How to Make Cry Baby Noodles at Home: A Spicy and Savory Thai-Inspired Dish

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Cry baby noodles, also known as pad ngor ngae in Thai, is a popular noodle dish that combines various ingredients to create a mouthwatering experience. It is known for its spiciness, savory flavors, and unique texture, making it a favorite among noodle enthusiasts. It was featured in the Netflix film Hunger, where it represented home and comfort in contrast to the extravagant and grotesque dishes served by the notorious Chef Paul.

What are the ingredients for cry baby noodles?

The main ingredients for cry baby noodles are rice noodles, dried shrimp, fish tofu, Chinese sausage, eggs, and a special sauce made with XO sauce, miso paste, oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, and ginger. These ingredients add a rich and complex flavor to the noodles, balancing the sweetness, saltiness, sourness, bitterness, and spiciness of the dish.

Here are some of the key ingredients explained in more detail:

Rice noodles

Rice noodles are a type of noodles made from rice flour and water. They are gluten-free and have a chewy texture that absorbs the sauce well. There are different types of rice noodles available in the market, such as thin rice vermicelli, medium rice sticks, wide rice noodles, and fresh rice sheets. For this recipe, we recommend using thick rice noodles or fresh rice sheets cut into strips. You can find them in Asian grocery stores or online[^1^].

Dried shrimp

Dried shrimp are small shrimp that have been sun-dried and preserved. They have a strong umami flavor and a crunchy texture that adds depth to the dish. They are widely used in Asian cuisines as a seasoning or a snack. You can find them in Asian grocery stores or online[^2^]. Before using them, you need to soak them in warm water for about 15 minutes to rehydrate them and remove any dirt or sand.

Fish tofu

Fish tofu is a type of processed fish product that resembles tofu in shape and texture. It is made from fish paste mixed with starch, salt, sugar, and other seasonings. It has a mild fishy flavor and a firm and bouncy texture that contrasts well with the soft noodles. You can find it in Asian grocery stores or online[^3^]. You need to dice it into small pieces before cooking.

Chinese sausage

Chinese sausage is a type of cured meat product that is made from pork, fat, sugar, salt, soy sauce, wine, and spices. It has a sweet and smoky flavor and a chewy texture that adds richness to the dish. You can find it in Asian grocery stores or online[^4^]. You need to slice it thinly before cooking.

Eggs

Eggs are a common ingredient in noodle dishes as they provide protein and bind the ingredients together. They also add a creamy and smooth texture to the dish. You can use any type of eggs you like, such as chicken eggs, duck eggs, or quail eggs. You need to beat them lightly before adding them to the wok.

Cry baby sauce

Cry baby sauce is the secret ingredient that makes this dish so flavorful and spicy. It is a combination of XO sauce, miso paste, oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, and ginger. XO sauce is a condiment made from dried scallops, dried shrimp, ham, chili peppers, garlic, oil, and sugar. It has a rich and complex flavor that enhances any dish. Miso paste is a fermented soybean paste that has a salty and savory flavor that adds umami to the dish. Oyster sauce is a thick sauce made from oyster extract, sugar,
salt, cornstarch, and water. It has a sweet and salty flavor that balances the spiciness of the dish. Soy sauce is a liquid condiment made from fermented soybeans,
wheat (or rice), water, and salt. It has a dark color and a salty flavor that adds depth to the dish. Fish sauce is a liquid condiment made from fermented fish,
water,
and salt. It has a strong smell and a salty flavor that adds brightness to the dish. Garlic
and ginger are aromatic ingredients that add freshness
and spiciness to the dish.

To make the cry baby sauce, you need to mix 2 tablespoons of XO sauce and 2 tablespoons of miso paste in a small bowl. Then, you need to add 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce, 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and a thumb-sized piece of minced ginger. Stir well until everything is well combined. You can adjust the amount of each ingredient according to your taste and preference.

How to make cry baby noodles at home?

Making cry baby noodles at home is not difficult if you have all the ingredients ready. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Cook the rice noodles

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add some salt. Cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions until they are soft but still firm to the bite. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process and prevent them from sticking together. Set aside.

Step 2: Fry the dried shrimp

Heat some oil in a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add the dried shrimp and fry for about a minute, stirring constantly, until they are golden and crisp. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Step 3: Fry the Chinese sausage

In the same wok or skillet, add more oil if needed and fry the Chinese sausage for about two minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are browned and slightly charred. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Step 4: Fry the fish tofu

In the same wok or skillet, add more oil if needed and fry the fish tofu for about two minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are golden and crisp. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Step 5: Fry the eggs

In the same wok or skillet, add more oil if needed and pour in the beaten eggs. Scramble them lightly with a spatula until they are cooked but still moist. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Step 6: Stir-fry the noodles with the sauce

In the same wok or skillet, add more oil if needed and bring it to high heat. Add the rice noodles and toss them with a spatula to coat them with oil. Add the cry baby sauce and stir-fry for about three minutes, tossing and mixing well, until the noodles are heated through and coated with the sauce.

Step 7: Add the toppings and serve

Add back the dried shrimp, Chinese sausage, fish tofu, and eggs to the wok or skillet. Toss everything together until well combined. Sprinkle some chopped green onion on top for garnish. Serve hot or at room temperature with some lime wedges on the side for squeezing over the noodles if desired.

