29 April 2011

Pad Thai is best made from scratch.

I inherited this bottle of Pad Thai sauce that promised an authentic experience when dumped over rice noodles and vegetables. Meh. It was flavored ketchup, and it did nothing to remind me of Pad Thai. (It was not bad on fries, though.)  It did, however, remind me that making Pad Thai from scratch is not difficult. I will say that, as a white girl using ingredients I pick up at Safeway, this recipe is not overly authentic, either... but I promise you that it will be more flavorful than the bottled sauce.

Pad Thai (It’s not that hard. Why buy a sauce?)

Serves 4. Adapted from Vegetarian Times recipe.

8 oz. uncooked rice noodles

2 tsp. peanut oil

2 eggs, cracked into a bowl and beaten

2 medium cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeno, chopped and seeded

1 medium red bell pepper, julienned

2 ripe large tomatoes, seeded and diced

4 oz. snow peas, strings removed

4 oz. firm tofu, drained well and cut into 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

2 Tbs. fresh lime juice

2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro

2 Tbs. tamarind concentrate

2 Tbs. fish sauce

1/4 cup chopped cashews (1 oz.)

4 scallions (white and light green parts), chopped

2 oz. fresh bean sprouts (1 cup)

In large pot, bring 3 quarts water to a boil. Add noodles; stir to prevent sticking. Cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the beaten eggs and scramble (stir constantly) until they are a bit dry. Add garlic, jalapeno, and bell pepper and stir-fry 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, snow peas and tofu and stir-fry until vegetables are just tender, about 4 minutes. Add tamarind, fish sauce, soy sauce and lime juice and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes more. Stir in cooked noodles and cilantro.

Divide noodle mixture among plates. Sprinkle with cashews, scallions and bean sprouts and serve right away.

I like to serve this noodle dish over cooked jasmine rice, but I may just have a carb problem…