Growing up we rarely ever ate out. It was pretty much Chinese/HK BBQ, dim sum, or pho when we did which was once in a blue moon. It was not only a luxury we couldn't afford to do too often, but my parents were never really exposed to other cuisines and wouldn't even know how to order.
However, when my parents opened up their first hair salon, our neighbors were these super nice Thai people who opened up a cute family restaurant. Because my parents were so friendly and offered a nice neighbor discount to them, they often would bring free treats over for us like Thai tea, pad thai, and pad see-ew to return the friendly gesture. This was our first time ever trying Thai food, and we were sold. It's frigkin delicious! 🙂
Have you guys ever gone out to a cafe and seen a turkey BLT sandwich and thought, I could really quickly and easily make this for a fraction of the price and use better ingredients at home? That's exactly how I feel about pad thai. It's almost on the same level of simpleness as that turkey BLT 🙂
- Minced garlic and sliced shallots
- Tamarind juice/pulp (you can buy it in a little jar at the Asian stores)
- Fish sauce
- Brown sugar or palm sugar
- Rice wine vinegar
- Sliced shallots and minced garlic
- Protein of choice: tofu, fish, prawns, scallops, beef, pork, chicken-- whatever your heart desires
- Dried preserved turnips
- Bean sprouts and chives (you can use red pepper for a pop of color or any other vegetables you have pretty much)
- Crushed peanuts and lime wedge
Prepare your station! I like to imagine I'm one of those old ladies selling pad thai to my busy customers on the side of the street 🙂
- Channel inner Thai Grandma out of hibernation.
- Wash and cut your chives into 2 inch segments. Wash your beansprouts.
- Rinse your preserved turnips and dice them up 1/4 or 1/3 of an inch. Doesn't really matter much how you cut these just small but bite-sized.
- Get your protein ready. Slice, chop - do whatever necessary to get your protein ready for the wok 🙂 If you want to use something that cooks longer, I rec cooking this in advance (like cod).
- Make the sauce! Combine all the pad thai sauce ingredients to your taste preference. You want this to be in between a liquid and thick. Add water or chicken stock to get it to this consistency. The taste should be tangy, salty, and sweet.
- Get your noods ready. I use the fresh vacuum sealed ones that don't require a soak and are generally found next to the fresh pho noodles in the refrigerated section of the asian stores.
- Get ready to wok it girl!
Making the Pad Thai MAGIC happen:
- Get your wok real hot. Like if J-Lo and Beyonce got together and started dancing in a desert hot.
- Pour in a generous but not too generous amount of oil. Like Ellen Degeneres generous. lol
- Crack an egg and fry it. You don't want to completely scramble so let it fry up and gently toss the egg around to break it apart in nice sizeable pieces.
- Push the egg to the side of the wok and toss in your shallots and garlic.
- When garlic begins to brown, throw in your preserved turnips and protein and saute until 90% cooked. I like to season with a little S&P.
- Throw in your pad thai noods and throw some of that sauce in there!
- If you like a kick, come join me in my kickboxing class! If you like things spicy, add cayenne pepper. Otherwise continue to add sauce or fish sauce until you get it to your preference.
- Once you got the seasonings level right, toss in a handful of your bean sprouts and chives. Let the noods soak up the sauce and the veggies cook for a bit and BAM, you're just about ready to take on those Thai grandmas on the streets of Thailand and battle it out 🙂
- Plate with some crushed peanuts, lime wedge, and some more veggies if your inner rabbit wants you to.