Sunday, October 3, 2010

Pad Thai

So, anyone who knows my dad, or his cooking, knows he has a special relationship with soy sauce. I mean, really, I grew up with some pretty delicious marinated chicken, grilled salmon, and even some awesome stir fries and sesame noodles for a Jewish girl in the suburbs of Boston. I learned how to whip up a really good marinade with a few simple ingredients, the most important of which is clearly soy sauce. However, one might argue there is a time and a place for soy sauce - brisket, does not need soy sauce, neither does chili. Sorry dad.

But, since my dad loves soy sauce so much, it seemed fitting to introduce him to some other delicious Asian ingredients. Almost two years ago, my dad received a yummy gift basket filled with Sriracha, Oyster Sauce, Mae Ploy (sweet chili sauce) etc. He also received all the ingredients he needed to make authentic Pad Thai… Pad Thai sauce (a recommended brand, not some supermarket junk), rice noodles, minced turnip, peanuts, etc.

Well, this summer, I happened to notice all of these ingredients sitting untouched in my dad’s kitchen. That had to be fixed. So, with little effort, I convinced him we should tackle Pad Thai.

As we got started, I realized this recipe was a very classic family recipe… what I mean by that is, it makes no sense. It’s like recipes' of my grandma that say “cook until done.” I’m leaving the original recipe, because I don’t want to ruin that authenticity of this passed down family recipe… but I will do my best to make some notes for clarification.

Happy Pad Thai-ing!


• Rice noodles
• Pad Thai sauce
• Garlic
• Shrimp
• Firm Tofu
• 1 tsp minced turnip
• Bean sprouts
• Garlic chives
• ¼ lime
• Parsley for garnish
• 2 eggs
• Peanuts

Chop and roast peanuts in toaster at 350 for 15 minutes. Set aside for garnish.

Stir fry noodles separately, add water. The first important note is that you need to pre-soak the noodles!! This takes about an hour.  Add pad thai sauce and sugar (if desired) to noodles.

In a wok fry garlic and shrimp in olive oil.  We skipped shrimp because I'm one of those annoying people who is allergic to shellfish.  But you can of course do shrimp here, skip, or substitute chicken. 

Add tofu (cubed, dry bean curd style) and turnip. Tofu is tricky business at non-Asian markets. When I can, I buy Tofu Cutlets that are already cooked, and then cook them again, then they are super firm. If I can’t get that, then I slow cook the tofu for a long time to get the moisture out. Nothing grosser than giggly tofu.

Add 2 eggs and mix up to cook.  Add lime to both mixtures.  Add noodles to wok with shrimp. Add peanuts, bean sprouts, and garlic chives. We could not find garlic chive at a regular super market, so we improvised with scallion. Scallions, chives, some sort of mild onion flavor will do the trick.

After you plate add parsley and more peanuts for garnish.

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