Pad Thai has to be the most famous Thai takeout dish in America and for good reason. Chewy rice noodles, toasted peanuts, lime, fish sauce and cilantro make up a stir-fry whose flavors and textures are addicting.
But it doesn’t have to be takeout only splendor any longer. Pad Thai is quick and easy to make at home, believe it or not. Simply stir-fry egg, tofu and sprouts, add rice noodles and a sticky sweet and sour sauce, plate and garnish with toasted peanuts, cilantro and lime. The version of this dish that I made included ingredients you would never find in a takeout version but all the sour, sweet, peanutty, chewy wonder was present in bounds making this a perfect meeting in the middle.
I happened to have green cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, snap peas and shrimp that needed to get eaten but you can use your favorite veggies and proteins or whatever you have that may be pushing the limits of freshness in the back corner of the chill chest.
Allison’s Fridge Pad Thai
Very loosely based on Mark Bittman’s recipe, found here
For the Stir-Fry:
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon freshly minced chives
- 1/4 head napa cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup snap peas, sliced thinly
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 package of size “L” rice noodles, cooked according to package directions
- 1/2 pound of peeled and deveined shrimp
- vegetable oil, salt and pepper
For the Sauce:
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Limes, cut into quarters
- 1/4 cup toasted peanuts, chopped
In a small bowl, add all ingredients for the sauce and whisk to combine.
Heat a wok over medium heat with a tablespoon of vegetable oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes per side, until they have turned pink and are starting to take on color. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Add the soy sauce and chives to the beaten egg and stir to combine. Add to the wok and scramble, stirring constantly. When cooked, remove to the plate with the shrimp.
If the wok looks dry, add a touch of fresh oil before adding the ginger and garlic to the pan. Saute for 1-2 minutes until softened and fragrant. Add the cabbage and mushrooms and cook until the cabbage has wilted and the mushrooms have released all of their liquid, 5-8 minutes. Add the snap peas and continue to saute 2-3 more minutes. Add the egg back into the pan along with the noodles. Pour the sauce into the pan and stir to combine. Cook 2-3 minutes more, until the sauce is clinging to the noodles and vegetables.
Remove to a serving plate and add the shrimp on top. Garnish with cilantro and peanuts and squeeze over fresh lime juice. Get your chopsticks and a cold beer ready and enjoy!