Rad Nar Noodle

Last week, a Thai student group on campus, Pad Thai, had its first meeting of the school year. I made vegetarian Rad Nar, a fried rice noodle topped with Chinese broccoli in gravy sauce for everyone to try. Typically Rad Nar uses flat rice noodles, the same ones that are used in Chowfun. I didn’t have it on hand, so I substituted thin rice noodles (use in Pad Thai). However, you can find them in most Asian Grocery stores in the produce section. Rad Nar  served in Thailand or in Thai restaurants in the United States, often has a variety of noodles to choose from. In addition to thin and flat rice noodles, they may also offer egg noodles or rice vermicelli. The dish is served with condiments such as sugar, pickled chili in vinegar, ground dry chili pepper, white pepper, and fish sauce. You can play around with the flavors (to suit your taste).

Ingredients:

Servings: 5

Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients for noodle:

-5oz package of noodles, soaked in water for at least 20 minutes and rinsed. Cut into small approximately 6 inches  pieces before cooking.

- 1 ½ tablespoon sweet soy sauce

- 1 tablespoon canola oil

Ingredients for topping sauce:

-1 ½ cups of Chinese broccoli ( Thai Pak Kha Na)

- 1 cup tofu, cut into 2 cm square pieces

- 1 cup of shitake mushrooms, depending on size cut into halves or smaller

-1 tablespoon vegetable oil

- ½ tablespoon garlic, finely chopped

- 1 cube bullion

- ½ teaspoon fermented soybeans

- 2 tablespoon soy sauce

- 1 tablespoon fish sauce

- ½ tablespoon sugar

- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper

- 1 tablespoon tapioca powder, mixed in a small bowl with 1/3 cup of cold water and set aside

Making noodle:

In a nonstick pan or wok, heat the oil over medium heat. Fry the noodles in the pan, adding sweet soy sauce. Mix evenly. If noodles form into a large chuck, use two wooden spatulas to pull them apart so they cook evenly. The noodles are ready when softened; they will turn brown or maybe slightly burnt. Set the noodles aside in a deep plate.

Making topping:

In a wok or a saucepan, brown garlic over medium heat. Add about two cups of water and bullion (adjust the proportion of water according to the bullion you use but ensure that there is enough water to cover the noodles). Bring the broth to boil then lower the heat. Add all flavorings EXCEPT for the tapioca mix. Add the tofu and shiitake mushrooms. Cook over medium heat.

Stir tapioca mix* you set aside earlier, then add it into the broth. Tapioca helps to thicken the broth. Stir constantly so they don’t form jelly-like chunks. After it’s cooked, serve the sauce on top of the noodles!

Tips:

*Don’t forget this step because the tapioca powder will sink to the bottom of the bowl in cold water. To make a gravy texture, NEVER add tapioca powder directly into hot water without mixing first in cold water. If put the powder goes directly into hot water, it will immediately form chunks of jelly that are impossible to break and you will have to start over!

Tofu and mushrooms can be substituted with your favorite meat or seafood. Chinese broccoli can be substitute with regular broccoli, carrots, spinach, and cauliflowers.

I find this ehow.com recipe to be accurate. I also love this video from an imported ingredients online store, they went to Thailand and captured some common dishes. I hope the video will encourage you to make it!