Street Style Tom Yum Noodles
One of the most readily found dishes in Thailand is this Tom Yum brothy street noodle. I call this Thai ramen. The broth isn't as thick as Japanese ramen but it is richer because of the nuts, sugar, and fried garlic.
The fun of this is to keep the dishes small. Most people eat 2-3 bowls in a sitting and its all about the toppings here. It's fun to watch different vendors assemble their dishes. Pork is king in Thailand is that definitely applies here. Minced pork and broth is mixed with ground nuts, sugar, fried garlic, dried chili flakes, and vinegar. This type of Tom Yum is specific to street noodles and is made sour with vinegar. The red Tom Yum broth that you see at restaurants is galangal and lemongrass broth and made tangy with fresh squeeze lime mixed with shrimp tomalley - a recipe we will get to later.
For this, the broth is extremely basic for this recipe's purposes. A lot of the flavor comes from the spread of toppings, my favorite and most crucial being the choice of fried garlic. You could make our own fried garlic but I love the shelf life and readiness as pre-made fried garlic. For this recipe I used dried rice noodles because I always have those in my pantry. Street vendors offer all sorts of noodles from fresh egg noodles to varying thickness to chewy bouncy egg noodles.
Earlier this week when I made this dish, I used fresh egg noodles and beefed up the broth with mushrooms. It was late and I had just came home from the gym. It was starving and this dish hit all the spots.
Then fun of this dish is the flexibility to dietary restrictions it is. A lot of the flavor and body come from the mix of toppings.
Note for my gluten free readers - Feel free to substitute soy sauce for fish sauce and adjust with sugar to taste. Use rice noodles instead of egg noodles.
Note for my vegetarian readers - Use vegetable broth in place of the mince meat broth and sliced mushrooms. Season with light soy sauce to taste.
Sen Mee Tom Yum Noodle
1/2 lb of ground pork or chicken thigh
6 cups of water
1/2 cup Soy Sauce, Golden Mountain works best but fish sauce can also be substituted here
1/4 cup of sliced scallions
1/4 cup of cilantro
1/4 cup of fried garlic, store bought works great
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of dried chili flakes
1/4 chilli vinegar (with sliced garlic and sliced chillis. fresnos/jalepeno/thai bird chillis)*
1/4 cup of chopped dry roasted salted peanuts
2 tablespoons of cilantro
2 cups of bean sprouts
6oz of dried rice noodles, Wai Wai Noodles is my preferred brand
1. Soak the rice noodles in cold water for 20 minutes. Trim noodles in half so they aren't too long and difficult to eat.
2. In the meantime, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add the ground pork to the hot water and mix so that the meat breaks up a little bit. Season with soy sauce and salt (4tbsp and 1tsp respectively is a good start) to taste. Let boil for 10 minutes.
3. Flash boil the noodles and beansprouts in a separate pot hot water. Letting it cook for 1-2 minutes. Portion it out into 4 bowls.
3. In an empty bowl, add one tablespoon of each: sugar, fried garlic, chopped nuts, vinegar, and how ever much of the chili flakes you think you can handle. Some chili flake brands are spicier than others. Thai chili flakes are much more spicy than Italian, just FYI. Ladle in one cup of hot minced meat broth and mix and pour soup mixture over the flash boiled beansprout noodle. Repeat this for each individual bowl.
4. Garnish with scallions and cilantro and serve with extra condiments.