Tuesday, 28 February 2012


Last week I decided to stray from the norm and attempt Pad Thai.  Ambitious?  Yes.  Successful?  Yes.  I was possibly most worried about finding all of the ingredients in the grocery store, but considering hubby did the grocery shopping, that wasn't much of a problem.

I combined this recipe and this recipe because the former seemed simple and easy to follow, while the latter seemed more authentic.  Here is what I used (all found at the grocery store):

1 package of Thai rice noodles - mine said Pad Thai on the package
1/3 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 lime
4 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic crushed or minced
1 green pepper
1 egg
1/2 package of bean sprouts
2 tbsp chopped peanuts

To start, soak the rice noodles in warm water.  The Canadian Living recipe recommended 15 minutes but I didn't find this was long enough.  The noodles should be firm but flexible when they're done soaking and I think next time I'm going to try 20 + minutes.  I ended up adding more and more water to the entire dish to try to get the noodles to cook more later on.

I like my Pad Thai with chicken, so that's what I made.  Cook up your meat of choice (or tofu for the vegetarians of the world) in a frying pan.

The sauce is clearly the most important part.  Traditionally, Pad Thai sauce consists of: fish sauce, palm sugar, and tamarind.  A friend was kind enough to give me a couple of tips.  Tamarind is the main ingredient in Worcestershire sauce so you can substitute with W sauce (seriously - how do you pronounce that word?).  This same friend informed me palm sugar is brown sugar and maple syrup.  (I didn't research this to confirm if she's right, but I did substitute brown sugar.)

Do you have a whisk you know, love, and don't get to use often?  Get it out and put that whisk to work!  Combine the chili sauce, fish sauce, juice of 1 lime, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and hot pepper sauce.  Set aside.

In a wok (or a pot if you also don't own a wok), toast the peanuts in the olive oil on medium-high heat.  Remove the peanuts when done.  You will use them as a garnish later.

Turn the heat down to medium-low and in the same pan, cook the green pepper and garlic in the remaining olive oil until softened.  Add the noodles that have been soaking.  Mix in the sauce you worked so hard on and stir until thickened.  Add the bean sprouts and chicken/shrimp/tofu.

Push the noodles and vegetables to the side of the pot/wok and scramble the egg in the remaining space.  Once cooked, stir into the rest of the dish.  Serve on a plate and sprinkle the peanuts on top.  You may also garnish the dish with coriander, although personally, I can't stand the stuff!

It's a yummy dinner and not too difficult as long as you're organized.  I must say, it didn't quite taste like pad thai from a restaurant, but it was still tasty!

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