Friday, May 3, 2013

NomNom: Shrimp Pad Thai

Happiness is knowing that you're officially on vacation and leaving for Germany early tomorrow...and this delicious recipe of shrimp pad thai I'm sharing with you today. You're welcome.

Right now I'm feeling a happy kind of stress because I haven't even started to pack yet for this trip (I'm a last minute packer for reals) but thankful that my last day of work before my vacation was yesterday so I have all day today to take care of last minute errands for the trip. The to do list seems to keep on growing though. Why is that?

I've been thinking about the wonderful German food that I'll be indulging in such as schnitzel, pretzels, sauerkraut, beer, etc. which truly makes my mouth water as I type and am beyond excited to happily welcome those foods into my diet tarting tomorrow. Since food has been on my mind, per usual, I figure it would be appropriate to leave you with a food post before I leave....and trust and believe this is a good one.

I've talked about my food cravings on my blog and this pad thai meal was born from just that. For some reason I really wanted to eat pad thai a couple of weeks ago, so I quickly went through my bookmarks from my cookbooks and came across this recipe that's been bookmarked for awhile. Thankfully I had all the ingredients in my kitchen minus the rice noodles which I find ironic since I'm Asian, because instead I had fettuccine noodles in the pantry. Go figure.

There are so many vibrant and balanced flavors in this dish that it kinda awakens your senses and knowing that it's cooked at home makes it even better because of the leftovers. I totally had it the next day eating it straight up cold because there are days I prefer to eat my leftover noodles cold. Such is life.

Knowing that I can successfully make pad thai at home makes it almost embarrassing to order it at a restaurant now. If that happens, just know that it was a do or die craving situation.

Since I will be out of the country for the next couple of weeks my blog will be on vacation as well. My focus is going to be on enjoying and fully embracing a new country but I hope to meet you back here in a about 2 weeks. Thanks for reading:)

Have a great weekend. Xo.

Ingredients (Adapated from America's Test Kitchen) Yields: 4 servings
2 Tablespoons tamarind paste (You can replace tamarind with 1/3 cup of lime juice and 1/3 cup of water, use light brown sugar instead of granulated sugar to give the noodles some color and a faint molasses flavor)
3/4 cup boiling water
3 Tablespoons fish sauce
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 Tablespoons chili paste, sambal oelek or sriracha (optional but highly recommended)

8 ounces (1/4 inch wide) rice noodles
12 ounces medium shrimp (41 to 50 per pound), peeled and deveined
salt and pepper
pinch sugar
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
2 larges eggs, lightly beaten
6 ounces (3 cups) bean sprouts
1/4 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts, plus extra for garnish
3 scallions, sliced thin on bias
1/4 cup fresh cilantro (optional)
Lime wedges

1. FOR THE SAUCE: Soak tamarind paste in boiling water until softened, about 10 minutes. Push tamarin mixture through fine-mesh strainer into medium bowl to remove seeds and fibers and extract as much pulp as possible. Stir fish sauce, sugar, oil, rice vinegar, and cayenne into tamarind liquid and set aside.

2. FOR THE NOODLES AND SHRIMP: Bring 4 quarters water to boil in large pot, Remove water from heat, add noodles, and let stand off heat, stirring occasionally, until noodles are softened, pliable and just tender about 10 minutes. Drain noodles and set aside

3.  Toss shrimp, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and sugar together in medium bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12 inch non-stick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add shrimp in single layer and cook without stirring until beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Stir shrimp and cook until light pink and just opaque, about 30 seconds. Transfer shrimp to bowl, cover to keep warm and set aside.

4. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, shallot, and 1/8 teaspoon salt to skillet, return to medium heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until light golden brown about 1.5 minutes. Stir in eggs and cook, stirring constantly, until scrambled and barley moist, about 20 seconds.

5. Add drained noodles and toss to combine. Add sauce, increase heat to high and cook, tossing constantly until noodles are evenly coated, about 1 minute. Add bean sprouts, peanuts and all but 1/4 cup scallions and continue to cook, tossing constantly until noodles are tender, about 2 minutes.

6. Return shrimp, along with any accumulated juices to skillet and cook until heated through, about 30 seconds. Transfer noodles to serving platter and sprinkle with reserved 1/4 cup scallions; cilantro if using and extra peanuts. Serve with lime wedges.

*Tofu is a good and common addition to pad thai. Add 4 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, to skillet with cooked shrimp in step 6.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing recipe! And thanks for the break down - I made this the other night and honestly it was better then a restaurant version! I was a bit intimidated at first, but if you follow each set it's fool proof - can't wait to make it again!