Pad Thai is one of those dishes that is different every time I order it in a restaurant. I have had sauce that tasted just like Franks Red Hot Sauce, and others that were more like curry. No two recipes that I have compared have been similar much beyond the rice noodles. One thing I have found, is that most of the recipes and restaurant dishes are heavy on the amount of noodles and light on the portion of vegetables. My favourite recipe that I find myself going back to time and again is "Spicy Thai Noodles with Vegetables" from Anne Lindsay's Lighthearted Everyday Cooking.
When making this dish, I find it easiest to complete all the measuring, chopping and sauce making ahead of time. I like to add shrimp at the same time as I add the sauce and the noodles. Thawed, uncooked shrimp that has been shelled and with tails removed works best. Often I end up using pieces from a shrimp ring as that's what I find in my freezer. Feel free to play around with vegetables and add what you like and/or have on hand.
Spicy Thai Noodles with Vegetables (Pad Thai)
8 oz flat rice noodles
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
2 cups thinly sliced cabbage (savoy works very well)
1 medium carrot, cut in julienne strips (coarsely shred is faster)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups bean sprouts
1 cup julienned green onions (I like to slice them in little rings then cut the rings in half)
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
1/4 chopped peanuts/raw cashews
3 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla or Thai fish sauce) or 2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp molasses
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes
- Cover and soak rice noodles according to package instructions. Drain well.
- Seasoning Sauce: In small bowl, combine fish sauce, ketchup, water, molasses, soy sauce, sugar and hot pepper flakes; set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; stir in garlic, then cabbage and carrot. Stir- fry for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp. Push vegetables to side of pan; pour in eggs and stir to scramble. (I remove vegetables to a large glass bowl, cook eggs omelet style, cut eggs up with spatula, then return veggies to the pan)
- Add drained noodles and sauce; reduce heat to medium and stir-fry until noodles soften, about 4 minutes. Add 2 cups of the bean sprouts and green onions; stir until mixed and heated through. (I add all the bean sprouts but not the green onions, which I use as a garnish) Transfer to serving platter or individual plates. Sprinkle with coriander, peanuts and remaining bean sprouts.
Before adding eggs, add 1 cup chopped raw chicken or pork and/or 1 cup cooked or raw shrimp to pan; stir-fry until cooked. Then add eggs and continue as in above recipe.
Do you make Pad Thai? In the comments section, please leave a link to your favourite recipe.
Weekend Cooking post. You are invited to add a link to your recent food related post.