A Thai Dish That Ties One On

I had Thai food for the first time when I was 16 years old and it took me almost 10 years to realize that drunken noodles were not relegated to Typhoon! in Portland, OR. I’m happy to say that it only took me two additional years to realize that I could easily replicate the dish at home.

I decided to experiment with drunken noodles when I saw Thai basil in the produce section of the grocery store. Since I didn’t have a recipe with me (or an iPhone), I went to the Asian food aisle and used the process of elimination to select a jar of roasted red chili paste to flavor the sauce.

The sauce I made was a pretty close approximation of the restaurant dish, even without the noodles. It wasn’t perfect, but this stir fry will definitely satisfy my cravings for drunken noodles until I make it back to Typhoon!

Drunken Stir Fry
Serves 3-4
¼ cup roasted red chili paste
¼ cup fish sauce
2 Tbs. soy sauce
2 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. water
Sriracha sauce to taste
peanut oil
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1 Tbs. minced ginger
1 pkg. extra firm tofu, pressed and cubed
1 red bell pepper, sliced
½ yellow onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced thin
1 green onion, sliced
Thai basil, stemmed and whole
cilantro, chopped
lime wedges

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Add a the Sriracha sauce one small squirt at a time until the sauce is as spicy as you like it.

Heat a wok or heavy skillet over high heat until it smokes. Pour in enough peanut oil to coat the sides of the wok, about 2 Tbs. Add the garlic and ginger to the oil and stir until brown, less than 1 minute. Remove the garlic and ginger from the oil and set aside.

Add the tofu to the wok and let stand over high heat until browned on one side, about 5 minutes. Stir and repeat until browned on all sides. Remove tofu and set aside.

Add the onion and red pepper to the wok and stir until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Return the garlic, ginger, and tofu to the wok. Stir in the carrot, green onion, and Thai basil. Turn off the heat, pour in the sauce, and stir to coat. Serve with rice or stir-fried noodles. Garnish with cilantro and lime.

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