Friday, June 15, 2012

Dinner for One - Thai Cookshop Style Stir Fried Penne ผัดมักกะโรนีสไตล์กุ๊กชอป

When I was young, my favourite eating places were restaurants with Chinese cooks cooking both Chinese and Western style food (of course, with Asian twists). Our family had frequented several of them. We call this style of restaurants ‘Cookshops’. They are still a few cookshop style restaurants dotting around Bangkok but they are not easy to find – some old restaurants have moved around so you have to be a bit of a die-hard fan to follow and track them down. 

Their typical menus include Beef Fillet Salad (สลัดเนื้อสัน), Pork Chops (ซี่โครงหมูอบ), Chicken Wings in Red Sauce (ปีกไก่เหล้าแดง), Ox Tongue Stew (สตูว์ลิ้นวัว), Prawn Balls with Chinese Mustard Greens (ลูกชิ้นกุงผัดโสภณ)  – these are just a few to give you an idea.

This stir fried penne is also one of our favourite dishes (they use macaroni – but I substitute with penne). When he was younger my brother was an avid cook – and he cooked this dish quite often.  I think I get all the ingredients quite right more or less.

For 1 person, you’ll need
1 cup penne, cooked to al dente, reserve about ½ cup of cooking water
100 grams chicken, sliced
3-4 prawns (I use shelled frozen prawns), optional
½ onion, sliced thickly
1 spring onion chopped to 5 cm long, both white and green parts
1 tomato, quartered
1 egg, beaten lightly
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 teaspoon Sri Racha sauce (I use Thai version)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Oil for frying
Salt & pepper to taste
A dash of Maggi Sauce (optional)

Mix tomato sauce, chilli sauce, soy sauce in a bowl .Heat oil in the wok on medium high heat, fry chicken pieces until cooked, add tomato and onion. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes then add tomato sauce mixture. Stir to combine and add prawns and cover the wok for 2-3 minutes. Push the mixture to one side and add egg on another side until half set. Stir again to combine. Add penne, a bit of pasta cooking water (half to start with, add more if you like your pasta a bit softer), season with salt and pepper. Add spring onion and cook 1 minute further until the green bits wilt. Remove from heat and serve with a dash of Maggi sauce.

Note: If you don’t have prawns or don’t fancy them, just omit or substitute with sliced chorizo or frankfurter.

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