup of bai magkroot (kaffir lime leaves), shredded
quarter of a cup of bai kaprao (holy basil leaves), shredded
quarter cup of mushrooms
1 cup of water or pork stock
3 tablespoons of fish sauce
2 tablespoons of dark sweet soy sauce
2 tablespoons of Maggi seasoning
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder, mixed in a little water
1 tablespoon of garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon of MSG
1 teaspoon freshly milled black pepper
Combine the Maggi sauce, fish sauce and soy sauce, and add the pepper and MSG, and marinade the meat for about one hour, before draining, reserving the marinade.
While the noodles are soaking to soften them, prepare the broccoli, by cutting up three quarters of a cup of florets, and peeling then slicing the stems, and chopping the leaves, to form three quarters of a cup of thinly sliced stems and leaves.
Shred the basil and lime leaves.
In a large skillet or wok, over medium heat, sauté the garlic in a little oil, and then stir fry the noodles until they begin to turn brown. (Stir continuously, as they are likely to stick in a glutinous mass if you are lax at this point).
Remove them, and turn the heat to high, and briefly stir fry the pork to seal it.
In a large saucepan, heat the water or stock, stir in and boil briefly, the marinade, and add the arrowroot to thicken, then add the meat, and other ingredients except the noodles, and stir occasionally until the meat and vegetables are nearly cooked to your taste. Add the noodles and continue to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes to complete the dish.
Serve in individual bowls.
At this stage the chef's contribution is effectively done. The following however is my wife's procedure at this stage:
Add 1 tablespoon of prik phom (powdered prik ki nu daeng - red birdseye chilis), and a tablespoon of prik dong - red chilis marinaded in rice vinegar, and a little more sugar.
Then taste, and if necesary add fish sauce, sweet soy, and additional red chilis and pickled chilis. If available you might also add a little pickled ginger and pickled garlic.
The obvious cautions apply to following this last stage blindly: at this point the clear sauce has turned fiery red and the heat of the chilis is accentuated by the vinegar... The general method however is appropriate, but you might care to procede more cautiously!