It hit me about a week ago that I’m pregnant. Last week I was 35 out of hopefully 40 weeks of pregnancy—took me awhile to catch on.
Last Monday I pulled my hip running my usual run. It now hurts to walk, so I officially waddle like a hardcore pregnant woman. And I have a chest cold, so whenever I laugh it sounds like I’m a smoker with rattley lungs.
Then as I waddled and coughed, it struck me that I’m going to be a mom in about a month. I have no clue how to be a mom?! Yup, my hormones decided to take over and cast a grey cloud of fear and doubt over my usual sunny disposition.
It wasn’t one of my best weeks.
But then Dom requested Pad Kee Maw, which is Stir-Fried Drunken Noodles. Thais like to eat it when they are drunk or hung over or something. We don’t really know how the name started. All I know is Pad Kee Maw and I have a special relationship.
After a hard day teaching in Bangkok or just wishing someone understood my Thai, it always restored joy to my soul with every spicy, comforting bite of wide, slick rice noodles, thai chili peppers, chicken, baby corn, and my favorite part, Thai basil.
Alas, we didn’t have all those ingredients this week, but we did have the essentials: the basil, the noodles, the sauces and the thai chili peppers. For the rest, I made do with what I could find in the fridge: ground turkey, red pepper and broccoli.
As we sat to eat the steaming plate of beauty before us, my woes and worries still sat right on top of me.
But that didn’t stop me from digging in. I took my first bite. Wow. It was one of those bites that makes you sigh and close your eyes right after you swallow because you feel so satisfied and content. And each bite after that made the sun pierce my clouds and shine—brighter and brighter.
Of course Pad Kee Maw didn’t make my hip better or lift the cloud forever.
But I did make a lot of it. And after eating it each night, it makes my tears dry up a little faster, along with a dose of reassurance, love and prayers from my awesome Thai hubby the sun does shine longer. I hope it does the same for you. Let me know.
Having a cloudy day? Making Stir-Fried Drunken Noodles will make your sun shine again!
- 2-3 servings of wide rice noodles, or any noodles you have on hand
- 1.5 pounds of ground turkey (or sliced chicken breast or beef or pork or tofu)
- 6 smashed garlic cloves
- 7 smashed Thai chili peppers (more or less depending on your heat tolerance)
- 3 tbsp. of green peppercorns, if you have them, if not it's ok
- 1 can of baby corn, sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 head of broccoli crowns
- 1 red pepper, finely sliced
- 2 1/2-3 tbsp. of oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp. of fish sauce or Thai white soy sauce
- 1.5-2 tsp. of black soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. of sugar
- 2 cups of holy basil leaves and flowers (or sweet basil)
- If using rice noodles, soak them for about 30 minutes in warm water before use. If using other noodles, cook them with provided directions.
- Warm cooking oil in your wok or pan. Add peppercorns, smashed chilies and garlic. Stir until fragrant and garlic starts to brown.
- Add meat or tofu to the pan and cook until done.
- Drain noodles if they were soaking. Add to pan or wok.
- If there isn't already some liquid in your wok, add 2-3 tbsp. of water at a time to cook the noodles. Be careful! If you add too much water it will get mushy.
- Once noodles are soft, try to always keep them spread out as much as possible in the pan so they don't clump together. Adding some cooking oil can help.
- After noodles are cooked, add veggies and all the sauces. Adjust flavor to make your favorite balance of spicy, sweet and savory.
- Toss in the holy basil, and turn off the pan. Stir until it’s wilted and enjoy!
You can use whatever veggies you have on hand---I think mushrooms, cabbage or carrots also work well.
Be careful with the rice noodles. If you are making more than two servings, I recommend making only two servings at a time in your wok to prevent the noodles from clumping up together.