You know what travel means?
Taking a break, relaxing, site seeing, meeting people, learning a different culture, eating local food, doing stuff you don’t normally do in your own town such as cliff jumping, mountain biking, or rock climbing on a gigantic vertical rock locating in the middle of the deep ocean wearing swimming suits and rock climbing shoes only. (The list goes on.)
Oh yeah! I am 100% with you on all that fun stuff. I am especially excited about the eating part during travel. And sometimes I go a little out to recreate the food that I had on my trips. It could be Caribbean Latino food, American food, Mexican food, or Cajun cuisine.
As far as I am concerned, I have been embracing western cuisine world pretty damn well. What do you say? 😛
Well, although the joy of creating and cooking western food increases every day, I crave Asian food once in a while. And today is one of these days. I hope you are ready for some authentic Thai food!
This simple Pad Thai recipe comes from a cooking class I took in Chiang Mai, Thailand a couple years ago.
Why is it simple? You ask.
Aha! I know you are probably thinking a recipe that sounds so Thai must require some special ingredients or sauce that only the locals will have the access to.
The bad news is yes, you are absolutely correct!
The good news is that the special ingredients can be easily substituted with some very common stuff that you can easily pick up at the grocery store next door. Or, you might already have them in your kitchen.
In this case, the most authentic Pad Thai recipe calls for fresh tamarind juice. Where the heck do I get fresh tamarind? Have you seen it anywhere? Sure, you can find tamarind concentrate on Amazon, but how often would you use it?
Well, since tamarind is basically a sour agent, lime or lemon juice works just fine in our Pad Thai. Another alternative is to mix 2 teaspoons white vinegar with 3 tablespoons water. For the spicy kick, I discovered that ground fresh chili paste (Sambal Oelek) does the trick really well. Or, you can just go with red chili flakes.
If I have to choose another name for this recipe, it would be Pad Thai With Shrimp. Not a big fan of shrimp? Substitute it with chicken or pork. Vegetarian? Use tofu instead.
Now we have a simple start of getting all the ingredients we need. Let’s cook the thing. Believe it or not, your Pad Thai will be ready in 20 minutes. It’s super simple, super Thai!
Ladies and gentlemen, shall we? Let’s cook, enjoy and share!
- 8 oz rice noodles
- 2 cup bean sprouts
- 12-16 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
- 2 stems green onion, chopped
- 4 tbps Canola oil, divided
For the Pad Thai sauce
- 1/4 cup lemon juice or lime juice
- 3 tbsps fish sauce
- 3 tbsps brown sugar
- 1-2 tsps ground fresh chili paste (Sambal Oelek), or red chili flakes
- a handful of fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, crushed
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- Soak noodles in hot water for 8-10 minutes according to the package instruction for stir fry.
- Meanwhile, beat eggs, prepare or shaw shrimp, chop green onion and garlic, combine Pad Thai sauce ingredients in a small bowl. (Yes, you can do all that in 10 minutes with pre-prepared frozen shrimp).
- Once the noodle is softened, drain well.
- In a large sautépan, heat up 2 tbsps Canola oil over high heat. Add garlic and stir quickly. Add shrimp and stir for about 2 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add anther 2 tbsps oil in the pan. Now scramble the eggs over medium-high heat. This should take you less than a minute.
- Now pour the sauce into the pan, followed by green onions. Stir well. Add noodles, bean sprouts and cooked shrimp. Use tongs or chopsticks to mix until the sauce is evenly spread out onto the noodles. Taste. Add a pinch of salt or more chili flakes if desired.
- Turn off the heat. Dish and garnish with fresh cilantro, crushed roasted peanuts and lime wedges.
- Serving Size: 4