Pad Thai

I had a moment of panic this afternoon that I was out of Tamarind concentrate.  That is not something you can just pick up at your neighborhood store.  (I get it at the Asian market.)  Fortunately, I did have some on hand.  I put shrimp in ours and served Samantha noodles without shrimp.  This is one of the easier Thai dishes to make at home.

Pad Thai (Stir-fried rice noodles)

  • 1 TB canola oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely shopped
  • 1/2 pound flat rice noodles from Thailand (package says Banh Pho) – I notice that they now have these at Wegman’s
  • 2/3 pound shrimp, cut in half (you could also substitute chicken)
  • Pad Thai sauce (Tamarind Concentrate – about 5 -6 TB, fish sauce (about 1 tsp), soy sauce (about 1 TB – I used a mix of sweet and regular), sugar (about 1/2 tsp), chopped dried roasted Asian peppers (about 1/8 tsp)- mix well and taste – should be a blend of sweet, salt, and spice)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 tsp lightly roasted ground chili peppers
  • 3 stalks spring onion, cut thinly on the diagonal, optional
  • 1 red pepper, optional
  • 1/2 cup ground roasted peanuts
  • 1 lime, cut in wedges

Soak rice noodles in warm water until soft.  Toss shrimp with soy sauce and 1 tsp sugar.  Heat wok over medium high heat and add oil.  Stir fry garlic until light brown and add shrimp.  Cook until opaque.  Add sauce mixture and boil.  Add noodles and toss.  Stir well so noodles absorb sauce.

Spread noodles to sides of wok.  Add beaten egg and cook stirring so egg sets.  Mix noodles and eggs.  Add bean sprouts and pepper  (if using) and toss.

Serve hot and garnish with choice of peanuts, bean sprouts, scallions, lime wedges and ground chili pepper.  And the finished product:

pad thai with shrimp

Pad Thai

I used to make Pad Thai a lot but it has been a while and I was feeling a little bit rusty.  It still turned out well and I’m thinking I have to go back to making it a little bit more often!

Pad Thai (Stir-fried rice noodles)

  • 1 TB canola oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely shopped
  • 1/2 pound flat rice noodles from Thailand (package says Banh Pho) – I notice that they now have these at Wegman’s
  • 2/3 pound shrimp, cut in half (you could also substitute chicken)
  • Pad Thai sauce (Tamarind Concentrate – about 5 -6 TB, fish sauce (about 1 tsp), soy sauce (about 1 TB – I used a mix of sweet and regular), sugar (about 1/2 tsp), chopped dried roasted Asian peppers (about 1/8 tsp)- mix well and taste – should be a blend of sweet, salt, and spice)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 tsp lightly roasted ground chili peppers
  • 3 stalks spring onion, cut thinly on the diagonal, optional
  • 1 red pepper, optional
  • 1/2 cup ground roasted peanuts
  • 1 lime, cut in wedges

Soak rice noodles in warm water until soft.  Toss shrimp with soy sauce and 1 tsp sugar.  Heat wok over medium high heat and add oil.  Stir fry garlic until light brown and add shrimp.  Cook until opaque.  Add sauce mixture and boil.  Add noodles and toss.  Stir well so noodles absorb sauce.

Spread noodles to sides of wok.  Add beaten egg and cook stirring so egg sets.  Mix noodles and eggs.  Add bean sprouts and pepper  (if using) and toss.

Serve hot and garnish with choice of peanuts, bean sprouts, scallions, lime wedges and ground chili pepper.  And the finished product:

pad thai

Pad Thai

I cook a lot of Thai dishes.  Some of them are a bit more intimidating if you haven’t cooked Thai dishes.  Pad Thai is probably one of the best for those who are new to Thai cooking.  You will need a trip to either an Asian market or a well equipped large grocery store (I think Wegman’s carries everything you need.)   I was inspired to make it when we cleaned out our pantry and I found several cans of tamarind concentrate.

The most important thing to note is that quantities are all approximations – taste as you go and adjust as needed (soy sauce or tamarind to increase the saltiness, lime juice for acidity, ground peppers for heat, sugar for sweet).  Make plenty of the sauce – measurements are a guideline.  Here are the ingredients.

img_3537

What a great way to kick off the New Year!

