Pad Thai | foodsciencenerd.com

Tiny Adventures, Part 2: Pad Thai for Beginners

Posted on Posted in Inspiration, Recipes

As promised, here is my recipe for Pad Thai.  No, it’s not perfect, and it’s not authentic, but it is super delicious and a great way to get out of a cooking rut.  It’s also pretty flexible in terms of proteins and veggies, so you can make it however you like.

I’m doing this post a little backwards.  First, I’ll critique the dish I made, then I’ll give the recipe with estimated corrections for better results.  I created the recipe from a combination of “authentic” recipes and “easy weeknight” recipes to get an easy-to-prepare dish that involved no pre-jarred sauce.  The overall dish was really, really good, but we definitely wanted more chicken and more sauce, so I adjusted the recipe I used for to how I would make the changes next time for the purposes of writing this blog.

First, make the sauce.  You’ll want this to be ready because the rest of the dish cooks quickly.

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Combine 4 T fish sauce, 2 tsp sriracha, 4 T pad thai paste, and 1/2 cup thai culinary stock in a bowl and whisk to combine.  It’s that easy.  These ingredients are a little weird, but you should easily find them in the international aisle or an Asian supermarket.  The thai stock isn’t vital, but it does have really neat flavors incorporated that I think add a lot to the dish without requiring more ingredients or time.

Each ingredient individually smells a little… odd.  But don’t get turned off!  Together, they create something quite incredible- I ate it with a spoon while cooking!

Next, prep the ingredients for the dish itself.

Not shown: chicken and shrimp
Not shown: chicken and shrimp

First, prepare about 8 oz of rice noodles according to the package directions.  Usually, this involves boiling water and then removing the water from the heat and soaking the noodles until they soften.  Drain them and set aside while cooking the rest of the ingredients.

Chop up the scallions- thin rings for the white part and longer pieces for the green.  Cook in oil until softened and lightly browned.  Then, add two or three eggs to the pan and scramble with the scallions to make a kind of omelet.

 

Next, chop up the onion into quarter moons and mince the shallot.  Saute in oil until softened and brown.

Pad Thai | foodsciencenerd.comNormally, the next step would be to cook the proteins and then combine everything to heat it through, but I found out as I was cooking that my boyfriend haaaaates bean sprouts, so I cooked them separately and used them as a topping on my own serving.IMG_1217

Now we return to our regularly scheduled programming.  Cook the proteins of your choice (usually I use 2 chicken breasts, but here I used one chicken breast and some shrimp) in salt and a touch of soy sauce.

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While the proteins are cooking, chop up about half a cup of peanuts, a handful of fresh basil (or Thai basil if you’re really fancy), and half a lime:

IMG_1216When the proteins are done, toss the noodles, sauce, veggies, and proteins in a large pan over medium heat until everything is heated through.  Dish out and top with the peanuts, basil, and a squeeze of lime:

Pad Thai | foodsciencenerd.comIt was quite delicious- so delicious I made it again a few days later!  The bean sprouts had become a gross soup by this point, so I added some finely chopped broccoli, which worked quite well!

Pad Thai for Beginners

Pad Thai for Beginners

Ingredients

    For the sauce:
  • 4 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp sriracha
  • 4 Tbsp pad thai paste
  • 1/2 cup Thai culinary stock
  • For the noodles:
  • 8 oz rice noodles
  • Boiling water
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 lb shrimp, chicken, and/or tofu
  • Salt and soy sauce, to taste
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts
  • Handful fresh basil
  • 1 lime
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • Other vegetables as desired

Directions

  1. Whisk together ingredients for the sauce.
  2. Prepare rice noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
  3. Chop up the scallions into thin rings for the white part and longer pieces for the green. Cook in oil until softened and lightly browned. Then, add two or three eggs to the pan and scramble with the scallions to make a kind of omelet.
  4. Chop up the onion into quarter moons and mince the shallot. Saute in oil until softened and brown.
  5. Cook the proteins of your choice in salt and a touch of soy sauce.
  6. While the proteins are cooking, chop up about half a cup of peanuts, a handful of fresh basil, and half a lime.
  7. When the protein is done, toss the noodles, sauce, veggies, and proteins in a large pan over medium heat until everything is heated through. Dish out and top with the peanuts, basil, and a squeeze of lime.
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