BY CHOMDUEN VONGPETCHKHAW
It is easy to prepare a genuine-tasting Thai meal in the Yukon, very similar to what you
can expect in a Bangkok restaurant. An example is Phad Thai, one of the favourites of
tourists visiting Thailand.
All ingredients can be purchased locally, though a challenge can be getting quality fresh vegetables.
I am from Thailand and moved to Whitehorse, last year, where I now live with my
husband. After finishing my university degree, in Bangkok, I studied at the famous
Institute of Culinary Art, as I really enjoy cooking. As a side business, I operated a
catering service in Bangkok for a couple of years.
The Thai government has been promoting two Thai dishes to present Thai food in the
past years: Tom Yam Gung (a spicy soup with shrimp) and Phad Thai (phad means fry,
so it means fried noodles, Thai style).
There is no fixed recipe: the dishes vary based on the region, the cook’s technique and
some different ingredients. My personal favourite is from the Bangkok area, using big
shrimp, which is based on the recipe from the Royal Kitchen. I prefer when it is served
on a banana leaf.
In Thailand, every restaurant will have these two dishes on their menu, but, because of the
promotion, you will find them also on the menu of restaurants in North America. But here,
in North America, they have often been modified to the point that they don’t represent the
authentic dishes anymore.
Every time I prepare Thai food in the Yukon, I use spices and sauces from Asia bought at
the local Superstore. Though I have to admit that I bought many ingredients for other
dishes such as red curry paste, green curry paste, massaman curry paste, etc., in Edmonton.
Some of these are available locally, but they have been prepared “western” style.
When preparing it for my family or friends, I have always been told that it is “awesome”.
There are never any leftovers. Just a tip: when preparing it, make sure when frying the
noodles that you add some oil, from time to time, to prevent the noodles from drying out.
For this recipe, I am using shrimp, which we caught in the summer, in Skagway.
Some of the ingredients required for the “real” Phad Thai have been substituted to reflect
what is locally available. I hope you enjoy the Phad Thai.
Phad Thai (Yukon Style by Chomduen Vongpetchkhaw and Karl Stellbrink)
1 package (227 grams) of rice noodles, Thai style
500 grams of bean sprouts
50 grams of spring onions
100 grams of Alaskan shrimp (or 50 grams of pork or chicken)
1 package of tofu (soybean curd), extra firm
½ cup mixed nuts
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ cup sunflower oil
4 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
4 tablespoons tamarind juice (possible substitutes: sour-soup concentrate or vinegar)
½ cup of coconut milk
1 tablespoon black bean sauce (optional)
Wash the bean sprouts.
Wash and chop the spring onions.
Cut the tofu into small slivers.
Wash and grate the carrots.
If using pork or chicken as a substitute, slice the meat into small slivers.
Fry the eggs in a pan and then cut them into slivers.
Soak the noodles in boiling water, in a large bowl, for five minutes, then drain and rinse under cold water.
Crush the nuts in a mortar.
Heat three tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan. When hot, fry the shrimps (or pork or chicken) and the tofu.
Add one tablespoon of the fish sauce and add some pepper (milled) to it.
When cooked, remove from the pan and keep it warm.
Mix with Phad Thai sauce: tamarind juice, sugar, fish sauce and coconut milk.
Heat a pan (preferably with non-stick coating) and add noodles and mix with Phat Thai sauce.
Fry the noodles while constantly turning them with a spatula to prevent sticking do not stir as the noodles will break).
Add garlic powder, chilli powder and one tablespoon of fish sauce and black bean sauce. Add half of the bean sprouts and the chopped spring onions and crushed nuts. Fry for one minute (don’t overcook).
Serve immediately with a mixture of shrimp and tofu and the remaining bean sprouts and carrots.