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Pad Thai

I do believe I promised this recipe quite some time ago.

So, needless to say, I’m just getting around to it.  Probably because I made it last night.  It has more than four ingredients (sorry about that, Janie!), but it’s still pretty damn simple to make.

Because, frankly, I cheat.  I use a bottled pad thai sauce I buy at the local Asian market, which is roughly the size and shape of my bedroom closet.  But hey – I can get pad thai sauce, sweet chili sauce, chili bean sauce, fish sauce, rice noodles, rice paper wrappers, edamame, canned lychees, wasabi peas, a huge variety of curry pastes, CHEAP coconut milk and rice, and even taro, believe it or not.  I love the place.

Anyhoo, here’s my recipe for pad thai.  It makes 3 -4 very generous servings and is one of the few things The Young One will eat without having someone stand over him with a whip and a chair.  You do have to make it one serving at a time, but those you’re cooking for can hang around in the kitchen (which is where we eat 99.99% of the time) and keep you company.

You can sub the chicken with shrimp – just make sure you don’t overcook the shrimp, which is very easy to do – and you can make the dish vegetarian by substituting the meat with cubes of firm tofu.  Use tofu and omit the egg to make it vegan.

Pad Thai

8 ounces thin rice noodles

vegetable oil

6 – 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts,  cut into bite-sized pieces

3 -4 eggs (depending on how many servings you’re making)

commercially prepared pad thai sauce

bean sprouts

chopped peanuts or cashews

chopped cilantro

lime wedges

Cook the noodles in boiling water for 5 – 6 minutes, being careful not to overcook.  Drain and rinse them with cold water until completely cooled.  Set aside.

Heat a wok or large, heavy skillet over high heat until nearly smoking.  Add about a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the wok/skillet; wait about 30 – 45 seconds and add 1/3 – 1/4 of the chicken.  Stir fry briskly for 2 – 3 minutes, until the chicken is almost completely cooked through.

Lightly beat an egg, and add it to the chicken, pouring it down the side of the wok if that’s what you’re using, and scramble it quickly in with the chicken.  Add 2 – 4 tablespoons of the prepared pad thai sauce, depending on individual tastes (The Young One likes the lesser amount; I like a lot) and continue to stir fry the mixture for another minute.

Add 1/3 to 1/4 of the rice noodles; stir fry for another minute or until the noodles are heated through.  Turn out onto a plate and garnish with the bean sprouts, nuts, cilantro and lime wedges.

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