Meat was pricey in Thailand when I was growing up. So, to make a hearty pork dish that would fill the whole family up, my mum would add noodles. She’d buy rice vermicelli (the really thin white ones) and soak them in water to expand, then whip the noodles up with a simple stir-fry sauce and a minuscule amount of pork and voilà – thrifty perfection!
Stir-fried pork with Thai basil and vermicelli noodles
(Moo pad woon sein)
150g (5oz) rice vermicelli
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
250g (8oz) minced pork
2 tablepoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pinch of ground white pepper
Handful of Thai basil leaves
- Soak the rice vermicelli in a large bowl of warm water for about 5 minutes to soften.
- Heat the oil in a wok set over a high heat.
- When the wok is hot, add the garlic and stir-fry for 5–10 seconds until fragrant.
- Add the pork mince, reduce the heat to medium and stir-fry for about 2–3 minutes until the meat is cooked.
- Add the soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar and white pepper. Cook for a minute, then stir in the drained vermicelli and stir-fry for a further couple of minutes.
- Serve garnished with fresh Thai basil leaves.