Good Day – Pad Thai
So… been a while, but I’m trying to wrangle up the different iterations of Pad Thai and Pad Thai Sauce that everyone has been asking about. So first time Dizzle had Pad Thai as in the Lou, U-City specifically with some friends planning a music festival. First time he ever brought himself to eat tofu… now the fool doesn’t eat meat! What a difference 10 years makes!
So when Weezy began keeping a diary of sorts online, we began to notice Pad Thai was the most popular thing people read – how-to, sauce, etc. She keeps a purple, three ring binder in the kitchen – not everything on the online diary makes it into NGM. Heck, most of the last few years has yet to be posted to NGM
- Sourdough starters
- Refinements of the standard whip-whips (easy meals, yes including Pad Thai)
- Garden padawan under the vigorous tutelage of Anita
- Another baby boy is coming to our house this Summer
SO… it began with the first Pad Thai post… wait – we use brown rice noods, not the normal rice noodles. Mainly for diet preferences, but they are a better source of protein than “traditional” white noodles.
Pad Thai Recipe Changes
So I began with a basic “how to” for making the dish and what to include. It is something you make to your tastes! Little Man will take noods and tofu squares and sauce – skip all the other prep 🙂 A local Thai place has all kinds of yummy toppings that we cannot source ourselves
Then I had a “best of” ideas/notes on how to easily prepare your Pad Thai
Best of Pad Thai Notes/Ideas
- Add more heat using more chili sauce (sambal oelek) in the recipe or crushed pepper at the table.
- Soak the brown rice noodles for 10 minutes in warm water rather than boiling. Big difference.
- Hot oil adds tons of flavor to both the tofu and the whole dish.
- Using two large utensils for tossing while stir frying was a big winner. Combined everything nicely without creating a gloppy mess.
- Herbs are another key. I think my favorite is good ole fashioned sweet basil.
- Scallions vary widely in pungency. When I buy the standards that are usually large at the grocery store, I would probably only use 1-2. The ones I got recently from a Thai vendor at the market were nice and mild meaning I could use more.
- I like using a large non-stick pan rather than a wok. Call me lazy, but it is SO much easier and the clean-up doesn’t have to be immediate (meaning before enjoying the meal).
- Any crushed nut will do. I think peanuts are traditional. I love cashews, pistachios, or even almonds. (we’ve begun to toast the nuts in the pan while waiting to serve meal)
Pad Thai Sauce Iterations
Then after a lot of experimenting and measuring we (our taste-buds) landed on the following:
This is a simple whip-whip — brown shuga, low sodium soy sauce and lime juice. So it is a Vegan Pad Thai Sauce – which we like, not a must have, but nice – and three ingredients you likely have in your pantry if your about to cook Pad Thai.
Final Pad Thai Recipe …
When cooking for 2… Before starting… Prepare 2 servings of firm tofu. This means pressing the water out for a short while, marinating in vinegar and soy sauce, and then doing a quick saute. Set aside.
1. Soak 2 servings of noodles in hot steamy water, in a bowl not on the heat, for around 6-8 minutes.
2. Grate 2 inches ginger and a couple garlic cloves.
3. Slice 2-4 green onions.
At the 4-5 minute mark on the noodle soak…
4. Heat a small amount of oil in a large skillet pan on medium. Add ginger and garlic. (Hot oil is awesome if you have it.)
5. Drain noodles and add to pan.
6. Add sauce to almost cover noodles. Stir to combine everything. Add a lid. Make sure the sauce and noodles are on a medium low bubble.
7. Cook for a few minutes, not too high, stirring and adding more sauce if necessary to avoid drying out the noodles.
When you’ve tasted the noodles and they are just tender…
9. Divide onto two plates or large bowls. Top with tofu and chopped peanuts or cashews.