Friday, August 13, 2010

Pad Thai

I'm a fan of pad thai. The rice noodles, the cilantro and the spiciness is just a yummy recipe. I've been on the hunt for a pad thai recipe for quite a while. However a lot of the recipes have ingredients like fish sauce and other items that I wouldn't be using for other dishes. So I've held off. Until Everyday Food printed this recipe that didn't include fish sauce! Hooray! This is a vegetarian recipe, but I added some shrimp for protein.

Pad Thai

8 oz. dried, wide and flat rice noodles
2 Tb. dark0brown sugar
2 Tb. lime juice
3 Tb. soy sauce
2 tsp. vegetable oil
3 scallions, white and green parts
1 garlic glove, minced
2 large eggs (optional), lightly beaten
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped, roasted, salted peanuts

Soak noodles according to package instructions and drain. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, lime juice and soy sauce.

In a large, nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add scallion whites and garlic and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add egg, if using, and cook, scraping skillet with a rubber spatula until eggs are almost set, about 30 seconds. Transfer egg mixture to a plate.

Add noodles and soy-sauce mixture to skillet; cook, tossing constantly, until noodles are soft and coated with sauce, about 1 minute. Add egg mixture and toss to coat, breaking eggs up gently. Serve noodles with lime wedges, topped with cilantro and peanuts.

Wrong noodles....

This didn't turn out bad. It probably would've been a lot better if I had gotten the right kind of noodles. You'll notice that I got the thin rice noodles. While they still soaked up the flavor well, it didn't have the same texture as the wide, flat noodles that are typically seen in pad thai dishes. But props to Everyday Food for coming up with a recipe that doesn't require the use of fish sauce and kept the same basic flavors.

I do miss the spiciness of restaurant pad thai dishes. So next time, I'll probably try to find a different recipe and maybe bite the bullet and use fish sauce. I'll definitely buy the correct type of noodles too, which would probably help.

But this is a good recipe to introduce people to pad thai if you've never had it before. Super easy and no foreign ingredients, except maybe the rice noodles. Don't skip out on the cilantro! That's a key ingredient to the flavor of this pasta dish. Though the peanuts are probably another key element, I skipped those because I'm not a fan. I have seen some pad thai dishes serve sprouts also. You can definitely cook some up and toss them in this dish. Actually, you could add a lot of different things to this dish and have it come out well.

So this recipe leaves room for improvements and tweaks. Not a bad starter, and if you like the flavor of pad thai, but not the heat, you'll like this dish. Just make sure to get the right kind of noodles!

Happy cooking!

P.S. Happy Friday the 13th.....

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