Friday, March 1, 2013

My Pad Thai

There is one good thing to say about city living- you can get good Asian food. When you live out in the country, the Asian food sucks. So I decided to make my own Pad Thai. After a little trial and error, it actually turned into a good and pretty healthy recipe.  I was surprised at how good it came out, and it is actually kind of good for you. It has eggs and shrimp (both healthy protein), carbohydrate (can be whole grain) and vegetables- bean sprouts and chives. It is also milk and gluten free.

 My main source for the recipe was here It goes through all your options and how to make it. In basic terms, though (so you don't have to read her ten page recipe) it starts with your sauce. You need tamarind, sugar and fish sauce (if you never want to look at Asian food the same way again, look up how fish sauce is traditionally made). I would not buy the tamarind bricks in the Asian section of the store- I can't seem to get them to un-brick and mix with the other ingredients. That and I think they have a funky flavor. I would get the un-shelled tamarindo from the Mexican market. You mix equal parts fish sauce and tamarind pulp with a little less sugar (half cup of tamarind and fish sauce and a third cup sugar). Mix that up- it will keep in the fridge.

Then boil your noodles- I use brown rice penne from Hodgeson's Mill or Tinkyada brown rice fettucine but I'm trying to maximize my B vitamin intake. Most people will like plain old white rice noodles just fine and they are cheaper. If you do go for the good stuff be warned- the package directions will have you cook it down into rice glue. I cook for about 75% of the recommended time and then taste test every few minutes from there. BTW, you want your noodles a little underdone.

While the noodles boil, start your wok or frying pan. Use medium high heat. I use about two tablespoons grease and fry the shrimp or chicken in that. Then I add the noodles tot he meat and put in about a tablespoon of sauce and stir. Don't try to make more than a plateful at a time or the noodles will get all sticky and gluey. As soon as your sauce is mixed in, push your stuff to one side of the pan and crack an egg in the other half. While the egg fries, put a handful of bean sprouts (mung beans are best and super easy to sprout for yourself in a few days) and some chives on top of the pile to take the chill out of them. Then chop your egg up with the spatula and mix it all together. It's ready to eat!

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