Thursday, January 7, 2016

Shrimp Pad Thai

It's the first recipe post of 2016! Yahoo!

You guys. Do you know how many Asian recipes I posted last year? 

This is embarrassing...

It was 2. Yep, you read that right. A Ginger-Soy Glazed Mahi Mahi in January of last year and a Shrimp and Broccoli Lo Mein in March. This is just crazy to me. When I was first learning to cook, Asian was my mainstay. But last year was a bonafide melee of Mexican and Italian. That just has to change. 

We are going to start 2016 off right! With Pad Thai. Who doesn't love Pad Thai? I think it's probably one of the most universal Thai dishes to be Americanized, most people have heard of it and have tried it. I, myself, have tried many recipes in restaurants, but also, at home. And I've never found a homemade Pad Thai recipe that tastes like it came from a restaurant. I suspect that my problem lay in the sauce. For instance, many homemade recipes for Pad Thai call for ingredients like ketchup, peanut butter, teriyaki sauce, etc. Examples---->

Shrimp Pad Thai- Cooking Light : calls for teriyaki sauce and peanut butter. I have tried this recipe, and it doesn't taste nothing like Pad Thai.

Shrimp Pad Thai- Cooking Light: calls for ketchup. I've also tried and discarded this recipe as well.

Dad's Pad Thai- Allrecipes: calls for lime juice and ketchup. Another discarded recipe.

Here's what the sauce needs to consist of: fish sauce, brown sugar, vinegar (white or rice), chicken broth, soy sauce, and a little chile paste.

This is the winning combination. I'm serious! When the hubby and I sat down to eat this, I turned to him and said that this recipe tasted the most like restaurant Pad Thai that we've ever tried. He heartily agreed.

There weren't a lot of leftovers :-)

Here's another Pad Thai secret- you must, must, MUST use rice noodles. I'm the queen of substituting linguine noodles for asian noodles. I love linguine in chow and lo meins. But I've made Pad Thai with linguine and folks, just don't do it it. It tastes kind of... sad. It's just not right. 

There's something about the texture of the rice noodles. You gotta have them.

I did do something different with this dish. I was originally going to put a zucchini in the stir fry, but the local grocery was out when I went. I had to think fast on my feet, so I did a quick survey and chose broccoli slaw. Why not? The broccoli is cut super-thin, there's cabbage and carrots in there, and bonus, time saver!

It's key with Asian dishes to do all your prep beforehand. Cooking goes fast, so you need everything sitting right there, ready to use.

The aforementioned chile paste. I love this fragrant, spicy condiment. They even carry it out my small town grocery store, so you should be able to find this stuff near you.

That wonderful sauce I was telling you about. It's the holy grail of Pad Thai Sauce.

Leftover Shrimp from New Year's. I used leftover cooked cocktail shrimp (because again, why not?) so I tossed the shrimp in at the very, very end. Off the heat, with the peanuts, cilantro, and green onions. If you were to use raw shrimp, I'd recommend searing them off before you start stir-frying the veggies.

It's not Pad Thai without peanuts!

Pad Thai lovers, you must try this recipe immediately. I guarantee it will become your go-to for homemade Pad Thai. Also, I'm going to make it a goal to cook more Asian this year. I'm going to say it now, there will be more than 2 Asian recipes in 2016 :-)

Have a great day everyone!

Recipe adapted from: Pinch of Yum

Ingredients (serves 4):

4 ounces of rice noodles
1 tbsp peanut oil
1/2 onion, julienned
1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
2 cups pre-packaged Broccoli Slaw (sub 1 zucchini, julienned and 2 carrots, julienned)
3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp chicken broth
2 tbsp white vinegar (sub rice vinegar if desired)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sambal oelek (chile paste)
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 egg
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup medium shrimp, cooked


1. Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Set aside.
2. Heat peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add onion and bell pepper. Sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add broccoli slaw. Sauté another 1-2 minutes, or until all veggies have softened. Remove from pan, keep warm.
3. Make the sauce- combine fish sauce, brown sugar, chicken broth, vinegar, soy sauce, and chile paste. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
4. Heat remaining peanut oil in large skillet. When warm, add noodles. Toss. Add the sauce. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken. Move noodles to the side, and crack egg in the pan. Let sit for 30 seconds, then begin to sauté again. Once tossed, remove from heat.
5. Add peanuts, onions, cilantro, and shrimp to the pan. Toss to combine. Divide among plates, and serve immediately.

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  1. Would you believe I've never tried Asian cooking? My Daughter is a big fan! Pinning to share! Thank you for linking up with us at Snickerdoodle Sunday!

    1. I remember being intimidated by Asian in the beginning. I was convinced I had to have a wok or I couldn't cook it. Ha! A really hot pan works just fine. Once I tried it though, I was hooked. Most of the recipes are strictly prep and consist of about 5 minutes of actual cook time. It's fabulous! Plus, I love having something different since we don't have many takeout options here :-) Have a great week Laurie!


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