There’s one thing that’s really hard about living out here. Welllll, Josh’s long commute might make it two things. But the more difficult one, the one that impacts our everyday life and compromises my general well-being? We don’t have an awesome go-to Thai take out place.
I know, it’s been a huge sacrifice.
And it has also driven me to make my own Thai concoctions, something I was never really tempted to try to at home because how can you beat good take-out Thai?? You can’t. Or at least I can’t.
I did, however, make AWESOME Pad Thai for my husband one night. And then when I tried to mimic the meal for his family over Christmas, well it turned out pretty good. Not take-out caliber, but it was yummy. Somehow I can never really nail a recipe when I’m cooking for a bunch of people. Under pressure cooking just makes me flustered. Ever notice how serene and smiley those women are on the Foot Network? That’s pretty much the opposite of me when I’m cooking for a party of 4 and up. I’m usually schlepping a beer and prematurely making excuses for the outcome of the meal. Blaming the pans I have to work with, or they didn’t have the ingredient I always use at your grocery store, orrrrr I am just nervous to cook for everyone after raving about how good this turned out the last time.
But my Thai-loving family flattered me greatly by asking me to post this recipe for them. I was really just happy to have my two-year-old niece Sophie’s approval – girl had multiple bowls and she is the Pad Thai master.
So this is for you, Soph!
Chicken Pad Thai *a variation of Food & Wine’s Quick Shrimp Pad Thai
1 lb chicken tenderloin
8 ounces pad thai noodles
4 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
6 tablespoons light brown sugar
4 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 serrano pepper with seeds, stemmed and thinly sliced
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil
3 large shallots, thinly sliced (1 cup)
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 large eggs, beaten
4 scallions, thinly sliced
Roasted peanuts, crushed
For the marinade:
To prepare the chicken, combine the 2 tablespoons chili garlic, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, ¼ cup lime juice and 2 tablespoons peanut butter in a medium bowl. Whisk together until mixed well. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and mix well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
1. Sautee the marinated chicken in a large skillet over medium heat. Once cooked through, transfer to a plate.
2. Place the noodles in a large bowl and cover entirely with very hot water. Let soak approximately 5 minutes. Do NOT cook them completely. Otherwise they will become mushy by the end of the process. Mushy noodles are the worst.
3. Meanwhile, whisk 2 tablespoons fish sauce, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, ¼ cup lime juice in a bowl.
4. In a large skillet or wok, heat about 3 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add the shallots and garlic and cook over high heat until tender and lightly brown, about 4 minutes.
5. Add the pad thai noodles and stir-fry until heated through, about 4 minutes. Scrape the noodles and chicken to one side of the pan and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the empty side of the skillet. Add the eggs and cook, stirring occasionally, until nearly set, about 1 minute.
6. Add the cooked chicken to the skillet.
7. Add the scallions and toss everything together, keeping the eggs relatively intact. Add the fish sauce mixture and stir-fry until the noodles are evenly coated. Transfer the pad thai to a platter.
8. Top with peanuts, cilantro and bean sprouts and serve with lime wedges.
Enjoy!! This is really pretty good and typing this all up is makes me want to try it again. Oh and Joni and Damien, don’t forget to leave out the shallots when you make this at home J