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 Pad Thai

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Number of posts : 2738
Age : 57
Location : Arizona, USA
Favorite Quote : Beware the deadly donkey falling from the sky You may choose the way you live, my friend But not the way you die
Registration date : 2007-08-11

PostSubject: Pad Thai   Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:56 pm


Iíve recently come to realize Iím very much a meal-in-a-bowl girl, and rarely orchestrate a meat-and-two-veg meal. Pad Thai is right up my alley Ė a tasty tumble of crunchy, salty and sweet that makes great use of leftover shredded chicken or pork. Even if I have none in the fridge, I always have a couple of eggs and make a habit of keeping shrimp in the freezer to toss into dishes such as this. It can easily be made vegetarian, or even vegan, by using cubed firm tofu. Customize it to suit your taste. I love my Pad Thai topped with crunchy, salty peanuts or cashews.

Pad Thai is a fast and tasty meal, which is why itís so commonly sold (made on-the-spot) by street vendors in Thailand. Once you have your ingredients ready to go, it takes under ten minutes to pull together. This recipe halves easily if youíre only cooking for two, but if you like to make pad Thai often, mix up the full amount of sauce and keep it in the fridge (or freeze) for next time Ė it keeps well for at least a week.

For a vegetarian version, swap the chicken and/or shrimp for cubed firm tofu. To make the dish more authentic, add a spoonful of tamarind paste to the sauce Ė it can be found in the ethnic section of grocery stores or in Asian markets, and is well worth seeking out Ė tamarind paste (or concentrate) will keep in the fridge for a long time, so donít worry about buying a whole jar just to use a spoonful.

1/2 Ė 1 lb. (250-500 g) package rice noodles, thin or thick
canola, peanut or sesame oil, for cooking
1/4 cup ketchup or tomato sauce
1/4 cup fish sauce (nam pla)
1/4 cup lime juice or rice vinegar
2-4 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. chili sauce or sambal oelek
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 lb. raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1-3 small red chilies (optional)
1 cup chopped cooked chicken (optional)
3 green onions, roughly chopped
a big handful of bean sprouts
chopped peanuts or cashews, for sprinkling on top
lime wedges (optional)

Soak the rice noodles according to package directions. Rinse them with cold water and drain well. Drizzle the noodles with a little oil to keep them from sticking, and toss to coat.

In a small bowl, stir together the ketchup, fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, and chili sauce.

Heat a good drizzle of oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Crack the eggs into one side of the pan, and add the shrimp to the other side. Flip each around until just cooked through. Add the garlic and chilies to the pan and cook for another minute, then add the drained noodles (add another drizzle of oil first if the pan seems dry), cooked chicken, green onions, and pour over the sauce to taste. (Some like their pad Thai saucier, some like it dry.) Toss the mixture about in the hot pan with tongs, until well coated. Add the bean sprouts and toss again, then divide among large, shallow bowls right away Ė you donít want to give the sprouts, which are mostly water, a chance to wilt.

Serve immediately sprinkled with chopped peanuts, with lime wedges to squeeze over top. Serves 4.
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Number of posts : 2738
Age : 57
Location : Arizona, USA
Favorite Quote : Beware the deadly donkey falling from the sky You may choose the way you live, my friend But not the way you die
Registration date : 2007-08-11

PostSubject: Pim's Pad Thai   Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:22 pm


I now have my goto pad thai recipe. And so do you. Itís not just the flavor and color, but texture that needs to be right. Pim nails all three. Below I list the recipe as I make it (mostly because she has lots of options and I donít), but you can go to Pimís site for the original. Now I can sleep at night.

serve hot and fresh

Pimís Pad Thai
from Chez Pim

vegetable oil (for frying)
12 oz. chicken (2 oz. per serving)
4 cloves (10g) minced garlic (about 1/2+ clove per serving)
sauce (see below) (about 1/4 cup per serving)
1 lb. (500g) rice noodles, soaked in warm water to soften (but not too soft)
6 eggs (1 egg per serving)
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined (4-6 shrimp per serving)
1 cup (155g) ground peanuts (1-2 tbsps per serving)
3-4 cups bean sprouts (1/2 cup per serving)
1/2 cup (75g) pickled turnips, chopped (1+ tbsp per serving)
1 cup garlic chives or green onions, chopped (2 tbsps per serving)
more sprouts (garnish)
fresh limes (garnish)

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)

Make the sauce: Over a low flame, heat the tamarind, fish sauce, and brown sugar together until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the chili powder a teaspoon at a time to desired spiciness. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Turn off the heat (keep sauce warm).

Make the pad thai: [The key is to cook up 1-2 servings at a time!] Heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil in wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add 2 ounces of chicken and stir-fry until it is half cooked. Add 1-2 tablespoons of sauce, and a pinch of garlic. Stir around and add about 2 cups of loosely packed (for me, a big handful) of rice noodles plus 1/4 cup of sauce to the pan and stir vigorously until the noodles soften. If it dries out, you can add some water. Push the noodles to the side and crack an egg into the pan. Let the egg cook for 10 seconds and then toss the noodles and egg together in the pan. Drop 4-6 shrimp, a couple of tablespoons of ground peanuts, a heaping tablespoon of turnip, and 1/2 cup of sprouts into the pan. Stir fry until the shrimp are just cooked (very fast Ė about a minute). Toss in the green onions or garlic chives and remove from heat. Serve hot with more sprouts, ground peanuts, and lime wedges for garnish.

If I donít have a knock-em-out recipe, then I feel like Iím wasting time making something I wonít be satisfied with. If youíve done the pad thai rounds, then you know pad thai varies wildly from one restaurant to the next. Enter Pim. In early 2007 she posted a glorious rant about chefs using ketchup in their pad thai recipes. No no no!!! Nooooooooo! She cussed, she railed, she set the record straight and then posted her authentic recipe. Pim is a force to be reckoned with. The girl knows her cocoa puffs.

brown sugar, chili powder, tamarind concentrate, fish sauce

the sauce and eggs

It took me over two years to finally attempt Pimís recipe even though I knew it was the winner just from reading it, just from the conviction in her writing. Okay, part of the delay was the whole cancer/chemo thing, but it was also because I had to sit down and force myself to write it in recipe format. Anyone who has tried to put an Asian family recipe into writing knows what I am talking about. So a few months ago, I finally did it.

sprouts, chicken, shrimp, ground peanuts, chopped turnip, minced garlic, green onions

sautťing the chicken

It was fan-freaking-tastic. AND I could reproduce the results with amazing consistency. I donít own a wok (I know, what sort of Chinese daughter am I?) but the use of my large nonstick frying pan worked well enough. The issue that plagued me in the past until Pim pointed it out, was that I always tried to cook 6 servings in one go. Per Pimís instructions, I cooked up 1-2 servings at a time and it rivaled the pad thai of my fondest memories.

stirring in the noodles until soft

cracking the egg into the pan

So the two biggest improvements on the pad thai for me were: mixing the sauce ahead of time and cooking in small batches. Made all the difference. If you have your mise en place ready, then it comes together very quickly, very easily. While I usually make a vegetarian version of pad thai (because Iím too lazy to deal with chicken and shrimp), I went all out this time.

adding sprouts, chopped turnip, and ground peanuts
finishing off with green onions
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Pad Thai
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