There’s just something about rice noodles that seem so…. cool to me. Maybe it’s because they’re so different from the standard flour-based noodles I grew with under my German and Italian parents. The texture is so much more flimsy that the first time I had them it blew my mind. “These are noodles? Seriously?”

Stir Fry Some Veggies

I don’t cook with rice noodles that often and perhaps that’s what keeps it special for me; absence making the heart grow fonder and such. For New Years Eve I decided to cook my lady friend a special dinner of one of her favorite dishes: drunken noodle with thai iced tea. Both were a big success, but I felt the drunken noodle had room for improvement. It needed more veggies (reoccuring theme in my life), so I decided to give it another shot with my own spin. The second time around was an improvement but I still wanted more vegetables so I’ve modified the recipe accordingly. My new best friend cauliflower is making another appearance.

Noodley Goodness

Drunken Noodles get their name not from the inclusion of alcohol but for the vast amounts of liquid you’ll need to get through the heat. As I mentioned in my last post, I can’t handle much spice in my food so I really brought this one down in intensity. Thai chiles are friggin’ HOT and I made the folly of trying a piece after chopping a few. This….. did not go well. If you’re more manly than I am then just up the amount of these you use; up to a 1/4 cup (maybe more? good lord). The same goes with the Tien Tsin chiles. If you don’t have these, then don’t bother buying them just for this recipe. Just substitute in more thai chiles. This dish is great because you can adjust the amount of heat to your liking with little effort. I will definitely be coming back to this.

Mild Drunken Noodle with Many Veggies

Mild Drunken Noodle with Many Veggies
adapted from Epicurious

1 12 ounce package of rice flakes

4 tablespoons peanut oil
1 anaheim/cubanelo chile; cut into strips
2 green bell peppers; cut into strips
8 cloves of garlic; minced
1 Thai chile; chopped
4 Tien Tsin dried chili peppers
1 head of broccoli; cut broken into florets
1 head of cauliflower; broken into florets
1 large carrot; peeled and into small planks
1 pound ground chicken

1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup dark soy sauce
1/4 cup “regular” soy sauce (feel free to use low sodium. I did.)
1 tablespoon sweetener (splenda works but so does sugar)
1/2 cup fresh Thai or regular basil leaves

Cut the broccoli and cauliflower florets into small, roughly equal size pieces. The larger florets you’ll quarter, the mediums you’ll cut into thirds, etc.

Under high heat, heat two tablespoons of oil in a hot wok then add the bell peppers, cubanelo chile and thai chile. Stir fry until softened; about 1 minute. Add the dried peppers and half the garlic and cook briefly until fragrant, about 20 seconds, followed immediately by another table spoon of oil along with the broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. Continue to stir fry until vegetables begin to soften; 3-4 minutes. Move everything out of the wok into a bowl.

Bring the wok to medium-high heat. While reheating bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Heat the remaining table spoon of oil and garlic together until fragrant but not burning; one minute or less. Add the ground chicken and cook until “browned.”

At the same time you add the chicken to the wok, throw the rice flakes into the boiling water, stirring occasionally, these should only take a few minutes to boil; roughly the same time it takes to brown the chicken. These will stick and clump together very easily, so be sure to stir on occasion and add to the stir fry immediately after straining.

Once the chicken is ready, raise to high temperature and return the vegetables to the wok along with the rice flakes, sauces and sweetener. Cook until everything is heated and coated and the sauces have enough so the dish is wet but not runny. Once ready remove from heat

Serve with some chopped basil and tall glass of your beverage of choice.

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3 Responses to “Little Bit of Spice or a Lot – Mild Drunken Noodle with Many Veggies”

  1. Laurian Vega says:

    Ok. So I tried this one over the weekend. I looked over heaven and earth in the Blacksburg and Christiansburg area – no dark soy sauce. I think you are pulling one on me. Any suggestions for no dark soy sauce? Also, I don’t have access to those kinds of peppers. Suggestions?

  2. Chef Edwin says:

    Really? Is that Asian market still on Main Street across from Kroger? I would have put money down that they’d have it. It’s sometimes called Black Soy Sauce. Lydia over at Perfect Pantry has a nice write up on dark soy sauce, but basically it’s soy sauce that’s been aged more, usually with caramel or molasses added. I’d recommend trying standard soy sauce or possibly tamari.

    I’d recommend serrano peppers in place of the thai peppers. These are not quite as hot (note to self: perfect for me?) so you may want to adjust the amount depending on your preference. A green bell pepper could replace the anaheim in a pinch, but this has no heat to it. Consider a New Mexican chile or a Poblano.

  3. Jane says:

    this looks so delicious, probably especially because i’m stuck in class at 9:30pm and haven’t had dinner yet. i plan on trying this recipe soon.