While playing tennis this past Saturday evening, a friend of mine was telling me about one of his favorite Thai restaurants in the District. They have the best drunken noodles, he claimed.
I've made vegetarian pad thai before, but I've never made vegetarian drunken noodles. So, I adapted a recipe from www.atasteofthai.com using some ingredients I already had in my pantry. While I won't try to claim that this version of drunken noodles is authentic (the drunken noodles I've had in Thai restaurants prior to becoming a vegetarian almost always contained fish sauce and/or oyster sauce and used wider noodles), it tasted good nonetheless.
And it was inexpensive to make. I already had the Thai chili sauce (easily substituted), soy sauce, and brown sugar. All I had to do was buy some vegetables and a package of flat rice stick noodles (again, easily substituted).
What's nice about this very basic recipe is its versatility. For example, you can switch out the veggies and/or add cubes of tofu or shelled edamame for extra protein. I would, however, keep the chopped tomatoes. It's the juice from the cooked tomatoes, combined with the soy sauce and brown sugar, that makes this stir-fry sauce.
Vegan Thai Drunken Noodles
Serves approximately 4
1 package (16 oz) flat rice stick noodles, e.g., banh pho noodles (linguine can also be used.)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups green beans, ends cut off
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
Juice from 1 lime
1 tablespoon garlic chili pepper sauce (see note below)
Soak or cook the noodles according to the directions on the package.
In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, and chili sauce, and set it aside.
Heat the oil in a wok or a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, tomatoes, pepper, and the green beans and stir fry, about 5 minutes. Add the drained noodles and the soy sauce mixture. Continue to stir fry for about 3 minutes and serve.
(Note: I used a Thai sweet chili sauce, which isn't very spicy. You can also use finely chopped serrano peppers, crushed red pepper flakes, or Chinese chili oil, the amount of which would depend on how much "heat" you want in your version of this dish.)