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Monday, March 05, 2007

Thai Food - It's a First!

Firstly.. thank you all for the wonderful support and well wishes in comments and e-mail - ya'll are the best, thanks so much for caring about myself and my Mommie. =)

Secondly - FOOD. Let's get back to our favorite subject, shall we?

Not too very long ago, one of my closest friends, Morven, sent me a recipe for Pad Thai. I'd never had it (hell, I've never had Thai food period) but her description of it sounded so good and the recipe looked like something I could pull off pretty easily. So I printed it out in hopes to make it as soon as I had bought the ingredients. Specifically the rice noodles, as my local "mega" mart doesn't carry them. Go figger.

One day after a trip to the farmer's market, we headed to an area in Cleveland that is predominantly Asian, in hopes of finding a Asian market. Low and behold, we got lucky and struck pay dirt. We spent about 2 hours in there just looking around.. it was fabulous. Never before had I been in such a culturally rich environment. Seriously. The wonders of all the food items that I was not familiar with, the smells of so many spices, seafood and fresh produce. It was all new and fabulous. Needless to say, I found several varieties of rice noodles and picked up quite a few of them. We also bought all the ingredients we'll need to make our own sushi - which we are very much looking forward to (it's our new food passion). We left with bags and bags of items and were already looking forward to the next time we'd visit.

A few nights later, I took my new Pad Thai recipe out and set to work.. it was quite easy to put together and the end result was what I now refer to as my most favorite noodle dish of all time. I could eat this dish several times a week and be quite happy. Hubbs enjoyed it very much too and requested that I don't wait too long before making it again. I chose to use a wider rice noodle than what the recipe called for, mainly because I pretty much closed my eyes, stuck my hand in the bottom of the pantry and just grabbed a random bag of newly aquired noodles. I made sure to have all of my ingredients measured out and ready to go next to the stove so all I had to do was dump while putting it all together. This particular recipe called for both chicken and shrimp so it was quite a substantial meal. The flavors of rice wine, lime juice and the shrimp was predominant and lovely. There was a background hit of the salty fish sauce and the sweet addition of some sugar. The noodles were soft but firm and I found I really enjoyed the texture of them. I finished the dish off with fresh cilantro and a drizzle of sesame oil - which gave it that fresh factor that really brought out the other flavors. This, to me, was heaven in a bowl. I loved it and I wanna say again - THANKS, MORV! YOU ROCK! =)

*Update*
I just found out about Ruth's Pesto Pasta Nights and because I think that it's such a great idea (I'll be submitting often!) I figured that the first submission should be a damn good one - and here it is, almost 2 weeks later and I'm still dreaming about this dish - just waiting for a night where I can relax and make it again! So Ruth, if you'll have me.. I'd like to share this recipe for Pad Thai! =)

Pad Thai
Pad Thai
Courtesy of Morven and adapted from Dish It Up by Simon Holst

150-200 grams rice noodles
1 TBS. canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 cloves garlic, crushed, peeled and chopped
2 (about 200 grams total) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1 tsp. minced red chile/chile paste
200 grams shrimp, thawed and drained if frozen
1 TBS. canola oil
4 spring onions, sliced diagonally
3 TBS. fish sauce
2 TBS. rice (or wine) vinegar
1 TBS. lime (or lemon) juice
2 TBS. sugar
1-2 c. bean sprouts (we couldn't find fresh that day so I used canned - very good)
chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) and roasted peanuts to garnish (I omitted the nuts)

Place the rice noodles in a large bowl, cover with boiling water and soak for 5-10 minutes or until soft and flexible, then drain well. (Check after 5 minutes as different brands seem to soften at different speeds and some get too soft if soaked for too long.)

Heat about 1 tsp. of the oil in a large wok or frypan, then add the beaten egg and cook to form a thin omelette. As soon as the upper surface looks dry, roll or fold the omelette and remove from the pan. Cut into 1 cm. ribbons and set aside.

Add the rest of the first measure of oil to the pan, then add the garlic, cook over high heat until it begins to brown, then add the chicken and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until chicken has lost it's pink color and is beginning to brown.

Stir in the chile and shrimp and stir-fry for a minute longer, then add the noodles, second measure of oil and the spring onion greens. Toss to combine, then add the fish sauce, vinegar, lime (or lemon) juice and sugar.

My first Pad Thai

Stir-fry until the liquid has almost disappeared then add the bean sprouts and cook for 1 minute longer. The recipe never did say what to do with that reserved omelette, so I just added it at this point as well.

Serve immediately garnished with chopped cilantro and peanuts.

Pad Thai

Pad Thai

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Comments on "Thai Food - It's a First!"

 

Blogger Christine said ... (3/05/2007 6:57 AM) : 

Oh this looks so good. I really like pad thai so I've definitely got to make this. Thanks for sharing!

 

Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said ... (3/05/2007 7:15 AM) : 

Great photos! I'm drooling.
Asian markets can really blow my mind. I love all the new sights and food. I always get carried a way and get home with something I have no idea what to do with it!
Pad Thai is a dish I often order when we go out. This makes me think I really should try it at home.

 

Blogger Patricia Scarpin said ... (3/05/2007 7:52 AM) : 

I've never had Thai food either, Lis!!!

Now I'll have to have some asap. Your dish looks delicious!

 

Anonymous Shawnda said ... (3/05/2007 8:53 AM) : 

Is it weird to want Thai food for breakfast? It looks great!

 

Blogger Brilynn said ... (3/05/2007 10:06 AM) : 

I love pad thai... I might just have to make it tonight!

 

Anonymous veron said ... (3/05/2007 10:08 AM) : 

Pad thai is one of my favorite to order at a Thai restaurant. Great job lis!

