I have a memory associated with most of my cookbooks knowing that I purchased the book for a specific recipe, Food Network star or I remember who gave it to me and when or why. This particular cookbook: Terrific Pacific Cookbook: The Vibrant Foods of Thailand, Bali, Singapore, Australia, Vietnam, and Malaysia was a wedding gift along with a really cool cutting board.
And I’m really glad I opened this book back up (it had been awhile) for my cookbook project! The first recipe I tried was MEE KROB, an authentic Thai dish with crispy fried rice noodles. I wasn’t in the mood to fry, so I adapted this recipe slightly and Curtis and I both loved it. It tasted as good as take-out Thai, but not nearly as greasy and I was able to add extra veggies to the recipe. On day two, I added some broccoli and more tofu to the leftovers and had another complete dinner. We also had a cabbage, fennel, onion and cucumber salad – a recipe I saw in the December issue of Food & Wine.
I thumbed through the book and found several more recipes I’d like to try. In fact I feel out of fairness I should make at least one recipe from each region, but I’ll try to plow through a few more of my cookbooks before I come back to this one.
Note: I bought my rice noodles at Safeway but they were a rip off. I’d recommend stocking up at an Asian market such as Uwajimaya.
MEE KROB (Stir Fried Rice Noodles with Pork, Chicken, Tofu and Shrimp)
Adapted from Terrific Pacific Cookbook
Rice Vermicelli Noodles (8 oz.)
Coconut Oil, Ghee or high heat oil
¼ cup garlic, chopped
1 whole shallot, chopped
6 oz. shrimp
4 oz. chicken breast, thinly sliced
4 oz. lean ground pork
4 oz. tofu, diced
¾ cup light coconut milk
¼ cup Asian fish sauce
2 tablespoons Thai yellow bean sauce (Safeway didn’t have this, so I skipped it this time. Will look for it at an Asian market).
2 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon ketchup
1 ½ teaspoons soy sauce
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 ½ tablespoons light brown sugar
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Kale, about 5 leaves, chopped
2 carrots, thinly sliced
Fresh cilantro leaves
Green onion, diced
Julienned red bell pepper
1. Soak the rice noodles in hot tap water for 30 minutes. Stir them to make sure they don’t stick together. Drain in a colander and set aside.
2. Chop, dice and slice all your spices, meats and veggies to have them ready to toss in the stir fry.
3. Make the sauce by whisking together the ingredients listed from the fish sauce to the red pepper flakes.
4. Heat a wok over high heat. Add oil and slowly add in all the ingredients starting with the pork and shallots, then the chicken, veggies, a few handfuls of noodles at a time (so they’ll soak up the sauce), tofu and garlic. Add the shrimp last so it doesn't overcook and stir fry for about 3 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the chicken. Alternatley pour in the sauce and coconut milk as you’re adding ingredients (Your kitchen is going to smell amazing!).
5. Use tongs to dish up the stir fried noodles and serve with garnishes.
Recipe #2 from Project Cookbook: My 2012 New Year’s Resolution to cook at least one recipe from every cookbook I own.