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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Shrimp Pad Thai?

8/8/08 - A lucky day...no? Well overall it was a pretty good day for me. Nothing extraordinary, but just continuing good feelings about the week. Plus, hey - I have my own apartment for the next month, what could go wrong, right? Until the end of the day. Let me tell you a little story. Esi has been craving Thai food for the last 6 months. Esi, has been trying to be better to her wallet on ordering food in. Esi decided that instead of calling up her go-to Thai place (for which she also gets miles), she would make her own Pad Thai. Esi had a bad idea this Friday night. Esi settled on Danny Boome's recipe for Pad Thai. Now before you go off on me, I do realize that this is not the most authentic recipe for Pad Thai, but Esi is trying to use ingredients she already has in her kitchen and Esi had most of these ingredients...most of them. Esi still has to go to the store. Bad idea, because once Esi gets to the store, she can't be stopped. Still, she manages to only get what she needs (plus the latest issue of Us Weekly) except for the damn fish sauce. What the hell?! What store in Los Angeles does not have fish sauce?! I will tell you which store, her stupid f'ing corner store. So, Esi heads across the street to the more expensive (but better stocked) store to get her ten dollar fish sauce. Esi comes home to assemble Pad Thai. It takes a bit of work, but hey, it will be worth it. Overall, it's still cheaper than ordering in (despite the insane price of the fish sauce) and she can watch the Sex and the City Movie while preparing it all (don't ask, just accept that Esi works in the movie business and these perks happen). Esi assembles Pad Thai, sits down to watch the movie and realizes that despite all the work, it tastes like noodles stir fried with lime...at least it looks pretty.

Shrimp Pad Thai
(Adapted from Danny Boome)

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
16 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
7 ounces rice noodles, soaked in hot water for about 5 minutes then drained
1/2 cup bean sprouts
4 scallions, sliced
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lime, zested and juiced
1/4 unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts, chopped

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and saute until golden brown. Add the shrimp and cook until pink, 1 to 2 minutes on each side, tossing from time to time. Remove and set aside.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil in the same pan and add the eggs. Stir to scramble the egg into small pieces, remove and set aside with the shrimp.

Heat the remaining oil in the pan and add the soy sauce, fish sauce, rice wine, red pepper flakes, and brown sugar. Stir briefly (make sure you get the bits off the bottom of the pan), add the drained noodles and cook for 5 minutes, tossing constantly.

Add the bean sprouts, chopped scallions, and most of the cilantro. Mix well and continue to cook until the noodles are heated through. Season, if necessary with more soy sauce and/or fish sauce. Stir in lime zest and juice and top with remaining cilantro and chopped peanuts. Serve immediately.

As I said in the end, this tasted just like noodles tossed in lime. I added some honey to it at the end, despite the two teaspoons of brown sugar (more than the original recipe called for). I guess the next time I attempt Pad Thai, I will look for a more authentic recipe. At least I finally had a reason to dig out that old wok my parents gave me one year in college.

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4 comments:

Paula said...

It looks beautiful to me! I enjoyed reading your story; I can just imagine your facial expression when you realized that your corner store had every ingredient but ONE requiring you to go to yet another store! And that's a pretty nifty perk you got there, too! Now I want Thai food.

Dawn said...

Mmmm. That looks so yummy! I can never get enough pad thai. In the winter months I must eat that at least once a week if not more.

Tony said...

what's with the third person post? it looks delightful! I'd like to dish that up...

Kevin said...

Pad Thai is one of my favorites and that looks really good!