Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pad Thai

So I think recently Dad has been trying to encourage me to cook more (I think he senses that I am getting restless at home), which is good news for me. I'm starting to get a little discouraged by Mom's criticism of me in the kitchen, but now reinforcements have arrived, and I re-emerge with renewed strength!

Yesterday, I was supposed to go out with Gordon for lunch and the library (he's working on his med school application, poor boy), but I decided to cancel and spend the July 5th holiday catching up on pre-medical school issues with Dad. Which means shopping for electronics (seen by me as nothing more than an unfortunately necessary evil - computers and I are not friends). Anyway, that meant I wouldn't waste my stomach on a big lunch and could therefore eat properly with my parents...which Mom hadn't counted on and so had nothing to cook. So Dad suggested I cook up my Pad Thai, which I've cooked a few times in San Diego and once for Dad in NorCal. I use Pim's recipe (seems like everyone does), which is surprisingly fast and simple. One major twist - we didn't want to buy limes, so we used the lemons from our backyard. It didn't have the EXACT same taste, but it was close enough.

Anyway, it turns out Mom thought the dish was too salty (the original recipe also accounted for chicken, which we didn't have) and the noodles too clumpy. Trust her to be a wet blanket. It's okay - Dad and I thought it was okay. I didn't really like the photo I took, but it's hard getting a pleasing shot with bits of egg mixed in with everything. And another thing - my noodles seemed a bit pale - maybe not enough sauce? If that's the case, Mom should be glad I didn't really succeed with the recipe. Oh well. I'll probably be cooking this a lot more in Philly, and there are plenty of opportunities to do re-shots.

Pad Thai


-12 oz. chicken
-4 cloves minced garlic
-1 serving sauce (see below)
-1 lb. (500g) rice noodles, soaked in warm water to soften (but not too soft)
-6 eggs
-1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
-1 cup (155g) ground peanuts
-3-4 cups bean sprouts
-1/2 cup pickled turnips, chopped (I didn't add this)
-1 cup garlic chives or green onions, chopped
-Extra bean sprouts and limes, for serving

1. Quickly cook 2 oz chicken pieces over high heat in a wok until it is half-cooked.
2. Add 1-2 tbsp sauce and a bit of garlic. Stirfry about 1 minute.
3. Add a handful of rice noodles and 1/4 cup sauce and stir around.
4. Push the rice noodles aside and crack and egg into the wok. Let the egg cook for about 10 seconds, then mix everything together.
5. Drop 4-6 shrimp, 2 tbsp peanuts, the pickled turnips, and a handful of beansprouts.
6. Stir vigorously until the shrimp cook.
7. Drop in a couple of tbsp green onions/chives and dish up.
8. Continue cooking in small batches (you want quick searing of a higher surface area) until everything is used up!

Pad Thai sauce


-1/2 cup (130g) tamarind paste
-1/2 cup (120g) fish sauce
-1/3 cup (75g) brown sugar
-1 tbsp (9g) chili powder (to taste)

1. Cook everything except the chili powder over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
2. Add chili powder. Set aside and keep warm.

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