It is starting to warm up nicely here. Over the weekend we went hiking and saw a ton of beautiful spring wildflowers. The park was a new place for us and the ground was covered in a blanket of wildflowers and ramps. The forest smelled slightly like garlic from all the ramps. After a long walk in the warm weather, I crave lighter foods and sometimes spicier foods. Pad (or sometimes called Pat or Phat) Thai definitely fits the bill. I ate Pad Thai once in Thailand. It was good, but it certainly wasn't my favorite dish I had there. But, it remains one of the most popular Thai dishes in the U.S. This was the first time I made this myself and we enjoyed it a lot. I used the recipe from Thai Food as a guide. I love this cookbook, but sometimes I take shortcuts or make substitutions because even with all the Asian markets around me, I can't always find every ingredient. Below is my adapted recipe which will serve two very hungry people.
Pad (Pat) Thai
1 package (about 7 oz.) dried thin rice noodles
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon cane sugar
2 teaspoons tamarind paste
2 tablespoons fish sauce
juice of half a lime
coconut oil, for cooking
1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
4 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias, greens and whites separated
about 1/3 lb. (about 13-15) medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined*
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
about 2 cups of bean sprouts
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, crushed
roughly chopped cilantro, for serving
extra lime wedges, for serving
Soak the rice noodles in room temperature water for about 1 hour, or until soft. Then drain.
Simmer the sugars, tamarind, fish sauce, and lime juice in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
Heat about 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a wok or large skillet until hot. Add the shallot and scallions whites. Cook, stirring often, until they just start to color. Turn down the heat and add the shrimp and eggs. Stir vigorously to break apart and scramble the eggs. Add another tablespoons of oil and turn the heat back up. Add the noodles and stir-fry for about 2 minutes, tossing often. Then stir in the reserved sauce, red papper flakes, and 1 cup of bean sprouts. Toss until coated and hot and the shrimp is cooked through.
Serve topped with the reserved scallion greens, crushed peanuts, remaining bean sprouts, cilantro, and lime wedges. Serve with extra red pepper flakes or chili sauce for a hotter dish.
*You may also use cooked shredded chicken and/or firm tofu
What was I cooking one year ago?: coconut chocolate chip banana bread
Two years ago?: sweet and sour chicken
Three?: parsnip muffins