 

Blogger Quellia said ... (3/05/2007 10:12 AM) : 

That looks great! I haven't had Thai in awhile, so I think I'll have to plan on some. Maybe give a Thai cooking lesson to my visiting teen next week!
Thanks Lis and Morv!

 

Blogger Acme Instant Food said ... (3/05/2007 1:17 PM) : 

That looks like a fine induction into the Thai club! Congrats.

 

Blogger Morven said ... (3/05/2007 2:56 PM) : 

Glad you enjoyed the recipe - it's quick and easy and to me tastes better than most of the often greasy offerings in restaurants. This recipe came from Simon Holst's book "Dish It Up".

 

Blogger Preheated said ... (3/05/2007 9:43 PM) : 

I assumed a pad thai recipe would be more complicated, but this looks seductively easy. Can't wait to try it!

 

Blogger Freya said ... (3/06/2007 7:15 AM) : 

You can't beat a well made Pad Thai, so yummy! And it feels likes its good for you too! Not that we care about that!!

 

Anonymous Orchidea said ... (3/06/2007 10:33 AM) : 

Nice recipe... I have to try more Thai food.
Ciao.

 

Anonymous Laurie said ... (3/06/2007 11:12 AM) : 

Thai food yum! This looks easy to make, I will add it to my collection for when I want some Thai food.

 

Blogger Lis said ... (3/06/2007 12:48 PM) : 

Christine - My pleasure.. let me know if you like it =)

Tanna - Thanks sweetie! I look forward to finally going to a Thai restaurant and ordering this so I can compare.

Patricia - Thanks! Yes you should.. if I did then you too. hehehe

Shawnda - lol no it isn't. ;)

Bril - Did you? Any left overs???

Veronica - Thanks sis! Now you have to make it at home =)

Jenny - Ohhh food school! Does your visiting teen like to cook?

Kev - Why thank you, sir =)
Morv - I updated the post with the title and author.. thanks sweetie :D

Preheated - It was so easy.. I think the only ass pain was getting all your ingredients ready so you can just dump - other than that the whole thing took less than a 1/2 hour - go for it! :)

Freya - lol no, we don't care about that much, do we. hahaha

Orchidea - Thank you muchly!

Laurie - Lemme know how it is. So where's a good Thai restaurant in these parts?

 

Blogger Linda said ... (3/06/2007 2:42 PM) : 

wow looks very good. so colorful. lovin' the photography.

funny you should be cooking thai... there was an amazing thai blog featured on AT today.. you might like it: realthai.blogspot.com

 

Blogger Callipygia said ... (3/06/2007 4:57 PM) : 

I am so impressed with your first efforts of making and eating Thai food. It is one of my favorite foods- your pad thai looks delish. I won't even make it, bec I'm so afraid of being disappointed with a substandard version.

 

Blogger Peabody said ... (3/06/2007 6:23 PM) : 

You should come to Seattle...there is Thai food galore here...sadly I can't stand Thai food...but I hear we have some of the best.

 

Anonymous Kristen said ... (3/06/2007 11:07 PM) : 

That would be a first for me too.
Hope your mom is doing better!

 

Blogger Gattina said ... (3/07/2007 6:58 AM) : 

oh Lis darling! Why you have to torture me like this!!! I just woke up and saw your Pad Thai, crying and wanting one now!!! :) :) I haven't cooked this dish at home, will keep your recipe in mind.
And DIY sushi! Keep us update *hug*

 

Blogger Susan said ... (3/07/2007 6:38 PM) : 

Lis, I'm glad to see you cooking this lovely dish. I adore Thai food! Once you start, you get addicted pretty quickly.

Hope your mom is doing well. Take care.

 

Blogger Ruth Daniels said ... (3/08/2007 4:45 PM) : 

Lis, love your site, love Pad Thai (and didn't have a great recipe). So thanks for joining Presto Pasta Nights.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3/10/2007 3:55 AM) : 

If you'd like to watch Pad Thai being cooked by a Thai chef...or any other Thai dishes try this website
http://www.thaifoodtonight.com/thaifoodtonight/recipes.htm

 

Blogger Mary said ... (3/10/2007 6:00 PM) : 

Hi Lis - I'm too lazy to make my own Pad Thai (or Pad Kee Mao which is my fave Thai noodle dish). Luckily we have great Thai takeout in my neighborhood. I hope your mom is doing well.

 

Blogger D-man said ... (3/10/2007 11:13 PM) : 

Hey Lis, you hangin' in there? *hug* (It looks like it)

Way to go making Thai food. Adventurous indeed. And those tiny asian markets in big cities are awesome finds for great ingredients. I've had some fun with the stuff this past year when I got a mortar and pestle for grinding my own curry paste/chili powder. Mmmm, Mmm, Mmm! I have a simple little recipe for pad thai, but this one looks very, very nice. We shall have to give it a try.

 

Anonymous Ellie said ... (3/11/2007 12:49 AM) : 

I absolutely love pad thai, and yours looks pretty darn good!

 

Blogger valentina said ... (3/11/2007 6:55 PM) : 

Your pad thai looks fantastic. I love asian food but I have never made pad thai. No special reason. I tend to make curry's quite often, and noddle dishes. This afternoon I went down to the local asian supermarket and as you say it is so great to see all the different ingredients..all the new possibilities.

 

Blogger Barbara (Biscuit Girl) said ... (3/11/2007 9:49 PM) : 

We just love Thai food, in fact, we had Thai for lunch today. If you want to try other recipes I'd recommend Quick and Easy Thai: 70 everyday recipes by Nancie McDermott. Her recipes are as close to eating in Thailand as you can get.

 

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