A table breakdown of cry baby noodles nutrition facts

Cry baby noodles are a delicious dish that can be enjoyed as a main course or a side dish. However, they are also high in calories, fat, sodium, and carbohydrates, so you may want to limit your portion size and balance your diet with other healthy foods. Here is a table breakdown of cry baby noodles nutrition facts per serving (about 1 cup):

| Calories | Fat | Saturated Fat | Cholesterol | Sodium | Carbohydrates | Fiber | Sugar | Protein |
|———-|—–|—————|————-|——–|—————|——-|——-|———|
| 520 | 24g | 7g | 140mg | 1560mg | 58g | 2g | 8g | 18g |

As you can see, cry baby noodles provide a good amount of protein, but also a lot of fat, sodium, and carbohydrates. To make this dish healthier, you can try some of these tips:

  • Use less oil when frying the ingredients and use a non-stick wok or skillet.
  • Use low-sodium soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, and XO sauce.
  • Use leaner cuts of meat or substitute with tofu or tempeh.
  • Add more vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, bean sprouts, or broccoli.
  • Use whole wheat or brown rice noodles instead of white rice noodles.
  • Eat smaller portions and serve with a salad or soup.

FAQs about cry baby noodles

What are cry baby noodles?

Cry baby noodles are a spicy and savory Thai-inspired noodle dish that combines rice noodles with dried shrimp, fish tofu, Chinese sausage, eggs, and a special sauce made with XO sauce, miso paste, oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, and ginger. It is known for its spiciness, savory flavors, and unique texture.

Where did cry baby noodles originate from?

Cry baby noodles are not a traditional Thai dish, but rather a modern creation that was inspired by Thai cuisine. The exact origin of this dish is unclear, but some sources suggest that it was invented by a Thai chef who worked in a Chinese restaurant in Bangkok. He combined the ingredients he had on hand to create a new dish that appealed to both Thai and Chinese customers. The dish became popular and spread to other restaurants and street vendors. The name cry baby noodles comes from the fact that the dish is so spicy that it makes people cry.

How spicy are cry baby noodles?

Cry baby noodles are very spicy, as they use a lot of chili peppers and XO sauce in the sauce. The spiciness level can vary depending on the amount and type of chili peppers and XO sauce used, as well as the personal preference of the cook and the eater. Some people like to add more chili peppers or XO sauce to increase the heat, while others like to add lime juice or sugar to balance the spiciness. If you are not used to spicy food, you may want to start with a small amount of sauce and adjust accordingly.

What is XO sauce?

XO sauce is a condiment that originated in Hong Kong in the 1980s. It is made from dried scallops, dried shrimp, ham, chili peppers, garlic, oil, and sugar. It has a rich and complex flavor that enhances any dish. It is named after XO (extra old) cognac, which is a high-quality brandy that symbolizes luxury and prestige. However, XO sauce does not contain any alcohol. You can find XO sauce in Asian grocery stores or online. You can also make your own XO sauce at home with this recipe.

What is miso paste?

Miso paste is a fermented soybean paste that is widely used in Japanese cuisine. It is made from soybeans, salt, koji (a type of fungus), and sometimes rice or barley. It has a salty and savory flavor that adds umami to any dish. There are different types of miso paste available in the market, such as white miso, red miso, yellow miso, and black miso. They vary in color, flavor, and fermentation time. You can find miso paste in Asian grocery stores or online. You can also make your own miso paste at home with this recipe.

What are some variations of cry baby noodles?

Cry baby noodles are a versatile dish that can be customized according to your taste and preference. You can use different types of noodles, such as wheat noodles, egg noodles, or soba noodles. You can also use different types of meat or seafood, such as chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, squid, or scallops. You can also add more vegetables, such as carrots, cabbage, bean sprouts, or broccoli. You can also adjust the spiciness level by adding more or less chili peppers or XO sauce. You can also add some lime juice or sugar to balance the spiciness. You can also garnish the dish with some chopped peanuts, cilantro, or basil for extra flavor and crunch.

How to store and reheat cry baby noodles?

Cry baby noodles are best enjoyed fresh, but you can also store and reheat them for later. To store them, let them cool completely and transfer them to an airtight container. Refrigerate them for up to 3 days or freeze them for up to 3 months. To reheat them, you can either microwave them for a few minutes or stir-fry them in a wok or skillet over high heat until hot and sizzling. You may need to add some water or oil to prevent them from drying out or sticking together.

What are some dishes that go well with cry baby noodles?

Cry baby noodles are a filling and satisfying dish that can be served as a main course or a side dish. If you want to serve them as a main course, you can pair them with some simple and light dishes, such as a green salad, a clear soup, or some fresh fruit. If you want to serve them as a side dish, you can pair them with some protein-rich and flavorful dishes, such as grilled chicken, roasted pork, fried fish, or stir-fried beef.

Conclusion

Cry baby noodles are a spicy and savory Thai-inspired noodle dish that will make your taste buds sing. They are easy to make at home with some simple ingredients and a special sauce that combines XO sauce, miso paste, oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, and ginger. They are also customizable and adaptable to your preference and taste. They are a perfect dish for any occasion, whether you want to impress your guests, treat yourself, or use up your leftovers.

We hope you enjoyed this article and learned how to make cry baby noodles at home. If you did, please share it with your friends and family who love noodles as much as you do. Also, don’t forget to check out our other articles for more delicious and easy recipes from around the world. Thank you for reading and happy cooking!