Phat Si Io is a Chinese-influenced stir fried rice noodle dish that is commonly eaten as street food in Laos and Thailand. It is also quite popular in Laotian and Thai restaurants around the world.
The literal meaning is "fried (with) soy sauce" and it is very similar to the char kway teow of Singapore and Malaysia. The Laotian dish Lard Na and the Thai dish Rad Na are also similar, although Phat Si lo uses a smaller amount of gravy than the other dishes.
It is made with dark soy sauce (si-io dam), light soy sauce (si-io khao), garlic, broad rice noodles, called kuai-tiao sen yai in Thai (commonly abbreviated to just "sen yai" meaning "big strip"), Chinese broccoli, egg, and some form of thinly sliced meat — commonly pork or chicken. The name comes from the soy sauce used in the dish, which is called "nam si-io", or "si-io" sauce, a loanword from Teochew.
Phat Si Lo can be made with sliced pork, and shrimp or mixed seafood also, however beef seems to be the American favourite.
This recipe requires just a few ingredients but you must have a stove that generates a strong heat or flame because "wok hei" or breath of the wok is the key here to making this awesome dish.
One important tip on buying your fresh rice noodles please make sure you buy unrefrigerated noodles. If the noodles have been refrigerated they will be brittle and hard and won’t separate properly. You will end up with broken noodles!
Beef with Soy Rice Noodle (Phat Si Io)
1 pound top sirloin
1 egg white
2 tbsp. dry sherry
2 tsp. cornstarch flour
1/3 cup oil
2 tbsp. soy sauce – light soy sauce
4 shallots, chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
3” piece peeled ginger, julienned* peel ginger with back of spoon bowl
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
½ large onion peeled, cut in half and sliced
1 tsp. Thai curry powder
1 tsp. Thai Red Curry Paste
1 tbsp. black beans with chile/chilli
Dash of Thai ground roasted chiles to your taste
1/3 cup water
2 tsp. cornstarch flour extra
1 bunch Chinese broccoli or kailan, trimmed and cut into 3 inch long sections
For the Rice Noodles:
1 pound fresh rice noodles (Sen Yai)
In a smoking hot wok, add peanut oil, add the noodles, then the dark soy sauce, char the noodles for a minute, carefully move the noodles around to char the other side. Don't over stir/toss or move them too much or they will break into pieces. Set noodles aside in a bowl.
Garnish: Cilantro sprigs
Chile Flowers – Slit chiles into quarters but do not cut through the stem. Place in a bowl of ice water for 30 minutes-they curl and turn into flowers
Condiments: Nam Pla Phrik-add minced sliced chiles into fish sauce (nam Pla) for each dinner to adjust heat.
Trim away any fat from steak. Cut steak into 2 inch x 1/4inch strips.
Combine in bowl with egg white, sherry, soy sauce, bean chile paste and corn flour, mix well. Toss with meat to cover all pieces.
Stand 30 minutes.
Chop shallots into ¼ inch pieces
Cut pepper in half, remove seeds, cut each half into thin strips.
Add two tablespoons oil to pan or wok, add shallots,onions, red pepper, Chinese Broccoli, Thai Red Curry Paste and curry powder, sauté two minutes, remove from wok. Heat remaining oil in wok, add meat and marinade, cook until browned.
Serve over fresh rice noodles that have been tossed with dark soy sauce until hot.
Vegetarian Variation use tofu of your choice in place of beef.
This dish is also wonderful made with chicken or seafood.