Sunday, February 7, 2016

Pad Thai

Over the last few years, I've noticed a pattern in my cooking. In January and February, I crave Thai-inspired cuisine. I don't consider myself a huge Thai-food fan. I wouldn't say I know a whole lot about it, but for some reason I always have the craving to experiment with this type of food post-Christmas winter months. I always use shrimp. Perhaps it's a warm dish with a fresh twist that reminds me of the ocean and takes me there in the months that are so long for me.

In the past, I've made Thai inspired soups, like this one. But, this year, I was craving Pad Thai and it was a hit with everyone! (Yeah!) So I'm keeping this for the record...hoping to make it again soon!

If you want to try it out too, you will need:

  • 8 ounces Thai Kitchen rice noodles
  • 1 bottle, Annie Chun's Pad Thai sauce
  • 2 (12 oz) bags of extra large or jumbo sized shrimp
  • Vegetable oil (for sautéing)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups fresh bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup matchstick carrots or fine carrot shavings (use potato peeler)
  • 3-4 eggs (beaten)
For garnish:
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro leaves 
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts 
  • sliced lime wedges (1-2 limes)

You will also need a willing daughter to beat the eggs. ;) I love when my girls offer to help in the kitchen. And they love being helpful. 

Begin by preparing all of the fresh ingredients (chop onions, mince garlic, slice green onions, carrots, cilantro, peanuts, limes, wash bean sprouts) Set aside.

Bring a pot to boil and follow package instruction for rice noodles. This will involve boiling water and then removing the water and placing the noodles in to soak for a short time and then rinsing them as soon as they are done so that they don't get soggy. 

Clean and detail shrimp. Heat oil in frying pan and being sautéing onions until almost clear. Add shrimp and garlic and saute until shrimp is pink. (This goes quickly. Do not over cook as shrimp will lose tenderness the longer they are cooked.) Set shrimp aside in a dish and fry egg. Remove egg. when noodles are ready, place in frying pan, add egg and shrimp back in. Add pad thai sauce and red pepper flakes and heat through. 

Serve noodles with shrimp and eggs on a large plate. Garnish with plenty of bean sprouts, carrot shavings, cilantro leaves, chopped peanuts, and lime wedges.