A favourite Thai meal around our house is Pad Thai. 

The Man LOVES it. But has never found one in a restaurant that is just right. So I set out to create it at home – since I have so much more control over the ingredients, plus it’s cheaper! His main problem with the restaurant pad thai is that it’s too sticky = not enough sauce. Easy enough fix! Once you have a good sauce recipe to go by. Fortunately, my favourite recipe book, Eat, Shrink and Be Merry, just so happens to have such a recipe. Don’t be scared by all the ingredients, it’s really easy to put together!

Tongue Thai’d – Pad Thai

From Eat, Shrink and Be Merry

  • 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)
First, gather all your ingredients together and prepare.
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.
I usually 1 1/2 times the sauce ingredients because I know Tim doesn’t like his noodles sticky!
Place rice noodles in a large bowl and pour boiling water over top.
Let soak 7 minutes. Or longer if you’re like me and use a bowl that’s too small and so have to re-soak the noodles all over again.
While the noodles are soaking, heat peanut oil in a large, non-stick wok.
NOT a frying pan, like I did here. Because you WILL run out of room.
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.
Add shrimp (or chicken). Cook and stir until shrimp turns pink, about 3 minutes.
Add reserved sauce, noodles, bean sprouts, green onions and cilantro.
Toss and cook until mixture is hot, about 1 minute. Add peanuts, toss and serve.