KWE TIAU RADNA/ NOODLES WITH GREENS AND GRAVYAfter cooking with Beyond The Great Wall cookbook by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid, I decided to get another one of their award-winning cookbook: Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet. It pretty much focuses on Southeast Asian recipes in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

The first thing I tried from this cookbook is their favorite noodles with greens and gravy or known as kwe tiau radna. Kwe Tiau in Thai means rice noodles, which is exactly the same meaning in our Hokkian dialect, means in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. Radna is a stir-fried noodle dish of fresh wide rice noodles, dark green vegetables, and a little thinly sliced pork, all bathed in a flavorful gravy and slightly sour vinegar. The gravy is made of fermented soybean paste of known as dao jiao in Thai or dao jio in our Hokkian dialect. The dish is served with a simple mild chile-vinegar sauce on the side, which goes superb with the kwe tiau radna.

This is such an awesome one-dish meal. I can see why this is their favorite dish. I encourage you to give it a try.

What you will need:
  • 2 lbs fresh rice noodle or Fresh noodle Sheets or 1 lb of wide dried rice noodles
  • ¼ cup peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp minced garlic
  • Scant ½ lb boneless pork butt or shoulder, thinly sliced across the grain into 1-by ½-inch pieces (or substitute lean beef or boneless chicken, sliced similarly)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 lb bok choy, Sanghai bok choi, or other cabbage-family greens, cut lengthwise into ¼-inch wide spears and well washed (3 to 4 cups loosely packed)
  • 1 Tbsp fermented soybean paste (dao jiao/dao jio), mashed until smooth
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1½ Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1½ Tbsp rice or cider vinegar
  • 1¼ cups mild chicken, beef, or pork borth or water
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch, dissolved in 3 Tbsp water
  • Generous grinding of white or black pepper
Chili vinegar sauce (1/2 cup):
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp sugar
  • ½ mild chile (such as Cubanelle, Hungarian wax, or banana chile), I used 10-15 bird's eye chiles, sliced into rings
  1. If using fresh rice noodles, rinse under warm running water. Stack the sheets, if using, slice into ¾-inch-wide noodles, and separate gently with your fingers; set aside. If using dried rice noodles, soaking warm water for 15 minutes to soften, then drain and set aside
  2. Place all the other ingredients by your stovetop. Have a platter and 3 or 4 dinner plates (one per person) nearby
  3. Heat a large work over high heat. Pour in 1½ Tbsp of the oil and swirl to coat the wok. When very hot, toss in approximately half the noodles and stir-fry gently for about 2 minutes, pressing them against the hot pan, then turn out onto the platter and repeat with the remaining noodles, using only 1 Tbsp oil. Divide the noodles among the four dinner plates
  4. Wipe out the wok, then place back over high heat. Add the remaining 1½ Tbsp oil and, when it is hot, toss in the garlic. Stir-fry briefly until starting to turn golden, about 20 seconds, then add the pork slices and a generous pinch of the sugar. Stir-fry for about 1 minutes, or until all the meat has changed color. Toss in the sliced greens and stir-fry, pressing the vegetables against the hot sides of the wok, until they turn bright green, about 1½ minutes or more (depending on the size of your wok)
  5. Add the soybean paste, soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar, and the remaining scant teaspoon sugar and stir-fry to mix, then add the broth or water and the cornstarch mixture. Stir to mix, then cover for 30 seconds to a minute, until the liquid comes to a boil. Remove the cover and simmer, stirring carefully from time to time, for another 2 minutes, or until the liquid has thickened a little and the greens are tender
  6. Use your spatula or a ladle to distribute the meat, greens, and gravy over the noodles. Grind pepper over generously and serve hot, with a bowl or cruet of the chile-vinegar sauce
  7. Put the vinegar in a small bowl and stir in the sugar until it is completely dissolved. Add the chile rings. Serve with a small spoon so guests can spoon a little onto their noodles. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator, this will keep for 4 to 5 days


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