Thai Pork and Noodles

Thai Pork and Noodles is affectionately known as “Green Noodles” at our house. It calls for cilantro, so it fits well into a “Week of Cilantro.” Rice noodles come in two basic varieties: fresh and dehydrated. We’ve tried the fresh and have never discovered the secret to keeping them from staying in one big clump, so we always use the dehydrated. They sell dehydrated rice noodles in most mom-and-pop Asian groceries, regardless of whether their focus is Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, Malaysian or Japanese. They are trying to fulfill the needs of a diverse niche market. We have the best luck re-hydrating the dehydrated noodles in a bowl filled with hot tap water. If you do it this way, you do have to let it sit for a couple of hours. This has become the job of my eldest daughter, who at eleven, is old enough to be “in charge” when we aren’t home. Some directions say to use boiling water, which cuts down the soaking time significantly, but in my experience doing it this way increases the risk of your noodles disintegrating into a puddle of goo in the bottom of your bowl. We reduce the number of red jalapenos down to two; if all I can find is green, which is typical, sometimes we just use one. Red jalapenos are sweeter than the green ones, so you can get away with using more if you are cooking for capsaicin-sensitive people, like children. We also use regular vegetable oil or canola oil instead of the peanut oil.

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