Thursday, May 13, 2010

Another Pad Thai option

I make Pad Thai pretty often (and order it all the time when we go out to Thai restaurants). It's the kind of recipe that no one makes the same way, and the kind I vary every time depending on what I have on hand for ingredients.

The recipe I had was yummy, but IMO, a tad dull. I wanted to jazz it up a bit, and while browsing other Thai recipes, I came up with an idea...

Why not flavor the chicken as I'm poaching it, which will add to the overall flavor of the dish? That's exactly what I did, and then I used the poaching liquid to cook the noodles, so I had the same flavor throughout.

BTW, I normally add shredded cabbage to my Pad Thai but it was pouring rain out and I sure as heck wasn't going to the store for cabbage in that. The silly teenager wouldn't go either. Geez, kids. ;-) So this is sans cabbage, but still good.

BTW, this is for my cooking challenge with my good friend and amazing cook Julie Sellers. Check out her blog for lots of great recipes! We're cooking one new recipe a week between here and Christmas. Also, if you like to see how people used to have to cook, read this interesting blog on cooking in the 1800s.

Shirley's Pad Thai

2 boneless chicken breasts
2 slices lime
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and quartered
2 cloves garlic
8 ounces rice vermicelli noodles (they're sometimes labeled Pad Thai noodles. Basically, a flat, slightly wide Asian noodle will work).
2 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
4 ounces carrots, julienned
2 scallions, diced
2 teaspoons lime juice (use fresh; you already have the limes in the poaching liquid)
2 tablespoons soy sauce (I buy mine at the Asian foods store. It's SOOO much cheaper)
1-3 tablespoons Pad Thai sauce (also at the Asian foods store. This is a to-taste kind of thing)
1/4 cup roughly chopped peanuts
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped rough

Heat a pan of water, add the lime slices, ginger and garlic, then add chicken. Boil chicken until just cooked through, then remove chicken and add rice noodles to the boiling water. Cook about 7 minutes, then drain (throw out the lime, ginger and garlic).

In a wok, heat the oil. Add the carrots and saute until slightly limp, about 3 minutes. Add scallions, saute one minute. Add chicken, then add sauce ingredients (lime juice, soy sauce, Pad Thai sauce) and toss until it thickens on the veggies and chicken. Taste to see if you need more Pad Thai sauce. Add noodles, a little at a time, and toss until coated with sauce. Garnish with peanuts and cilantro.

The Pad Thai sauce in the bottle is a bit spicy, so definitely taste as you go. But this was yummy, and way more flavorful than my other recipe. I can't wait to have it for lunch today :-)

A side note: When I had this the next day for lunch, I added a little Sesame Oil on top (one drizzle since it has a lot of flavor). PERFECT. It was the exact right final touch.

Oh, and while I was in the Asian foods store, I picked up Papaya Salad Dressing. OMG, yummy!! I made a salad yesterday with lettuce, tomato, sliced mango and chopped cilantro, then drizzled a bit of that on top. Could have eaten ten servings :-)


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