Pad Thai (Stir-fried rice noodles)

  • 1/2 pound flat rice noodles from Thailand (package says Banh Pho)
  • 1/4 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely shopped
  • 3/4 pound shrimp
  • Pad Thai sauce (Tamarind Concentrate – about 5 -6 TB, fish sauce (about 1 tsp), soy sauce (about 1 TB – I used a mix of sweet and regular), sugar (about 1/2 tsp), chopped dried roasted Asian peppers (about 1/8 tsp)- mix well and taste – should be a blend of sweet, salt, and spice)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 TB canola oil
  • 1/4 tsp lightly roasted ground chili peppers
  • 3 stalks spring onion, cut thinly on the diagonal
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1/2 cup ground roasted peanuts
  • 1 lime, cut in wedges

Soak rice noodles in warm water until soft.  Toss shrimp with soy sauce and 1 tsp sugar.  Heat wok over medium high heat and add oil.  Stir fry garlic until light brown and add shrimp.  Cook until opaque.  Add sauce mixture and boil.  Add noodles and toss.  Stir well so noodles absorb sauce.

Spread noodles to sides of wok.  Add beaten egg and cook stirring so egg sets.  Mix noodles and eggs.  Add bean sprouts and pepper and toss.

Serve hot and garnish with choice of peanuts, bean sprouts, scallions, lime wedges and ground chili pepper.  And the finished product:

img_3538

Sunday dinner

Keith requested a Thai dinner tonight.  I haven’t made Pad Thai in a while so decided that would be a nice change.  I made chicken chipotle chili last night – the ingredients are a little more accessible so I put that recipe on as an alternative.  (Leftovers freeze well.)

Pad Thai (Stir-fried rice noodles)

  • 1/2 pound flat rice noodles from Thailand (package says Banh Pho)
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely shopped
  • 3/4 pound shrimp
  • Pad Thai sauce (Tamarind Concentrate – about 2 – 3 TB, fish sauce (about 1/2 tsp), soy sauce (about 1 TB), sugar (about 1/2 tsp), chopped dried roasted Asian peppers (about 1/8 tsp)- mix well and taste – should be a blend of sweet, salt, and spice)
  • Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 TB canola oil
  • 1/4 tsp lightly roasted ground chili peppers
  • 3 stalks spring onion, cut thinly on the diagonal
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1/2 cup ground roasted peanuts
  • 1 lime, cut in wedges

Soak rice noodles in warm water until soft.  Toss shrimp with soy sauce and 1 tsp sugar.  Heat wok over medium high heat and add oil.  Stir fry garlic until light brown and add shrimp.  Cook until opaque.  Add sauce mixture and boil.  Add noodles and toss.  Stir well so noodles absorb sauce.

Spread noodles to sides of wok and add additional oil.  Add beaten egg and cook stirring so egg sets.  Mix noodles and eggs.  Add bean sprouts and pepper and toss.

Serve hot and garnish with choice of peanuts, bean sprouts, lime wedges and ground chili pepper.

Chicken Chipotle chili

  • 3 TB canola oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into small cubes
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 TB chili powder
  • 1 TB ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 qt chicken stock
  • 28 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained of about 1/2 of liquid
  • 3 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, roughly chopped
  • 2 cans black beans

Heat oil in a heavy sauce pan and brown chicken cubes (about 5 minutes.)  Remove chicken and drain on paper towels.  Pour off fat leaving about 1 tablespoon in pan.  Add onions and brown about 4 – 5 minutes.  Return chicken to pan.

Stir together flour, chili powder, cumin and salt and sprinkle over onions and chicken.  Stir and cook about 1 minute.  Add stock, tomatoes and chipotles and simmer covered about 30 minutes.  Add black beans and cook another 10 minutes.

Let cool and then refrigerate until ready to serve.  Serve with sour cream and tortilla chips.

Pad Thai

My husband asked for something Thai tonight and we agreed that I had not made Pad Thai in a while.  I used the authentic recipe below but if you don’t have access to an Asian market for the noodles and Tamarind concentrate, try the less authentic version underneath.  Either way, it’s delicious.

Pad Thai (Stir-fried rice noodles)

  • 1/2 pound flat rice noodles from Thailand (package says Banh Pho)
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely shopped
  • 3/4 pound shrimp
  • Pad Thai sauce (Tamarind Concentrate – about 2 – 3 TB, fish sauce (about 1/2 tsp), soy sauce (about 1 TB), sugar (about 1/2 tsp), chopped dried roasted Asian peppers (about 1/8 tsp)- mix well and taste – should be a blend of sweet, salt, and spice)
  • Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 TB canola oil
  • 1/4 tsp lightly roasted ground chili peppers
  • 3 stalks spring onion, cut thinly on the diagonal
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1/2 cup ground roasted peanuts
  • 1 lime, cut in wedges

Soak rice noodles in warm water until soft.  Toss shrimp with soy sauce and 1 tsp sugar.  Heat wok over medium high heat and add oil.  Stir fry garlic until light brown and add shrimp.  Cook until opaque.  Add sauce mixture and boil.  Add noodles and toss.  Stir well so noodles absorb sauce.

