When I think of somewhere I want to go out to eat, often times Thai food comes to mind. In particular, Pad Thai! There’s a great place where we live called Asia Diner that has probably made the best Pad Thai I’ve ever had. It had great veggies, perfect balance of spice, and enough to have probably 2 or 3 portions. Instead of spending $20 to go out to eat, I decided to try to tackle this simple yet complex dish. Here’s what you’ll need:
8 oz. dried pad thai rice noodles
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 Tbsp diced onion
3-4 heads of baby bok choy
2-3 cups bean sprouts
2 sliced green onions
1/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
3/4 tbsp vegetable oil
2-3 tbsp vegetable stock
Pad Thai sauce:
3/4 Tbsp tamarind paste (**NOTE: You will literally not find this anywhere else you go to a specialty Asian market. A great substitue is equal parts brown sugar and lime juice. I used 3/4 Tbsp brown sugar and lime juice**)
1/4 cup vegetable stock
3+1/2 tbsp soy sauce (use low sodium – it helps you control the salt level)
1 tsp chili sauce
3 tbsp brown sugar
This is a classic 1000 ingredient recipe, but so worth it! First, bring a pot of water to a boil. Dunk in your rice noodles and stir to separate. Cook about 4-6 minutes until the noodles are limp, but still a little al dente – they will cook later. Drain them under cold water to shock them and stop the cooking process. While the noodles are cooking, you can start on your pad thai sauce. Combine all the ingredients and whisk so that they are all mixed well together – make sure all of the brown sugar is completely dissolved. It should be sour and sweet and then salty and spicy. You can adjust the ingredients to taste.
Next, warm a wok or large frying pan at like medium high heat. Add some oil and then start sweating down your garlic and onions. Once they have cooked down, add your bok choy and some vegetable stock to help keep them frying. A good measure to know when it’s been cooked enough – the bok choy will turn bright green and slightly soft.
Next, push those ingredients to the side and then break your two eggs and scramble. Mix thoroughly. Once you’ve mixed them together, mix in your rice noodles and 1/3 of the sauce and stir fry. The best method to make sure everything is mixed together, use two utensils kind of like a salad tossing motion. Continue to add the sauce a little bit a time until it’s all completely mixed together. Keep your heat medium high, but if the noodles start to stick or burn, reduce the heat.
Once everything is mixed thoroughly together, take off the head and then add your bean sprout, green onions, and your peanuts. Toss together and then taste test to make sure the flavors are right. I ended up adding a little more soy sauce to help get that salt at the right level. Add some lime juice, scoop and serve, and enjoy!
This was such a successful recipe. It was a little labor intensive, but so worth it. I found it taste like restaurant quality and had just the right kick of heat with the sweetness from the brown sugar. It had a nice crunch from the bean sprouts and green onions. It was a classic pad thai – what more needs to be said!? 🙂