Sunday, June 12

Chang Mai Style Spicy Pork and Prawn Noodles

There are times when your body cries out for something spicy and yesterday was one of those days.   A quick trip to Teoh's Oriental supermarket yielded the goods required and a Northern Thai style noodle dish was on the cards.    I cannot urge you enough to seek out these ethnic shops, there is a mind boggling treasure trove of inspiration to be had - and really cheap.    I think I spent £10 total on this dish and I could easily feed four.   You can keep this dish seasonal by varying the vegetables added to suit the time of year - try a juilliene of root vegetables in winter or a fistful of leafy stuff in spring.

To cook this dish I used my trusty and truly massive 40cm non-stick frying pan.   Most chefs will tell you that there are two or three pieces of equipment that they use day in, day out.   This pan is one of those.   Unless you cook chinese food regularly, stuff buying a wok, get one of these bad boys from Nisbets (, product code: S339).   I cook everything in mine from massive fry-ups to spag-bol, pancakes and drop scones to searing sunday roast joints....and of course, they are fantastic for stir-fry.   To serve 3 to 4 people:

Quality Pork Chop - 1x 200g
Small Cooked Prawns - 200g
Mixed crunchy vegetables such as green beans, carrot, spring onion, bok choi etc - 200g
Thai roasted chilli paste - 1 tbsp
Indonesian Sambal Olek Paste - 2 tbsp
Garlic - 2 cloves (finely minced)
Lime Juice - 1/2
Fish Sauce - 1 to 2 tbsp 
Sugar - 1 tsp
Fresh Coriander - 1 generous bunch
Thai Sweet or Italian Basil - 1 handful
Wide Rice Noodles - 200g
Vegetable Oil - 2 tbsp plus more to oil your noodles

The rule for all stir-fries is to prep your ingredients before you start.   Cook hot and quick.   So blanch off your noodles in boiling water for approx 4 mins or until just soft and nice to eat (taste one if you are unsure).   Drain and refresh in lots of cold water.   Drain again and oil the noodles with a little veg oil to stop them sticking together.

Next remove any rind and bone from your pork chop and roughly blitz in a food processor or hand chop to make a rough mince.   Wash your coriander and basil and chop the roots and stems very finely, chop the leaves more roughly and set both aside.   Slice all your veg ensuring that the longer cooking items such as carrots and onions are sliced very thinly.

Fire up the stove and heat your pan.   Add the oil and the chilli paste and begin to gently fry mashing the paste into the oil.   Next add the hard veg such as carrots etc and the garlic - fry for a couple of minutes.   Throw in the pork mince and continue to cook and break up the meat until it resembles course meaty crumbs.    Throw in all the remaining ingredients except the noodles and the herb leaves (the stems go in now) and stir fry over a hot heat for a minute or two until all is piping hot.   Toss in your noodles to warm through adding your herb leaves at the last minute to preserve their colour and fresh flavour.    Check the seasoning and add more sugar, lime or fish sauce to your taste.

Serve immediately with a cold Singha lager to cool the burn!

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