“What the hell is fish sauce…and why does it taste like death?”
- Monti Carlo, Masterchef Season 3
I don’t know about you, but I’m a big fan of Thai food. It’s tangy, sweet, funky, coconutty, savory, spicy…all kinds of good things wrapped up into one. One day I decided I should learn how to make Thai food rather than relying on take out from my local place. I started investigating different recipes and ingredients and then called my brother one day while perusing the Thai ingredients in the grocery store. “Hey Matt, what is fish sauce?” Now, what I’m about to do is for your own good, because what my brother told me can’t be forgotten. I’m not going to tell you how fish sauce is made. I’m going to leave it at, a lot of the Thai flavor that I categorize as “funk,” but is maybe better described as umami, comes from fish sauce. It’s pretty crucial.
After talking to my brother, I promptly put down the bottle of fish sauce I was holding and left the aisle. It would be another two years before I attempted Thai food. However, my love of Thai flavors held fast and I kept toying with the idea of a peanut sauce. I had some rice noodles lurking in the back of my pantry and I decided to finally bite the bullet and make something Thai-ish.
And when I say Thai-ish I mean that, rather than following a set recipe or emulating a particular dish, I made up a peanut sauce using Thai flavors that sounded good to me. They taste good too. So it looks like I’ve finally gotten over being totally creeped out by fish sauce. I’m now more on the level of “Well, if I don’t think too much about it, I suppose I can cook with it. Because it makes things delicious.”
As for my brother, he’s been soundly chastised for gleefully telling me something he knew I didn’t really want to know. I’m one of those people who wants to know most things in life. Is there mascara smeared all over my face? Tell me. Cheating boyfriend? I absolutely want to know. John Cusack is actually kind of a jerk? I’ll deal with it. Fish sauce? Nope. Stop right there. Mums the word.
- Peanut Sauce
- ½ C Peanut Butter, creamy
- 6 Tbsp Coconut Milk
- 1" Fresh Ginger, peeled
- 1 clove Garlic
- 1Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Lime Juice
- 1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp Fish Sauce
- 1 tsp packed Cilantro
- ½ tsp Sriracha
- 1 Package Pad Thai or Stir Fry Rice Noodles
- 1 Tbsp Grapeseed or Peanut Oil
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce, divided
- 2 large Chicken Breasts, sliced into thin strips
- 3 Green Onions, thinly sliced
- To Serve
- roughly ground Peanuts
- Lime Wedges
- sprouts, optional
- extra green onions
- Combine all the Peanut Sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If you need to thin it out a little more, try adding a little extra coconut sauce.
- Add the rice noodles to a bowl and cover in hot (not boiling) water. If you don't want to use water straight from the tap, make sure to not overheat the water or you'll end up with mushy noodles. Let the noodles soak for about 20 minutes.
- While the noodles are soaking, heat the oil in a large pan and whisk the eggs with the soy sauce. Cook the eggs in the hot oil then remove the eggs from the pan and set aside. Add the chicken to the oil, long with the remaining soy sauce and green onion and proceed to cook until the chicken is cooked through.
- Strain the water from the noodles and add the noodles to the pan, along with a few tablespoons of water. Cover the pan and let the noodles steam for about 1 minute. Remove the cover, stir the noodles and continue to cook, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes.
- If the consistency of the noodles is as desired after the five minutes, reduce the heat, stir in the egg and half of the peanut sauce, making sure all the strands get coated with the sauce. Feel free to add more sauce until you get the amount you like.
- Serve the noodles with the ground peanuts, extra sauce, lime, cilantro and green onion.
If you got all thai-ed up in this recipe, you may want to dip into these:
Spaghetti with Garlicky Breadcrumbs | Peaches Please
Cheater Pad Thai Recipe | Steamy Kitchen
Simple Thai Noodle Stir Fry | Veggie and the Beast Feast
Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce over Sweet Potato | Cookie & Kate
Thai Peanut Beef | Damn Delicious