If you follow the blog, or have the insider scoop to my life in general, you will have heard that I gave up potatoes and cheese for Lent.
Today, I consumed ice cream, a cupcake, and three oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. So as you can see, abstaining from typically fatty foods is going about as well as could be expected.
The upside to not having my old standbys as an option until April is that I’m experimenting with other types of cuisine. Thai, Indian, Chinese – no one from these countries seem to mind a noted absence of potatoes and cheese.
And while I do find these categories wonderfully delicious, I usually bypass them for my stereotypically American choices of cheeseburgers, fries (and/or tater tots), and pizza.
So imagine my delight when I discovered how easy it can be to make Pad Thai.
There are some phenomenal Thai restaurants in the Twin Cities. I happen to live about a mile from one of them, and I can’t deny their Pad Thai.
But it always seemed far too complex to make on my own. What the heck is in that sauce that creates such an ambiguously amazing flavor? Egg and peanuts? What’s up with that? Two things I would never add to a noodle dish – scrambled eggs and peanuts.
But in pad thai, who the heck cares!? Just bring on the noodles! And a side of cream cheese wontons…which I also can’t eat until April….
- 8 ounces dried, wide and flat rice noodles
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 4 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp sweet chili sauce
- One small bunch of scallions (green onions), white and green parts, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 large eggs, light beaten (optional)
- ¼ cup chopped salted peanuts
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- 2 chicken breasts, chopped into bite size pieces (optional, add the protein of your choice!)
- 1 cup bean sprouts (optional-ish – none here because I can’t stand bean sprouts)
1. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Set a pan of water to boil.
2. Toss in the garlic and all but 1/4 cup of the chopped green onions (scallions) – set these aside for garnish – into the sauce pan, and cook until lightly browned, about 1 or 2 minutes. Add in the chicken, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the chicken is done. Depending on the size of the pieces you have, it could be around 10 minutes.
3. When your chicken is about half way done, add the noodles to the boiling water (mine took 4 minutes to cook), and cook until al dente. I don’t know if this counts in Thai cooking, but it’s definitely better to slightly undercook the noodles because they will continue to cook in the pan later on.
4. Gently scramble the eggs in a small pan, and cook until just done – you don’t want them too dry. While these are all cooking (look at you, multitasker!) quickly mix up the sauce by whisking together the brown sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, and sweet chili sauce until the sugar is disolved.
5. When your noodles are done, strain them, and add them into the pan with the now cooked chicken/green onions/garlic. Add the cooked eggs, and toss gently to combine everything. Pour the sauce over the whole lot and carefully stir it all together, making sure everything is coated.
6. Transfer your noodles into bowls and garnish with peanuts and/or lime to your liking!