I had the brainstorm idea of making "drunken noodles", the well-known Thai restaurant staple, since we he have a rather successful Thai basil plant growing in our kitchen. Unfortunately, I must have been "drunk" when I decided to make it because it didn't turn out too well. I did a brief Internet search and decided that I probably had enough of the traditional ingredients to wing it.
Johnnycakes, who is still out of town on business, was not supportive of the idea during our phone conversation. He is a huge drunken noodles fan and it's hard to dissuade him from ordering anything else when we visit a Thai restaurant. Looking back, I think he was probably right.
First off, I did not have the distinct "glass noodles" that give the dish it's slippery texture. I decided to use Barilla Plus whole wheat penne pasta in an effort to be healthy. What I did have was the Thai basil, which I think has an almost fennel taste to it. I also had fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar, which I used to make a sort of sauce to coat the noodles and lean ground beef. I used red pepper flakes and chili garlic pasted to give the dish it's familiar heat.
One good thing about the dish is that it had plenty of vegetables. I used a can of tomatoes (a shame during tomato season, but I digress), a large peeled carrot, three chopped celery stalks, and chopped scallions to boost the veggie factor.
I mixed all these ingredients together and achieved a rather colorful bowl of pasta. Unfortunately, the flavor just wasn't there. It was rather bland despite the peppers and tasted salty (fish and soy sauces) more than anything else. Even the Thai basil failed to shine through. I am hoping that the flavors have a chance to mingle and gain potency overnight and the real flavor might be more discernible in my lunchtime leftovers.
Oh well! I tried! I have made a rather successful Pad Thai in this sort of rigged manner before but I guess drunken noodles is best saved for restaurants.