Friday, November 26, 2010

Easy Pad Thai

If I had to pick only one country's national cuisine to subsist on for the rest of my life it would be that of Thailand,  hands down! Thankfully, I'm blessed to live in such a multicultural and vibrant city that I have the edible delights of the world at my fingertips. Nonetheless, Thai food holds a special place in my heart, which brings me nicely to my most recent meal. 

Tonight's dinner was a "whatever's left in the fridge"-inspired Pad Thai. This dish is in no way authentic (lacking tamarind, palm sugar etc.). However, I have tried to replicate some Thai flavours by substituting other ingredients that were more accessible. And, let's face it, on a Friday night, who can be bothered shopping around for dinner?!

I am fairly vague about amounts here, as I tend to make all stir fries "to taste". I regularly fish a noodle or vegetable out of the wok and try to balance elements of the sauce that way. Although I can promise a more scientific approach to my baking endeavors, my stir frying philosophy is a little more...umm..."artistic"!

So here goes: 
Easy (unauthentic!) Pad Thai
A packet of rice stick noodles (typically somewhere between 300g and 400g)
Peanut oil
One egg lightly whisked
A packet of firm tofu (approximately 200g) cubed
Roughly chopped peanuts
Broccoli (or whatever other vegetable(s) are screaming to be used from the crisper)
A generous handful of bean shoots
Half a dozen green onions chopped roughly (otherwise known as spring onions or scallions depending on what part of the world you're reading this from)
The juice of one small lime*
2 tablespoons of soy sauce*
2 tablespoons of fish sauce*
3 tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce*
Lemon wedges to serve.
*These quantities are not exact. As noted, taste the sauce as you go - if it needs more saltiness, add soy sauce, acidity, add more lime etc.

Place noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to sit for 5 minutes or until softened. Drain and set aside.
Heat oil, then swirl egg mixture to coat the wok, forming what resembles a thin crêpe. Chop up roughly and set aside.
Add a touch more oil and fry up cubes of tofu.  
After a couple of minutes toss in vegetables and crushed peanuts. Add the chopped egg "crêpe".
Add sauce components, tasting as you go and balancing flavours. 
Once content with the depth of flavour, serve with chunky lemon wedges.

So delicious that even our darling, Schatzi wanted a taste!

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