Monday, May 19, 2008

Isan Chicken Noodle Sauce

This sauce contains krachai, also called wild ginger, which, combined with the red curry paste, gives it a wonderful spicy flavour. It is one of the best Asian noodle sauces that I have eaten, spicy and flavourful. This recipe comes from Isan, a province in the North East of Thailand. Asian noodle dishes are done differently than Western versions, you cook the noodles and place them on a plate, along with other vegetables (we used blanched long beans, cucumbers, and shredded Chinese cabbage); each person then takes a little bit of warm, sometimes cold, noodles and some vegetables, and pours the heated sauce over all this. Quite a good introduction to this interesting root.

Isan Chicken Noodle Sauce
250 gms thin rice noodle
500 gms Chicken Leg, Thigh or Breast with Skin
4 garlic cloves, whole
2 medium onions
10 gms Chopped Krachai
4 Kaffir Lime Leaves
2 Tbsp Fish Sauce, divided
1 Tbsp red curry paste
1 tsp sugar
1 spring onion, diced
500 ml Water
500 ml Coconut Milk

Prepare the noodles according to package directions.

Boil the water together with the fish sauce, whole garlic cloves, onions cut into halves, and krachai.

Once it's boiling, add the chicken pieces and cook for 30 minutes.

When the chicken is done, remove the chicken from the sauce and set aside. When the meat is cool, shred the meat using a fork and discard the bones.

Remove the garlic, onion and krachai from the stock and pound them with the red curry paste. Add this back to the sauce.

Add the pulped tamarind paste and shredded chicken back into the sauce.

Add the coconut milk, sugar, fish sauce, kaffir leaves and spring onion, and boil for 10 more minutes.

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