Hed Chef: Get high on Thai drunken Mama Pad Kee Mao
There are several theories on the origins of Pad Kee Mao. A popular version circulating online, and my personal favourite, is that a drunkard, hungry after a session of boozing, whipped up this dish based on the ingredients he found in his fridge.
Among the variations of Pad Kee Mao, it seems the original one is stir-fried meat without noodles. Another variation sold by street vendors, Mama Pad Kee Mao, features instant noodles.
I used Thai holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum), known as kra pao in Thai. If you cannot find it, you can substitute it with the more easily available Thai basil (horapha in Thai).
- 3 garlic cloves
- 4 chilli padis
- 1 litre of water
- 3 packets of instant noodles (60g each)
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 small red onion (50g), sectioned
- 10g finger root (Kaempferia pandurata), thinly sliced
- 5 baby corn (60g), halved diagonally
- 60g oyster mushrooms, stems removed
- 1 red bell pepper (100g), thinly sliced
- 1 whole squid (200g), cleaned and sliced into 2cm by 5cm pieces
- 5 prawns (128g), shelled and deveined
- 60g beansprouts
- 50g green peppercorns
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- ½ tsp dark soya sauce
- 1 tbsp light soya sauce
- 60g Thai holy basil, pluck the leaves and discard the stems
- 1 lime, (50g), sectioned
1. Use a mortar and pestle to pound the garlic cloves and Thai chillies into a rough paste. (You can choose to chop the garlic and chilli together but I suggest you wear gloves).
2. Bring 1 litre of water to boil in a pot.
3. Place the instant noodles in the pot and boil for 30 seconds. Remove from water and place in colander to drain excess water.
4. In a clean frying pan, heat oil over medium heat.
5. Add the chilli and garlic paste and fry for 20 seconds. Add the onion and fry for 20 seconds, then add the finger root and fry for another 20 seconds.
6. Add the baby corn and fry for another 20 seconds. Add the oyster mushroom and fry for 30 seconds. Add the bell pepper and fry for 30 seconds.
7. Add the squid and fry for 15 seconds. Add the prawns and fry for 20 seconds.
8. Add the beansprouts and the green peppercorns, fry for 20 seconds.
9. Season with fish sauce, oyster sauce, dark soya sauce and light soya sauce.
10. Add the holy basil leaves and stir-fry for 15 seconds.
11. Serve immediately with lime wedges.
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