Monday, February 22, 2010
Pad Thai 101
Saturday afternoon was total bliss - and not just because I had a daylong break from putting Anna to bed for nap AND bedtime! (BTW, she's totally digging our new sitter. But I digress.)
All the ladies were invited to lunch by our friend, Ja, who graciously offered to teach us how to cook pad Thai at her place. Since Ja is Thai, I knew this was going to be freakin' awesome. I'd recently read in Hungry Monkey (pretty sure the dude's not Thai, given that he's Jewish) a recipe for pad Thai that was just OK, definitely not great. Ja must have read my mind because I was craving it something fierce!
So, 10 hot moms gathered around the stove, watched Ja do her magic and feasted on some righteous noodles. Beyond amazing. And Thai iced tea. What is in that? Crack? Because I need more! And cake. Enough said.
Two hours later, I plodded out of Ja's house stuffed with THREE PLATEFULS of pad Thai, plus the extra sauce she made so I could have another three platefuls WHENEVER I WANT! Score!
Want to have it, too? You're in luck, just read on. But stop salivating on the computer. That's not good for it. Sorry, talking to myself again...
See how the cookbook back there is written in Thai? So cool. But I'm a cookbook freak. I mean nerd. Whatever.
Here 'tis (thanks, Ja! You rock!):
For the sauce:
1 cup palm sugar
1 cup sugar
½ cup fish sauce
2/3 cup tamarind sauce
¼ cup white vinegar
¼ cup water
For the noodles:
3 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp thinly slice shallot
2 tbsp mince garlic
1 tbsp preserved cabbage
chicken/ jumbo shrimp
½ package firm or medium tofu cut in pieces
½ package rice stick noodles
1 package bean sprouts
¼ cup green onions
Soak noodles in water at least 3-4 hours. Like so:
Prepare sauce by putting all ingredients in saucepan and mix well until sauce becomes slightly thickened.
Heat oil in very hot wok. Add garlic, preserved cabbage and shallots, and cook for a minute or two.
Add tofu and cook until edges turn slightly brown.
Add chicken or shrimp and cook until cooked through. Like so:
Add noodles with a little white vinegar. If noodles are still hard, add a little bit of water.
Push ingredients away from center of wok to make a well, add little bit of oil to the center and then add the eggs. Like so:
Scramble the eggs lightly, cook until lightly set, then toss with the noodles.
Add sauce (don’t put the whole thing, just add half the recipe and add more to taste). It should be just wet, not too dry, not too wet.
Add bean sprouts and green onion. Turn off heat and enjoy – it’s better to serve immediately.