Dec 17

Mahogany Fire Noodles

Victor Sodsook calls this Kwaytiow Sen Yai Phat Phrik Sod Kap See-Eu Wan. I call it dangerously tasty.

WARNING: If you have rivet-goggles, swimmer’s goggles, or any sort of protective eyewear that will spare you the sensation of being maced in the face, I suggest you wear them. I wear German Welder’s goggles:  friends can attest to this. I am totally not kidding.

WARNING: This recipe had a hand in driving an overdue baby to vacate to more roomy, less Capsaicin-drenched quarters within 24 hours of its consumption.


15-30 small Thai chilies. FIFTEEN to THIRTY. I like them at 17-20.
10 cloves garlic (I usually double this, because I am a garlic fiend)
1 package rice noodles: prepared, drained
2 Tbs veg. oil
2 Tbs Thai fish sauce
1 tsp white pepper
3 Tbs sweet black soy (this is the unctuous molasses-based soy)
1 Tbs Oyster sauce
1 1/2 Tbs sugar
1 1/2 cu holy basil leaves, or 3/4 cu each of mint and basil leaves.

Optional but highly recommended
sliced chicken breasts, quorn or cubed med. hard tofu
egg omelet (best with creamy fresh duck eggs)
bamboo shoots


Pulverize 1 Tb oil, garlic and chilies in food processor together. Heat other Tb oil in med-hot wok while you do this.
Turn on your cooktop vent. Take a deep breath. Dump the chili mixture into your wok and stir vigorously for about 15 seconds. Exhale. Proceed to laugh at anyone not wearing goggles who adamantly refused to leave the room.
Add tofu or Chicken; stir-fry for about a minute.
Add fish sauce.
Add noodles and stir rapidly for another 30 seconds.
Add pepper and sweet black soy. Stir, and marvel at the beautiful mahogany color the soy turns the noodles.
Add Oyster sauce, sugar, bamboo shoots and/or duck omelet; stir-fry for a minute.
Turn off the heat. Stir in the herbs and let them wilt.
Remove goggles.
Serve immediately.

For dessert, I recommend sweetened coconut milk “ice cream” on warm sticky rice, or red grapefruit + orange segments steeped in rosewater syrup.

This dish will give your guests the exciting sensation of a string of firecrackers exploding in their mouths, and then rapidly dropping to a much more bearable level. You take a bite, wince, and then immediately fall victim to the spice’s dangerous wiles. You keep eating. You can’t help yourself.

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