First attempt: pad thai.

Pad thaiThis year, not only do I have a list of resolutions and goals for my life in general, but I also have one for cooking and baking. My theme for this year is to be fearless and to not be afraid of failure.

There are a number of food dishes that I know I want to accomplish this year: tonkotsu ramen, pho, Taiwanese beef noodle soup, and pad thai. Lucky for me, I was able to cross the latter off my list.

Making my own homemade pad thai has always been in the back of my mind. It seems to resurface every time I eat at a Thai restaurant which actually, to be honest, is not that often. Until now.

I recently came back from a trip to Seattle with my girlfriend, Vanessa, who introduced to this AMAZING Thai restaurant in the University District of Seattle. Okay, maybe the term “restaurant” was a bit too generous. This place was a total hole-in-the-wall. It consisted of a bar and maybe three to four small tables along the side. I also accused the waitress of stealing my phone (she coincidentally had the exact same phone in the exact same iPhone case, figures). It was that type of shady. This wonderful place is called Thai Thom’s.

A quick check-in to Foursquare notified me to try the pad thai as it was boasted “best in the city” and to quote another Foursquare user, “Oh, this is what real Thai food is supposed to taste like?”. Vanessa also backed all this shit up. Done. I requested it to be extra spicy and ordered a side of Thai tea to wash it all down.

Legit. So legit! My mouth was on fire. And for only $7.50? Done. And to be honest, I was thinking about it the entire weekend. I had to make it myself.

So…pad thai from scratch. The recipes online are so useless. Every pad thai recipe is going to be different. So what I did was that I took the most common ingredients and adjusted it to my taste. I could pretty much recite every little detail but Chez Pim summed everything up perfectly in her “Pad Thai for Beginners” article. I will definitely do it portion by portion next time as my noodles clumped together and had to add so much water just to ensure that the noodles cooked up evenly. Other than that, it was perfect! Probably will add more sugar next time. Thank you, Chez Pim!!!

Now, your turn!
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What you’ll need:
– 1/2 cup tamarind paste
– 1/2 cup fish sauce
– 1/3 cup brown sugar
– 2 tsps red chili flakes
– 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
– 1 pkg (500g) banh pho rice stick noodles
– 2 tbsp vegetable oil
– 1 small onion
– 5 garlic cloves, minced
– 2 pkgs firm deep-fried tofu
– 2 eggs
– 3 stalks scallions, chopped
– 6 cups bean sprouts
– 1 cup frozen shrimp
– Fresh cilantro, as needed
– Fresh bean sprouts, as needed
– Lime wedges, as needed

What you’ll need to do:
1. Soak your rice stick noodles in water. Make sure that all the noodles are fully covered.
2. Meanwhile, make your sauce. Combine the fish sauce, tamarind paste, sugar, chili garlic sauce, and chili flakes and heat on medium-high until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat.
3. After this, chop all your vegetables and produce if you haven’t already done so.
4. When you are ready, heat the vegetable oil in a large wok on high.
5. Add the garlic and onions to the pan. While they are sauteeing, drain your noodles. Fry the onions and garlic for 2 minutes.
6. Add your drained noodles to the pan and add the sauce. If needed, add water to ensure that the noodles become fully cooked. They should be al dente in texture.
7. Once the noodles are cooked, push them aside and crack the two eggs into the pan. Act fast and scramble them, coating them with the noodles.
8. Next, add your tofu, bean sprouts, and scallions. Mix until combined.
9. Lastly, add your shrimp and cook for one minute.
10. Serve with fresh cilantro, bean sprouts and lime wedges. Makes 8 servings.


4 thoughts on “First attempt: pad thai.

  1. Hey Steph – you’re inspiring me to make pad thai now. Where did you buy the tamarind paste? Do you think you can post a photo of it? And the chili garlic sauce?

  2. Pingback: Forever a noodle queen. | Umami & Me

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