Reader Request: Pad Thai
Alright my friends, I've got a good one for you tonight! Just before the holidays, a reader contacted me with a request for pad thai. She said she's tried making it twice and it's only turned out so-so. I love pad thai so I was immediately excited about the idea of making it. I told her I'd get right on it after the holidays...so here we are! This one's for you Diane!
As excited as I initially was about the pad thai idea, I must admit that my excitement quickly faded as I began my search to figure out exactly how it is that you go about making pad thai. It is apparently one of those dishes that EVERYONE makes a different way. This was made quite clear by the fact that I looked at about 20 recipes and all of them were VERY different. Surprisingly, many of the recipes included ketchup in the sauce, which just didn't sound right to me, so I quickly eliminated those.
The first promising recipe I came upon was this one from Savory Sweet Life, but I was a little unsure about the ingredients in the sauce so I kept looking and I found this recipe from Off Her Cork. I liked the ingredients in her sauce better. She also had a link to this tutorial which is a great in-depth explanation about how to make pad thai...I'd recommend checking it out!
After reading through these three posts, my next step was to post on Twitter asking for any tips on making pad thai. I got this advice from Rachel at Hounds in the Kitchen: "Soak noodles, then Saute veg, push to side, cook egg, get pan super hot, add oil and noodles, then sauce." and this encouragement from Marisa at Mind Over Booty: "Oh good luck! That's one dish that I've been afraid of for years, but I'm planning on making it in 2011." With that I was ready!
Here's what I did:
First I chopped the veggies. I used broccoli, onion, green pepper and carrots.
Then I sliced the chicken. I used two pieces and I cheated and bought the thin sliced chicken breasts since I knew I was making this. On a side note, I read an interesting article in my Cooking Light magazine the other day about the hidden sodium in packaged chicken. It's in the liquid that chicken is packed in. Do yourself a favor next time you go to the store and check the label on your chicken for the sodium content. There can be up to 400mg in a 4 oz serving! I hunted around and found this find that only had 35mg in 4 oz. Much better! It's something I never thought to check so I thought I'd pass it along.
Next I made the sauce. I used 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 1/3 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup vegetable broth and 1/4 c chili sauce...plus the juice of 1/2 a lemon. I combined it all in a small saucepan, brought it to a boil and let it simmer. Taste the sauce as you go and add more of whatever you want.
Next up: noodles. Or rice sticks as they're called. I had half a package left over from when I made Summer Rolls so I just used the rest. All you have to do with these is boil some water, add the noodles and let them soak for 5 minutes. Then drain and set aside.
Let's begin! Get your pan really hot (use a wok if you have one- I don't). Add some oil and the chicken if you're using it, along with some garlic. I added cayenne pepper for an extra kick.
Add the veggies:
Mix in the noodles and a little sauce:
When your veggies are almost done, push everything to the side and crack an egg in the pan.
Poke the yolk and scramble the egg, then mix everything together. I used two eggs.
Finally, add some bean sprouts and green onions:
I only added about 1/2 the sauce while cooking. I served the rest on the side so it could be added as desired.
The verdict? A winner! I'm definitely glad I didn't add all of the sauce while cooking or I think it might have been too much. The flavor of the sauce was great and overall the dish tasted really good. The hubby approved as well. We each had a big plate and have some leftover for lunch. This dish would taste good hot or cold!
Give it a try! I did find it was hard to clean as I go like I normally do. Even with all the prep, the dish comes together quickly and kept me on my toes!
Good luck and enjoy!