My favorite cuisine, hands down, is Thai food. One yummy dish is pad see ew. It is kind of similar to the Chinese dish, chow fun. Now, my dad taught me how to make chow fun. He also taught me how to make broccoli beef. So I just mixed the two and it's not quite pad see ew, but it's yummy. The great thing about cooking at home is you control the ingredients, so I can make this dish egg free and make sure nothing with peanuts is even close to it. Eggs and peanuts are Mr. A's two serious food allergies.
Meat: I used sirloin tips, but you can use whatever cut of beef (chicken, pork, or anything) you like. I slice the meat into thin strips but slices work too. Mr. A has trouble chewing larger pieces of meat. When I cut them into short, thin strips, he ends up eating more (which is pretty much always my goal as a mother). Here's a marinating and tenderizing trick I learned from my dad - baking soda. Foam it up with soy sauce, add a little water, then stir in the meat, and let it soak for at least 20 minutes, or even overnight.
Rice noodles: My local Asian market has fresh rice noodles. "Hu tieu" (Vietnamese) or "chow fun" (Chinese) noodles are cut about 1/2" wide. Pad thai noodles are thinner. There are also rice sheets and rice rolls. If fresh rice noodles are not a choice, there are dried rice noodles or refrigerated ones that can be substituted. Disclaimer: I've never used the dried or refrigerated ones so I'm not sure how the soaking in water and then pan frying will work out.
Veggies: I like to use a bag of TJ frozen broccoli florets. Super easy, all cut and ready to go. Fresh broccoli works just fine, as does Chinese broccoli "kai-lan". Kai-lan tends to be more fibrous and difficult for Mr. A to chew, so I stick to regular broccoli.
Other flavorings: Oyster sauce, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce (if you can't find this, just substitute with light soy sauce), garlic powder, ginger powder (optional), salt, pepper, sugar. Oh and this is probably a good time to mention that when I cook, I eyeball everything. You know how Rachael Ray does a palm full of this, I'm worse than that. I sprinkle and it looks good to me. I'm trying to write down some recipes here with actual measurements so when I'm cooking, I'm trying to take note and approximate how much of each ingredient I'm using.
Rice Noodles with Broccoli BeefIngredients:
3/4 lb sirloin tips (or whatever cut of beef, chicken, anything you prefer)
1 lb broccoli florets (or kai-lan)
2 lb rice noodles
3 T dark soy sauce
2 T light soy sauce
2 T oyster sauce
1/8 t baking soda
1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 t ginger powder
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t corn starch
1/2 t salt
1/2 t sugar
3 T vegetable oil
1/3 c water
- Slice meat in short, thin strips. In a glass bowl, put 1/8 teaspoon baking soda and pour 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce over. Baking soda should foam. Add more dark soy sauce if some of the baking soda has not foamed. Add 2 tablespoons of water. Add meat and stir. Cover and leave to marinate in refrigerator at least 20 minutes, up to overnight. Just before cooking, add 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/8 teaspoon ginger powder, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon corn starch. Mix well.
- Separate noodles.
- Cut broccoli into florets or about 2 inch pieces.
- Heat a large soup pot or wok on high heat. When hot, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Tilt pot to spread out oil over cooking surface. Add meat - spread meat evenly over cooking surface and cook for 2 minutes. Flip meat over and cook an additional 2 minutes. Stir meat around. Meat should be about 60% cooked. Remove from pot and set aside in a bowl. (Meat will continue to cook in bowl and we will also return the meat to the pot to cook in the end.)
- Replace pot on high heat. Add another tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add rice noodles. Do not stir. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/8 teaspoon ginger powder on top. Cook for 1-2 minutes until noodles at the bottom are crispy and brown. Stir. If noodles are sticking, add another tablespoon of vegetable oil. Cook for another minute. Add 1 tablespoon light soy sauce and 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce. Stir until soy sauce is evenly distributed. Remove noodles from pot and set aside.
- Replace pot on high heat. Add 1/3 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce. Add broccoli and cover. Cook broccoli until soft. (Fresh broccoli or kai-lan will take longer than defrosting frozen florets.)
- While broccoli cooks, dissolve corn starch in 1 tablespoon of water. Make a slurry. When broccoli is to desired softness, return meat to pot. Stir and cook for about 30 seconds. In center of pot, pour half of corn starch slurry in. Stir. Sauce should begin to thicken. If you would like the sauce thicker, add some more of the slurry.
- Return noodles to the pot. Stir until well combined.