My Lovely Tasting Assistant (LTA) and I were recently enjoying a $5.75 dish of pad see ew at a local Thai Town restaurant here in LA, as we have many times before. And every time we gawk at the deliciousness of what seems to be such a simple dish.... rice noodles, meat or shrimp, chinese broccoli and some kind of mildly sweet sauce.
"We should try to make this at home," my LTA says to me, as she does every single time we eat out.
Suddenly I was hit over the head by a profound amount of obviousness... we are in Thai Town! There is in fact a thai grocery store inside that same minimall in which we were enjoying our noodles. We pay our bill ($7.25 with tip) and skirt on over to the store next door.
We find our way to the rice noodles-- a pre-hydrated, vacuum sealed package, enough for 5-6 servings, for $1.75. A lovely Thai mama must have noticed our curiosity as she said to us "you make pad see ew?" We said, simultaneously, "Yes!" She said, "You know how?" "No!" "I show you. Follow me!"
She piles into our arms a bunch of Chinese broccoli ($1.20), several different bottles of stuff-- Fish sauce ($1.25), sweet black bean sauce ($1.25) and oyster sauce ($1.50).
"Now you cook together garlic, chicken and egg first, add sauce. Then add noodles and broccoli. A little sugar. Delicious!"
With that, she disappeared in a puff of culinary haste.
After she left, one of the grocery clerks took the bottle of sweet black bean sauce out of my arms and said "for pad see ew, don't use sweet sauce". Hmm.... okay, I'm not fond of overly sweet pad see ew so I'm fine with adding my own sugar afterward. It's just that the Thai mama really seemed to know what she was talking about. Against my better judgment, I bought the non-sweet black bean sauce (it was exactly the same brand as the sweet sauce, with a slightly different label)
So now we have made several batches of the stuff and while it has been right tasty, it hasn't quite captured the magic of the restaurant version. Of course we don't have the heavy duty stove to capture the char and sear of "wok hey", but I think even without that, our sauce ratios and/or method is just not quite right.
Does anyone here know of a really good recipe for pad see ew?