I was totally planning to recreate the pad thai dish we made in culinary school this week. I went and got all of the ingredients, except for the noodles since I knew I had those at home already. My biggest dilemma was finding a substitute for the crunchy, salty peanuts on top (can’t use those at home because of my children’s food allergies). I polled all of you on facebook and got a couple of nice suggestions. In the middle of this big, important decision-making about crunchy, salty garnish, there are some major end-of-year things happening with the kids.
I have three boys. You know this already, right? However, do you know how incredibly insane the end of the year is with 3 kids? Holy madness! We’re talking serious picnic-ing and celebrations along with fun trips and events that were saved especially for these 2 weeks! It’s all great but, mixed in with culinary school, blogging and life in general…I’m in the weeds. Many other moms out there are in it deep as well and I was so happy to read this post by Jen Hatmaker earlier in the week. Ha! I hear ya sista! There are lots of us “limping across the finish line” these days.
Back to garnish…I couldn’t decide what to get and I surely didn’t have time for another trip to the store to investigate my options. Then, suddenly, the sky opened up when I dropped my 3 year old off for his final day at preschool and my friend, Sarah LeBuhn, descended from the heavens with this…”I’m on my way to Whole Foods. Do you need anything?” YES!! (Side note: OMG, last day of preschool! What am I going to do to keep Jarrett busy for the next few weeks while picnic-ing and celebrating with the other two boys?)
Sarah brought me back a bag of soy nuts a couple of hours later when we met at our preschool year-end celebration (I kid you not) and I tried them right then and there. Perfect! Couldn’t wait to put them on top of my pad thai! It wasn’t until later in the evening when I started to get all of my ingredients ready to cook that I realized I left the bag at the school! Oh no! And remember those pad thai noodles I just knew I had a package of at home? Nowhere to be found! Ok. I’m officially losing it!
I did have these thin rice noodles and almost all of the other ingredients. I didn’t feel like this version of pad thai was missing anything without the peanuts or soy nuts. However, if you want to throw them on top at your house (and you can remember to pick them up at the store and actually get them home) go for it! Happy end of the school year! I’m off to my Kindergartener’s year end performance and picnic today!
- 4 oz thin Thai rice noodles (vermicelli)
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 T maple syrup
- 2 limes, juiced
- Tamarind paste (optional), 1 T soaked in ¼ cup warm water
- canola oil, for frying
- 1 egg, whisked with 1 tsp water
- 2 tsp Thai red curry paste (use more if you like it spicy)
- ½ lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced thinly
- salt and pepper
- ¼ head of cabbage, chopped
- 1 small carrot, shredded
- 4-6 oz chicken stock (unsalted)
- 4 oz mung bean sprouts
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced (reserve the darker green slices for garnish)
- 1 lime, wedged, for garnish
- Sriracha sauce, for garnish and extra heat (optional)
- Soak rice noodles in warm tap water for 10-15 minutes, while prepping other ingredients
- Mix together fish sauce, soy sauce, maple syrup, lime juice, and tamarind (if using it) in a bowl. Add sliced scallions and set aside.
- Heat a large wok over med-high heat. Get it nice and hot before adding a swirl of canola oil and swirling it around the sides. Add the egg and let it cook like an omelet, pushing in the sides gently to allow the uncooked egg to seep out to the sides and cook. Once it is just cooked, remove it from the wok onto a plate or cutting board.
- Season shrimp and chicken with salt and pepper
- Add more oil to the wok. Add chili paste and mash it into the oil.
- Add the shrimp and stir-fry until cooked through. Remove to a plate or bowl.
- Add more oil to the wok, if needed and stir-fry the chicken until cooked through. Remove that to the plate or bowl with the shrimp.
- Allow the wok to reheat and add more oil before stir-frying the cabbage and carrots for about a minute.
- Add 4 oz of the chicken stock and allow the carrots and cabbage to cook for 2-3 minutes. Add additional stock if it is absorbed too quickly.
- Drain the rice noodles and add them to the wok with the cabbage and carrots. Stir-fry the noodles for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add ½ of the sauce with the scallions and allow it to absorb into the noodles.
- Add the shrimp and chicken into the wok with the noodles and the remaining sauce.
- Fold the egg and bean sprouts in gently. Cook until the remainder of the sauce is absorbed.
- Serve on a platter or individual plates and garnish with sliced green scallions and lime wedges.
- Drizzle sriracha around the plate for extra heat (optional).