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"Drunken Noodles"

Sen Thai, in downtown St. Louis, features the dish "Drunken Noodles", which features stir-fried noodles with Thai hot chilies, garlic, egg, carrots, bamboo shoots, bell peppers and onions. Photographed at the restaurant Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 Photo by Sid Hastings

Q • My wife and I try to re-create the drunken noodles from Sen Thai but never get it quite right. — Stephen J. Ott, Freeburg

A • Lunch guests wonder out loud, “Will I be able to go back to work after eating Drunken Noodles?”

Yes, of course, assures Sen Thai Asian Bistro’s owner Tammy Seemasinn of the noodle dish made popular in Thailand by Chinese immigrants. It contains no alcohol, instead, those who eat the spicy noodles find the aroma and taste “intoxicating.” It’s a little bit spicy, she says. “But American people can eat it.”

Seemasinn’s mother owned a restaurant in Thailand. Seemasinn says, “I dream that one day I have a restaurant like my mom.” For 14 years, she has operated Sen Thai in a bright, airy space in the historic Shell building in downtown St. Louis. Today her son Boom and son and daughter-in-law “D” and “B” (both names abbreviations of their Thai given names) have joined the restaurant where the menu is “mostly Thai” but also includes Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese dishes.

Pad Thai and Drunken Noodles are Sen Thai’s top sellers. Both are cooked with a choice of protein; the favorites are chicken and beef. For vegetarians, Sen Thai adds extra vegetables.

“We get a lot of Indians; they order just vegetables,” says Seemasinn. Many orders are to-go from nearby loft residents. When the noodles soak up the sauce, any leftovers might be “even better.”

In Sen Thai’s kitchen, Drunken Noodles are cooked in a wok over a blazing-hot fire in about a minute. But even at home, D says, it pays to gather all the ingredients beforehand and then use as much heat as possible.

Special Request is written by Town and Country resident Alanna Kellogg, author of the online recipe column KitchenParade.com and “veggie evangelist” at the food blog about vegetables, A Veggie Venture.{/em}


Sen Thai Asian Bistro

1221 Locust Street No. 104

314-436-3456; SenThaiBistro.com

If you would like to request a recipe, email reciperequest@post-dispatch.com. Include what you like about the dish, your name and where you live.