Pad Mee Korat is not dissimilar to Pad Thai but the sauce is taken to the next level by beginning with a savoury caramel base made of palm sugar.
This is another gem from Marion’s Kitchen that I now make all the time. I used minced pork, as she did, but you could replace it with beef or chicken or even add tofu to make this vegetarian.
2 tbsp vegetable oil
120g palm sugar, finely chopped
6 tbsp / 100g white caster sugar
6 shallots, finely sliced
2 tbsp Thai soybean paste – can substitute white miso
6 tbsp fish sauce / 90ml
8 tbsp tamarind paste (75g)
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp chili powder, or to taste
400g vermicelli rice noodles
250g minced pork
2 bunches spinach, chiffonaded
3 medium carrots, grated
1 bunch coriander
50g peanuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal
Noodles. Place the noodles in a large pot of freshly boiled water. Leave to soak for 3-4 minutes or until cooked through. Run them under some cold water while they’re in the colander to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
Sauce. In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan heat the vegetable oil. Add the palm sugar and regular sugar and cook, until you have a light amber caramel. Add the shallots, tamarind, soybean paste, fish sauce, ginger and garlic and leave to simmer. Taste it – it might be a little bitter in which case add a few spoonfuls of water. However, don’t be concerned if it doesn’t taste 100% right to you – it will make more sense at the end once combined with the noodles, meat and vegetables.
Put your hands together. In a large wok over a high heat cook the pork mince in the oil. When it is cooked add the noodles, spinach, carrots and caramel. Cook over a high heat for several minutes, until everything is heated through. Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk to combine. Move the noodles to one side of the pan (I find it helpful to take some of them out completely to make sure I have enough room), add a few drops of oil and add the eggs. Cook for several minutes before turning over. You want to achieve a rough omelette. Chop it up into small pieces with your spatula, and mix through the noodles, returning them all to the pan.
Garnish with spring onions, coriander, plenty of toasted peanuts and lime cheeks, and serve immediately.