Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pad Thai

My good friend Teresa gave me this recipe many years ago. I used to make it quite frequently and for whatever reason one day just forgot all about it. I've just started making it again recently and love it just as much as I used to.

2-3 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 C rice noodles, soaked
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
2-3 tbsp. unsalted, dry roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. sugar
1 to 1 1/2 tbsp. peanut butter
1 C bean sprouts
2 green onions, cut into 1 inch lengths

For garnish: 
extra bean sprouts, scallions and peanuts
lime wedges to squeeze over each serving

General tips and hints:
- the key to mastering this dish is to cook in small batches. This maintains the proper proportion of flavours and allows you to better manage the noodles as you cook.
- preparation is also very important - have all of your ingredients and utensils set to go before you begin the first batch. The actual cooking time is very small - just a few minutes per batch. Do not overcook - your noodles will break and your sauce will become clumpy and gummy. Just get everything nice and hot and mix well.
- your wok must be super hot. Place wok over high heat for 1-2 minutes before adding sauce or oil.
- keep a glass of water within reach. If noodles start to stick together at any point, lower heat slightly and add a small splash of water to unstick.
- allow wok to cool after cooking a batch, wash clean, reheat and repeat the recipe.
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add noodles, cover and remove from heat. Soak approximately 7 minutes and drain.
2. Heat wok over high heat for 1-2 minutes.
3. Add oil and garlic, cook until golden. Watch carefully - do not burn.
4. Lower heat to medium, add noodles and cook, stirring with two spatulas to prevent sticking. Stir fry for 2 minutes. If noodles clump, lower heat and add 1 tbsp. of water.
5. Add vinegar and continue to cook, stirring for 1 minute.
6. Sprinkle peanuts, chili powder and sugar on noodle mixture. Stir and toss to mix. Add 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp. peanut butter; allow to melt and then stir to mix. Quickly mix in sprouts and green onions.
7. Set batch aside in a covered pot and keep warm until all batches are complete.
8. Garnish with additional sprouts, green onions, peanuts and lime.
This sounds complicated to make, but since the cooking time per batch is quite short, it really doesn't take that much time to make. And it's well worth it. I threw in some chicken when I made it, to add in some protein.


Julie said...

What a coincidence, I made Pad Thai last night for dinner. Maybe I'll try your recipe out next time!

Kris said...

Does this recipe take a while to make?

Food for Thought Linds said...

Um... it's been a long time since I've made it. Though I should try it for the kids, since they're both addicted to the pad thai at Thai Express, lol. From memory, I don' think that it was terribly time consuming. Though don't cheat and try to do it in a bigger batch, because I've done that and it doesn't work out as well.