The first time I ate Pad Kee Mao was at a small Thai restaurant in London, Ontario. I would have normally ordered the Pad Thai, but I was warned that doing so would make me late getting back to work. Let me explain. Although this restaurant had by far the best Thai food in London, it was a one man show. It was open when it was open and each meal was cooked separately, one at a time. Since my lunch companion had already ordered the Pad Kee Mao he would be served his meal before mine was even started. So I ordered the same, which the cook was able to accommodate.
After that first visit I tried for years to re-create his recipe. I even tried to watch him make it on another visit. I think I’ve been able to get pretty close with this recipe. Enjoy
Kitchen Cook Time and Prep: This recipe makes enough for 4 back country servings and takes about 60 minutes to prepare.
Tools: In the back country you will need a stove and a light fry pan to reheat (if you follow the technique below). Otherwise, in the back country you will need a stove and a pot to boil water. A spoon or spork would be helpful. At home you will need a large mixing bowl to marinate the chicken and a large wok or fry pan to cook in.
Back Country-What to Expect: I’ve made this recipe A LOT! Usually we serve the chicken over rice or glass noodle (mung-bean noodle) but occasionally we eat it with cauliflower or stir-fried mixed vegetables. In the back country I only prepare this with noodles.
NOTE: I recently discovered that unlike freeze-dried commercial meals, home dehydrated meals will reconstitute after a couple hours soaking in cold water. The result is that you only need to put the food on the stove long enough to warm it through. This technique allowed me to prepare three meals per day for four people for four days on one 13oz fuel canister. I’d call that a win!
Try this recipe out, let me know if you have any questions or comments below, and make sure you share this recipe with your friends that love Thai food and the back country.
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp Asian fish sauce
- 1½ teaspoons roasted red chile paste
- 1 tsp soy sauce or
- 1 tsp coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 lb chicken thigh, sliced thin
- ½ lb ground pork
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
- 1 cup, carrot, finely sliced
- 1 large jalapeño, seeded and sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 red Thai bird chile, minced
- ½ pound pad thai rice noodles, cooked and cut in half crosswise
- 1 cup Thai basil leaves
- Broccoli florets
- Napa cabbage
- Shitake Mushrooms
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients. Add thin sliced chicken and marinate for 60 minutes. After 60 minutes drain chicken reserving the marinade.
- In a large wok over medium high heat, melt coconut oil. Once melted add minced garlic, chili and jalapeno pepper. Saute for 30 seconds or until garlic is very fragrant stirring constantly. Add the pork and a splash of the sauce. Cook, stirring to break up the meat, until the pork is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add chicken, cook for a further 5 minutes until chicken is no longer pink.
- Turn wok to high and add red pepper, onion and carrot. Cook for 3-5 minutes stirring constantly.
- Finally, add noodles, any optional ingredients, Thai basil and the remaining sauce. Cook, tossing everything together until the noodles have absorbed the sauce.
I resisted even trying to make this dish for the back country for a long time. Other rice noodle recipes I tried never turned out and I didn't want my favorite noodle dish to be ruined for ever.
Allow to cool to room temperature. Place 1½ cup per serving of mixture on the fruit roll-up trays on your Excalibur. On the meat setting (155 - 165 degrees), dehydrate for 8 hours, or over night. Once fully dry, break up the noodles and seal into vacuum seal bags and store in freezer until ready to head into the back country.
To rehydrate I add 1½ cup of water a few hours before you intend to eat. Store in a strong resealable bag. I've been using resealable vacuum seal bags and they work perfectly. At meal time it only requires 3-5 minutes of simmer time before it's ready to eat.
Alternatively, bring 1½ cups of water to a boil. Add the dehydrated contents and allow to come to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and allow noodles to absorb the liquid. Serve and enjoy.