Spread noodles to sides of wok and add additional oil.  Add beaten egg and cook stirring so egg sets.  Mix noodles and eggs.  Add bean sprouts and pepper and toss.

Serve hot and garnish with choice of peanuts, bean sprouts, lime wedges and ground chili pepper.   Here is the finished product:

Pad thai - the authentic version

Pad thai – the authentic version

Here is the non-authentic version:

Pad Thai

  • 12 oz. Somen Noodles (or vermicelli)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TB low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 TB Peanut butter
  • 1 tsp asian hot sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 3/4 pound of shrimp or chicken (if chicken, slice thinly)
  • 1 red pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 TB fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 TB scallions, chopped
  • 4 TB peanuts, chopped

Whisk together broth, egg, soy sauce, peanut butter and hot sauce and set aside.

Heat a non-stick wok or skillet over medium high heat.  Add shrimp (or chicken), red pepper, ginger and garlic and cook until shrimp are starting to turn opaque.

Add chicken stock mixture and bring to a boil.  Cook until shrimp are cooked through, stirring.  (The egg makes this a little lumpy.)

Cook noodles according to package instructions and drain.  Combine with sauce and stir well.  Serve and top with scallions and peanuts.

Pad Thai – 2 variations

If you follow blog you know that I’ve taken a number of Thai cooking classes and really enjoy it.  My husband requested Pad Thai on the menu plan this week.  I made the authentic version below but I’ve also given you a non-authentic version with ingredients that you can get at your grocery store.  Try either one or cheat and get carryout!  🙂

Pad Thai (Stir-fried rice noodles)

  • 1/2 pound flat rice noodles from Thailand (package says Banh Pho)
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely shopped
  • 3/4 pound shrimp
  • Pad Thai sauce (Tamarind Concentrate – about 2 – 3 TB, fish sauce (about 1/2 tsp), soy sauce (about 1 TB), sugar (about 1/2 tsp), chopped dried roasted Asian peppers (about 1/8 tsp)- mix well and taste – should be a blend of sweet, salt, and spice)
  • Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 TB canola oil
  • 1/4 tsp lightly roasted ground chili peppers
  • 3 stalks spring onion, cut thinly on the diagonal
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1/2 cup ground roasted peanuts
  • 1 lime, cut in wedges

Soak rice noodles in warm water until soft.  Toss shrimp with soy sauce and 1 tsp sugar.  Heat wok over medium high heat and add oil.  Stir fry garlic until light brown and add shrimp.  Cook until opaque.  Add sauce mixture and boil.  Add noodles and toss.  Stir well so noodles absorb sauce.

Spread noodles to sides of wok and add additional oil.  Add beaten egg and cook stirring so egg sets.  Mix noodles and eggs.  Add bean sprouts and pepper and toss.

Serve hot and garnish with choice of peanuts, bean sprouts, lime wedges and ground chili pepper.

Here is the non-authentic version:

Pad Thai

  • 12 oz. Somen Noodles (or vermicelli)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TB low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 TB Peanut butter
  • 1 tsp asian hot sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 3/4 pound of shrimp or chicken (if chicken, slice thinly)
  • 1 red pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 TB fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 TB scallions, chopped
  • 4 TB peanuts, chopped

Whisk together broth, egg, soy sauce, peanut butter and hot sauce and set aside.

Heat a non-stick wok or skillet over medium high heat.  Add shrimp (or chicken), red pepper, ginger and garlic and cook until shrimp are starting to turn opaque.

Add chicken stock mixture and bring to a boil.  Cook until shrimp are cooked through, stirring.  (The egg makes this a little lumpy.)

Cook noodles according to package instructions and drain.  Combine with sauce and stir well.  Serve and top with scallions and peanuts.

 

Pad Thai with Shrimp or Pasta with Shrimp

Tonight we’re having the authentic version of the Pad Thai that I blogged on October 10th.  I’m gaining a little bit of confidence in my Thai cooking.  I read an article about Thai cuisine and it said that you have to expect to taste and tweak as you go so I merrily slop soy sauces with my Tamarind paste and swirl with chopsticks until it looks and tastes good.

I was thinking that this is just another cultural variation of pasta and shrimp.  If you want a simpler solution with fewer ingredients, you could opt for an Italian variation as follows:

Pasta with Shrimp

  • Pasta of your choice (I would probably use fettucini)
  • Shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 1/3 lb per person)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 TB Butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Lemon Juice
  • White wine
  • Parmesan cheese

In a saucepan, melt butter with olive oil.  Add garlic and cook, stirring about 30 seconds.  Add shrimp and cook until pink.  Add lemon juice and white wine (enough to make sauce).

Meanwhile, cook pasta to package directions.  Drain.  Toss shrimp and sauce with pasta and top with cheese.

