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Spicy Beef Noodles with Kaffir Lime Leaves


You can use any meat in this stir-fried Thai dish and vary the heat content to suit your taste.

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The recipe comes from Sydney-based chef and food consultant Tom Kime’s new cookbook Thai Food Made Easy, which includes advice for building a pantry of essential Thai ingredients and making your own pastes and marinades, as well as recipes for classic dishes such as Pad Thai, Coconut Fish Curry and Thai Fishcakes (recipe here).

The noodles in this dish will double in weight when they are soaked.

Recipe and image from Thai Food Made Easy, by Tom Kime (Murdoch Books, $39.99).

Pad Ki Mow (Spicy Beef Noodles with Kaffir Lime Leaves)

Serves 4–6
Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: 3 minutes


2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 fresh red chillies, seeded and finely chopped
400g beef rump, cut into thin strips
4 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
2 Thai basil sprigs (or regular basil), leaves picked
3 coriander sprigs, leaves picked and torn, to serve
Lime wedges, to serve

¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
½ teaspoon five-spice powder

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fish sauce
½ teaspoon grated palm sugar
125g sen yai noodles (see note), soaked in warm water for 20 minutes until soft, then drained


Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute or until golden. Add the chillies and stir-fry for 10 seconds, then add the beef and stir-fry for about 20 seconds to seal the meat.

Add the fish sauce, palm sugar, shredded kaffir lime leaves, half the basil leaves and the dried chilli and five-spice, stir-frying all the time.

Add the soaked and drained noodles and stir well. Keep stir-frying for about 1 minute, then taste the noodles to check that they are cooked.

Turn out the noodles onto a serving plate and garnish with torn coriander leaves, the remaining Thai basil and lime wedges.

Note: Sen Yai are broad in width (about 2–3cm wide) and are also called rice river noodles and rice sticks. When they are bought fresh they can be quite sticky and need to be separated.


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