Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pad Thai, or so I call it

One of my favorite comfort foods is a dish I learned from my brother Alex. We call it Pad Thai- though the only similarity it has to the Pad Thai I've had in restaurants is that both dishes contain rice noodles. This one is beautifully fresh, simple and like I said, great comfort food.

Last night, Shannon and I got a rare chance to cook together and we decided to make Pad Thai. This might be one of those dishes that has to be taught in person and not by recipe, but I thought I'd try to share in any case.

Chop: 1 bunch of scallions-divided into white (for frying) and green (for topping) parts.
1 large bunch of cilantro
Roasted, salted peanuts
Set aside for garnish at the end of the prep.

Soak in boiling water about 4 minutes:
1 package rice noodles (the wide ones)

Make frying sauce: This is the ambiguous part. You need a sauce to flavor the noodles as they finish cooking. I think it needs to have the elements of sweet, sour, salty and spicy, so I have used anything from ketchup to red curry to flavor it- which will not be strong once the noodles absorb it. This is not the time for subtlety. If you are not vegetarian, you'd probably use fish sauce. Last night, I used mirin, rice vinegar, honey, and red chili paste (heavy on the chili paste). Combine a mixture of 1/2 sauce and 1/2 water to make a total of 2 cups.

Chop: 4 cloves of garlic

Heat peanut (or other high heat) oil in large wok. Fry whites of scallions and garlic on high heat for just a bit- maybe 30 seconds. Grab noodles out of bowl with tongs and toss
in wok. Pour in about a third of the sauce at a time, letting the noodles absorb the sauce fully before you add more. You don't have to use all of the sauce- you just don't want the noodles to dry out.
Shift all of the noodles to one side of the wok. Crack 4 eggs in wok, one or two at a time, scrambling and tossing with noodles until cooked.
Serve in bowls, and top with Siracha, chopped cilantro, peanuts, greens of scallions and squeeze of lime to taste. You can also add Mung Bean sprouts, (but I never do).


  1. Yum! I loved it that time you made it for me (hint hint).

  2. Having eaten this with you I super love this post even more, and so nice to have a reference like this!