Thursday, September 27, 2007

Pad Thai

When I've been to Bangkok, the main delight was eating the astoundingly cheap yet amazingly delicious pad thai that the locals whip up on their mobile woks along the street. I've had pad thai at restaurants of various quality, price and location in the world and have never found a comparable pad thai. I wanted desperately to recreate that dish. What I made wasn't exactly the same but still turned out, if I say so myself, pretty delicious. I found the recipe at this website that specializes in Thai food, made a few modifications, and had it for dinner. This makes about 4 servings.
-Chop 1 small onion
-Crush 4 cloves garlic
-Get a 1 lb/400 gm package of dried rice noodles (I used the flat kind)
-Chop up a small piece of pork
-Chop 1/2 a cup of firm tofu-Ready 4 tbsp sugar, 3 tbsp fish sauce, ~4 tbsp vinegar, and 1 tsp chili powder
-Ready 3 eggs
-Chop up a handful of green onion and bean sprouts
-Crush 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts
-Soak the noodles in water for about 5 minutes (this is what I did per the recipe and found this was not enough, next time I'd half cook them in boiling water!)
-In a large wok, fry the onion and garlic for a couple minutes with a couple tbsp of olive oil on medium heat, then add the noodles-Fry for 5 minutes or so, or until noodles are well cooked, then add the sugar, fish sauce, vinegar and chili powder. Mix for another minute or so and then put aside (it said in the recipe, put to the side of the wok but I think you'd need a gigantic wok to be able to do that, so I just put it in a bowl)-In the same wok with added olive oil, fry pork and tofu for about 5 minutes or until pork is not pink on the outside-Toss the pork into the bowl, mix well
-Add a bit more oil to the wok and break the 3 eggs into it, scramble it a bit, and fry for 2-4 minutes (pending on how cooked you like your eggs)-Then pour the noodles and pork back in and mix well, turning off the heat
-Add bean sprouts and green onion
-Serve with crushed peanuts on the side

-I was very pleased with how this turned out. It was a bit sweet, not salty, not too vinegary (which is great since I don't like vinegar, usually), but not spicy. Next time I'd fry a chili pepper or two with the onion and garlic
-The noodles were good but, due to soaking without boiling at all, a bit undercooked. They were difficult to fry, as well. Next time I might try with a different noodle
-The recipe called for salted Chinese radish but I didn't have that so didn't use it, if you have it or love it, you should throw it in

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