Cool Plates features dishes from across the country to help inspire chefs' creativity.
In a spin on the classic Thai dish, Chef Jorel Pierce replaces the noodles with pig ears.
Pierce thoroughly cleans the ears and braises them with mirepoix and a French bouquet garni.
He stacks and chills the ears and then juliennes them, starting at the tip of the ear and discarding the most cartilaginous parts — about 30 percent of the total ear.
He tosses the julienne in flour seasoned with pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper.
In a sauté pan, he heats canola oil and cooks whipped eggs with chopped, toasted peanuts and shallots.
Separately, he fries the ears for about 45 seconds.
“The result of flash frying the ears is you get a tiny bit of crispness on the outside, but the tenderness and noodle chew is maintained,” Pierce said.
He adds the ears to the egg mixture and finishes it with a mixture of fish sauce, lime juice, Thai chiles, sugar, tamarind paste and dried shrimp.
He garnishes the dish with mung bean sprouts, whole sprigs of mint and cilantro, and a lime wedge. The dish is $8.