Easy Pad Thai

Who says you can only get good Thai food from a restaurant? Thai dishes are quick and easy to prepare, and generally quite healthy.

I used to think the ingredients were too obscure to find, but now most grocery stores carry a good selection of Asian products. Failing that, pop into a local import store and you’ll probably find what you need.

Ingredients:
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
3 tbsp Asian fish sauce (I used 2 tbsp Hoisin, 1 tbsp fish sauce – the thought of all that fish sauce usually makes the dish less enjoyable for me :D Hoisin is a great substitute though)
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp grated gingerroot
1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or hot sauce
8 oz rice stick noodles (ideally 1/8 inch wide – I used wider)
2 tsp peanut or vegetable oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions or shallots
2 tsp minced garlic
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced or sliced
8 oz uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used leftover chicken breast, already cooked)
2 cups bean sprouts (optional)
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts (optional)

 

Do all the chopping at the beginning because once you start cooking, you start throwing food from the cutting board into the pan faster than the speed of light!

To prepare the sauce, whisk together lime juice, fish/hoisin sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, gingerroot, soy sauce, sesame oil and crushed red pepper flakes. Set aside.

Place rice noodles in a large bowl and pour boiling water over top. Let soak 7 minutes.  While the noodles are soaking, heat peanut oil in a large, non-stick wok.

Add onions and garlic. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until onions are tender, about 2 minutes.

Add red pepper and cook 2 more minutes, stirring often. I also added 2 grated carrots for extra veggies and vitamins.

Add shrimp (or chicken). Cook and stir until shrimp turns pink, about 3 minutes.

Add reserved sauce, noodles, bean sprouts. Top with green onions and cilantro.

*This recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, Eat, Shrink & Be Merry.

Text: Lydia Parafianowicz

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