Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Peanut Butter Pad Thai

I love Thai food and the first time I made pad thai it included peanut butter. We all know how much I love peanut butter and so I had to try a version that called for it. It was tasty, but forgettable and nothing like the real version. Obvio and probably a bit sacrilege according to most Thai kitchens.

Regardless, Hub (who I've transformed into a PB lover) asked if we could make the PB version again. I went onto Food Network and found Rachael Ray's Pad Thai with Chicken & Shrimp. I love reading reviews and following recipes, but more often than not I can't find an ingredient or two and experiment with substitutions. So I thought I'd share our modifications and how we got on.

So here's what the original recipe called for and in bold is what we changed. All the reviews said that their isn't enough sauce and to double or triple the portions. We ended doubling the measurements below.

Pad Thai Paste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon Asian chili paste, such as sambal oelek Less than a tsp of chili flakes
Everything Else
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil Used sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup julienned mixed vegetables (carrots, yellow squash, zucchini) Removed altogether and used mushrooms instead. Love mushrooms & don't really like any of these vegetables stir fried
  • 4 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast or thigh, sliced into strips
  • 12 medium to large shrimp, peeled and deveined This time we just used chicken
  • 1/4 pound medium-wide rice noodles, soaked in warm water until softened and drained
  • 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar Didn't have so used white wine vinegar and fish sauce
  • Chopped Romaine lettuce, for garnish Didn't even bother, what's the point?
  • Mung bean sprouts, They don't sell them at the off-license (aka Bodega), but we added chopped green onions
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Chopped peanuts, for garnish

I find it's easiest to prepare and chop everything ahead of time and then put it all together. This dish comes together quite quickly and it can be a bit stressful rushing to chop things, whilst cooking. First saute the ginger and garlic, then add the raw chicken, shrimp, veg until cooked.

Toss in the already cooked noodles and add the paste, sugar and vinegar. Hub thought it looked too dry and so we added fish sauce to the dish. We were going to use soy sauce, but the original pad thai calls for fish sauce so we opted for that instead.

We mixed it all up and it looked really plain.

Until we added the peanuts and green onions and it started to come to life

and Viola! Topped with cilantro & lime wedges, it looked so pretty.

This recipe was tasty and I loved the ginger coming through, which is not included in real pad thai. I would definitely make it again, but would triple the sauce and include shrimp.
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