28 October 2009

Pad Thai for dinner

I had a friend over for dinner today and since I did not have that much time between the time I am back from work and dinner time I was trying to figure out that would be fast to make but also interesting for me to try. I was getting bored of making the same things when I have friends over. I know they say not to try something new when having guest over, but I get bored with the same go-to recipes.

So today I decided to try my hand at making pad thai. I went to Chez Pim's website where there is a step by step pad thai tutorial. I found this very helpful, in particular, the instructions in making the sweet-sour-salty-spicy sauce which gives pad thai its distinctive taste. The trick is balancing the different flavors and I like Chez Pim's description of how to know when the sauce is just right. She writes, "I like my sauce to lead with a salty flavor, follow by a mild sourness, then just a gentle sweetness and a soft caress from the chilli at the back of my throat at the very end." I kept this in mind as I was tasting the sauce and I thought my pad thai turned out delicious. My guest concurred! We both had second helpings (I am still feeling so stuffed from dinner). Mmmm.

The nice thing about making pad thai is that you just need to prep the veggies and prawns before your guest arrives, and you can fry it up just minutes before it is time to eat. I had all the ingredients laid out pretty (my guest called it "Food Network ready prep"), but alas I forgot to take pictures! Darn! Forgot to take picture of the wok action and the finished product too. When I finally remembered the camera, we had finished the meal and I was putting away leftovers. Oooh, the leftovers! So here is what is left folks. A picture of my lunch for tomorrow.

And here is the link to Chez Pim's Pad Thai for Beginners guide:

note: In my version, at the recommendation of my friend, IJ, who makes excellent Thai food, I added minced shallots with the garlic. I omitted the dried prawns and pickled turnip and used large shrimps in mine. I did not have Thai Chili powder handy, my friend suggested substituting this with dried chillies grounded up into a fine-coarse texture(that is coarser than powder form, but finer than chilli flakes you get with pizza). That worked really well. (Regular chilli/ cayenne powder is too fine, a coarser texture works better somehow). And oh, the ground peanuts is a must!

I am looking forward to lunch t'row!


  1. Dudess, please move to NYC. I love pad thai (and pad see ew, too).

  2. I have not cracked the mystery of making pad thai.... I should try this recipe soon! :)

  3. Yum! I tried to make pad thai once, wasn't very successful. Now I'm wondering if I just needed better instructions. Of course, I am also unable to have it make a "quick footloose dance in a untra hot wok" since I don't have a wok. But I've bookmarked Chez Pim's page and will try again, one day :)