Thai-Style Crispy Fried Noodles (Mee Krob)
Believe it or not, my initial encounter with Mee Krob, those crunchy fried noodles topped with spicy sweet sauce, was during my first visit to Los Angeles, not on my first visit to Bangkok! My host in L.A. took me to a Thai restaurant and ordered it for appetizer. I remember it being so good that I don’t recall what else we had for dinner that night.
In many countries in Asia, noodles are a popular staple and are the primary ingredient for a variety of delicious soups and stir-fry dishes. For me, crispy fried noodles are the best, complemented well by meat, seafood, tofu and bean sprouts. At times I would add fresh and crunchy vegetables like green beans, snow peas and bok choy.
This is my simplified version of Mee Krob (I skipped the usual tamarind pulp and juice). I substituted the rice vermicelli with pancit canton, but you can experiment with other types of noodles as well.
TIP: If you have leftovers, you can make a separate meal by boiling and simmering the leftovers in water and fish sauce to taste. It then becomes a soft noodle dish!
6 oz dried pancit canton
2 cups Olive oil
2 eggs, scrambled and sliced into thin strips
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3 stems green onions, chopped
1 fresh red chile, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped chicken breast
1/2 cup medium shrimp, peeled with tail on
1 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped and a few sprigs for garnish
1/2 cup green beans, thinly sliced diagonally
1/2 cup fried tofu
1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
In a large wok, heat Olive oil over medium heat. Fry the pancit canton (without breaking the noodles apart) in several batches, about 15-30 seconds per batch. Remove from wok and set on a large plate lined with paper towel, allowing excess oil to drain. In a medium sauce pan, heat a 1 tbsp Olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and stir-fry until golden brown. Add in the green onions and red chile. Cook for another minute. Add the fried tofu and cook just for one minute. Remove tofu and set aside. Using the same pan, add the chicken and shrimp. Add green beans. Stir-fry for one minute. Line a serving platter with the fried noodles, covering most of the platter surface. Evenly pour the sweet chili sauce over the noodles then top with the chicken, shrimp green beans and tofu. Garnish with bean sprouts, cilantro and sliced scrambled eggs. Serve warm.