Monday, February 21, 2011

Spicy Thai-Style Noodles

My trip to Chinatown yesterday was instigated by my desire to make one of the recipes I learned from Heidi Fink at the Truly Thai at Home cooking class Tiffaney and I took last month.

After blogging about it I couldn’t put off making something delicious any longer!  I checked with Heidi and she was happy to let me share this recipe with you, so I thought I’d better make it and test it out! :)


Ingredients (don’t let the long list freak you out!):

  • 1/2 lb medium tofu
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/8 tsp salt


  • 4 oz dried rice stick noodles, size medium (about 1/4 of a noodle package)


  • 2 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp Hoisin sauce
  • 3 tbsp palm sugar (a little over half of a disk) (can use brown sugar if palm sugar unavailable)
  • 2 tsp Sambal Oelek


  • 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 scallions (green onions), sliced thinly on the diagonal
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup snow peas, each pod sliced in half lengthwise
  • 2 cups fresh bean sprouts, rinsed and drained well
  • 1/4 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 3-4 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (2 limes)


If you don’t know what something on the above list is, leave me a comment and I will try to explain.  Aside from the palm sugar I have seen all of these items in the regular grocery stores.


Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Chop the tofu into small cubes (I patted it dry with paper towel first), place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, drizzle with the sesame oil and sprinkle with the salt. (I tossed lightly by hand). Bakes for 20-25 minutes, until tofu is sizzling and light gold in spots. Remove from the oven and set aside.


Soak the rice noodles in hot tap water for 20-30 minutes until pliable but not mushy.  Drain and set aside.


In a small pot, combine the fish sauce, water, soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, and palm sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves, about 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat, stir in Sambal Oelek, and set aside.


Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil and swirl to coast bottom of pan.  Add the garlic, stir once, and immediately add the scallions, red pepper and snow peas. Stir fry for about 3 minutes, until vegetables are softened a bit and garlic is fragrant.

Add the sauce, bring to a boil, then stir in the noodles. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring and tossing constantly until noodles are tender.  If pan gets too dry add a tablespoon or two of water and continue cooking until noodles are tender and silky.


Add the tofu and 1 1/2 cups of the bean sprouts and cook about a minute more until sprouts are starting to wilt.  Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with the peanuts and herbs (seems like a lot but use them all!). Drizzle on the fresh lime juice, trying to cover the noodles evenly. Garnish with the remaining bean sprouts and serve immediately.


Heidi lists this as two portions…you could easily stretch to three…or even more if using as a side dish instead of the main event.  The noodles can also be refrigerated and eaten as a cool salad (which is exactly what I have planned for the leftovers!).

This seems like a lot of work but honestly if you are prepared with all of your ingredients out ahead of time and your veggies and herbs prepped it all comes together in just over 30 minutes.  Heidi’s instructions are very clear and I had no trouble following along.

Once that platter hit the table and the obligatory food porn was done I dished almost half of that deliciousness into a bowl and went to town!  Tasted just like the in-class version (maybe even a little better…tee hee)!  Now that I have the sauce staples in my cupboard I’ll be likely to make this on a regular basis.


Also, for you tofu non-believers…give it a chance!  It’s only $2 if you don’t like it and it’s easily picked out. :) You could also substitute chicken or shrimp if you are really anti-tofu or unable to eat soy products.


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Christy said...

Looks absolutely fantastic! Can't wait to try it :) One question: how do you get the noodles to separate? Whenever I try this type of noodle they end up as a giant lump so I just boil them to keep them agitated and not clump together.

Jaime said...

Heidi said that if they clump it's probably a bad bag of noodles.

Also, the bags often say to use boiling water but she suggests just using hot tap water...then just sloosh the noodles with your fingers a few times during the soaking.

Make sure you only soak to "al dente" as well...because they will get mushy if they soak too long.