Pad Thai – Two variations

Tonight is the great Pad Thai experiment.  We made the sauce yesterday using Tamarind Concentrate, Soy Sauce, Sweet Soy Sauce, Sugar and chili peppers (see entry on yesterday’s blog for specifics.  Here are the other ingredients we’re using for tonight:

Pad Thai (Stir-fried rice noodles)

  • 1/2 pound flat rice noodles from Thailand (package says Banh Pho)
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely shopped
  • 3/4 pound chicken, thinly sliced (can substitute shrimp, pork or tofu or a combination)
  • Pad Thai sauce (Tamarind Concentrate, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar)
  • Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 TB canola oil
  • 1/4 tsp lightly roasted ground chili peppers
  • 3 stalks spring onion, cut thinly on the diagonal
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1/2 cup ground roasted peanuts
  • 1 lime, cut in wedges

Soak rice noodles in warm water until soft.  Toss chicken with soy sauce and 1 tsp sugar.  Heat wok over medium high heat and add oil.  Stir fry garlic until light brown and add chicken (or other protein).  Cook until opaque.  Add sauce mixture and boil.  Add noodles and toss.  Stir well so noodles absorb sauce.

Spread noodles to sides of wok and add additional oil.  Add beaten egg and cook stirring so egg sets.  Mix noodles and eggs.  Add bean sprouts and pepper and toss.

Serve hot and garnish with choice of peanuts, bean sprouts, lime wedges and ground chili pepper.

I’ll add an entry tonight and let you know how it turns out.

For those of you who are thinking that this all sounds like more trouble than it’s worth and are not overly concerned about authenticity, here is a simplified Pad Thai that I’ve made before.  It’s quite good and all of these ingredients can be found in a typical grocery store.  You just miss the drama of seeing the giant carp!

Pad Thai

  • 12 oz. Somen Noodles (or vermicelli)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TB low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 TB Peanut butter
  • 1 tsp asian hot sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 3/4 pound of shrimp or chicken (if chicken, slice thinly)
  • 1 red pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 TB fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 TB scallions, chopped
  • 4 TB peanuts, chopped

Whisk together broth, egg, soy sauce, peanut butter and hot sauce and set aside.

Heat a non-stick wok or skillet over medium high heat.  Add shrimp (or chicken), red pepper, ginger and garlic and cook until shrimp are starting to turn opaque.

Add chicken stock mixture and bring to a boil.  Cook until shrimp are cooked through, stirring.  (The egg makes this a little lumpy.)

Cook noodles according to package instructions and drain.  Combine with sauce and stir well.  Serve and top with scallions and peanuts.

Cooking class update and Chicken Stock

My friend and I attended the first of four sessions of an Asian Noodle Cooking class.  Tonight the class made Pad Thai and it was wonderful.  We were excited to discover that the sauce can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.  In class we used shrimp, chicken and tofu but we think that if you used one protein instead of three and eliminated a couple of the optional ingredients and had the sauce premade, this would be a pretty easy weeknight dinner.  We took lots of notes and we’re going to practice with our instructions and this is probably headed for the blog in the near future.  We also discovered that the base sauce can be combined with some other ingredients and used as a marinade for baking fish.  I look forward to experimenting and sharing the results.

My industrious husband made chicken stock while I was off learning to make new things.  For years I thought chicken stock was a super complicated thing but it really only needs a big pot and now it bothers me to think of the chicken carcasses I discarded (I guess different people worry about different things!)  🙂  Now I stress if there isn’t any chicken stock in the freezer.  If you haven’t tried making chicken stock, I encourage you to try.  If you don’t have time during the week, freeze your chicken carcass and scraps and make it the next weekend.

Chicken Stock

  • Chicken carcass, leftover skin and giblets and leftover chicken grease from pan (there are different theories on this but we use every scrap we have)
  • 2 Celery stalks
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1 bunch Parsley
  • 1  1/2 TB dried Thyme
  • 1 1/2 TB Peppercorns
  • 1 TB Kosher Salt
  • 1 Bay Leaf

Put all ingredients in a large stock pot and fill with water.  Bring to a boil and turn down heat and simmer for 3 hours.  Strain into a large bowl and refrigerate for at least a day.  Once cool, scrape off the fat on the top of the stock and portion into containers and freeze.  It sounds very Martha Stewart but I actually do find it useful to pour some into an ice cube tray and have a bag of chicken stock ice cubes for times when I want to add a little bit of chicken stock to a dish.

If all of this sounds like more trouble than it’s worth, you can buy decent chicken stock.  I will warn you that once you make it, you’ll be like me and start to stress when your freezer doesn’t have any chicken stock in it.