Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pad Thai ~ BakeSpace Challenge 09 March ~ Oodles of Noodles

I probably should have posted about the BakeSpace Challenge at the beginning of the month so you all could join me, but I didn't think of it until just now. I'll let know you April's Challenge as soon as it's decided in case you'd like to play along!

Shane from Culinary Alchemy came up with the March Challenge.

It's Noodle Month -
So use you Noodle to come up with a Noodle dish that is foreign to your normal style...
i.e. I cook alot of Italian pasta dishes... So I am looking at some Thai noodle dishes.
If you are normally a crispy noodle stir fry guy, why not try making Italian Pasta or how about Japanese Udon and/or Soba.
Cellophane (Bean Thread) noodles more to you liking?
Korean Acorn Noodles?
Mexican Fideo?
German Spatzle?
Filipino Pancit maybe?
Maybe your in a soup kind of mood, take a shot at Vietnamese Pho (fuh)....

Come on, there is a world of noodles out there just waiting to be tried.

Carpe Noodle!!!!


I started out the month thinking I was going to do a world tour of noodles. It's the last day of the month and last week I squeezed in some Pad Thai. Some world tour huh?!

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I was going to try Homemade Manicotti by Donna over at My Tasty Treasures. I've never made my own pasta, but she makes them look so easy! Sadly, I didn't get around to trying for the challenge. But it's still on my list of stuff to try!

Anyway... I had several recipes printed and intended to morph them together, but somehow ended up just slightly adapting this recipe from epicurean.com. I have also have a BUNCH of bean sprouts that never made it into the Pad Thai, because I forgot to add them!!

Pad Thai
1 pound flat rice noodles (yeah... no one in my Asian market speaks English!)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 C very thinly sliced skinless and boneless chicken breast
1/2 lb pound very small shrimp, peeled
2 eggs, beaten
2 TBLS dried shrimp powder
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
6 TBLS finely chopped dry-roasted salted peanuts <~ forgot those!
2 TBLS lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 TBLS sugar <~ forgot that!
3/4 C Thai fish sauce
1/2 C Tamarind sauce (recipe below)
4 tsp red chili paste with garlic
2 C fresh bean sprouts <~ I had them and forgot to add them!!

Garnish:
3 limes, quartered
1/3 cup fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
3 chopped scallions
4 tablespoons finely chopped dry-roasted peanuts

Tamarind Sauce:
1 oz dried tamarind
10 TBLS hot water
1 tsp salt
1/4 C sugar
6 TBLS rice wine vinegar

You have to have everything ready before you start this.

Start by making the Tamarind Sauce.

Soak the tamarind in 5 tablespoons of hot water. Stir until it's a paste consistency.
Strain pulp out of the juice by pressing through a sieve. Toss the pulp.
Add 5 tablespoons water to a small saucepan and 2 tablespoons of the tamarind juice along with the salt, sugar and rice wine vinegar.
Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
You should end up with about 3/4 cup liquid. If not, add a little more water and heat again for a minute.
This Tamarind Sauce will keep in the refrigerator, covered for up to 2 months.

Next you want to soak the noodles in warm/hot water until supple, about 15 minutes, drain and set aside.

Get everything else ready, as you will need to add it quickly when you start to cook.

Heat a large skillet or wok and add a little oil, garlic, and chicken.
Stir-fry for a few minutes and then add the shrimp, drained noodles and beaten eggs. Toss well and stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes over medium-high heat.
Add dried shrimp powder, pepper, peanuts, lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, Tamarind sauce, red chili paste with garlic and fresh bean sprouts and stir for a few minutes until the noodles are hot and tender.

Serve with garnishes, which are an essential part of the dish.

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This is my extremely sticky block of tamarind.
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Pull off a sticky ounce of it and put it in a small bowl.
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Add 5 tablespoons of hot water and stir until it's a pasty consistency.
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Press it through a sieve, getting as much of the juice as you can.
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Toss the pulp
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Now make the Tamarind Sauce from the juice.
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Add water, sugar, salt and rice vinegar
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Simmer 10 minutes, stirring often.
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When done with your Tamarind Sauce set it aside.

Now you need to soak the rice noodles in hot water.
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Drain when soft and set aside.
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You must have everything ready before you start to cook. You'll need to add the ingredients in quick succession when you get started.

Get your garnishes ready.
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With ingredients ready, you can heat up your large skillet or wok and add some oil.
I used my ginormous cast iron skillet.
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Add thinly sliced chicken and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.
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Then add the shrimp
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The noodles and beaten eggs
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Add dried shrimp powder, pepper, peanuts, lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, Tamarind sauce, red chili paste with garlic and fresh bean sprouts.

I couldn't find dried shrimp powder. I bought dried shrimp and pulverized in my Kitchenaid Chopper.
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I chose this Filipino Fish Sauce because it was clear. All the other fish sauces had floaties and kinda creeped me out.
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I have never used fish sauce before and was little afraid it would be too 'fishy'.
It has a deep, rich earthy, subtly fishy smell. I was pleasantly surprised and will be experimenting with my new found sauce!

Red Chili Paste with Garlic - Sambal Oelek
I LOVE this! It definitely adds garlic flavor with a nice spicy Chili kick!
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Yeah... I forgot to add the Bean Sprouts!! UGH!

Stir for a few minutes until the noodles are hot and tender.

Serve with garnishes.
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Jon thought it was a little sour. I forgot to add the sugar to the cooking noodles, so that might have helped. It didn't stop him from having a second helping! Lilly and I also really liked it and had second helpings too. Tawny didn't really care for it. And of course Bob didn't even try it!

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So that was my lone entry to the March BakeSpace Challenge.

If you try it... don't forget the Bean Sprouts and Sugar!

17 comments:

Donna-FFW said...

WOW!! Spryte,whatan awesome dish!! You totally worked so hard and it looks so delicious! I betit was wonderful. Your group sounds like a blast!!

Natashya said...

I LOVE pad Thai. One of my all-time favourite dishes. Looks wonderful!
ps - I have found that you can buy tamarind puree in little jars - so much easier than using the blocks!

DDpie said...

Sprtyte you totally rocked this challenge OUT girl! nice job!

girlichef said...

I've never made Pad Thai...actually I've never even had it (what!?). Looks delicious!

Debbie said...

I've never made that before. It looks wonderful and I love all the pictures!

burpandslurp said...

congrats on exceeding far beyond expectations on this challenge! this looks AMAZING! thanks for the step by step too! I've always wondered what tamarind paste looks like.

Maria said...

What a great dish! You did a wonderful job!

Bob said...

That looks wicked good, pad thai is the bomb. I completely flaked on the challenge this month, I'll have to be more on the ball next time.

Culinary Alchemist said...

Amazing!!!! Looks SO good!

noble pig said...

I love pad thai, I think it was a very worthy entry!

melissa said...

You are my new freakin hero. Thai food is my top favorite cuisine and I haven't even attempted to make anything at home. Thanks for showing me how to get started. :) Great, great job.

Joie de vivre said...

I've never seen tamarind pulp like that before. Amazing. The blog fairy sent me over. Your blog is just so so cute. I'm glad I visited!

Mom on the Run said...

Great recipe! Pad Thai is a family favorite and I am always looking for ways to improve mine. Thanks for the great ideas.

tamilyn said...

It looks great, but I don't know that I would have the patience for it-I'm kinda like 'gotta have it now' mentality :)

Peter M said...

Ummm, Pad Thai, still one of my fave "ethnic" dishes. This is still truly a balanced all-in-one meal.

Spryte said...

Thanks for all kind words!

Tangled Noodle said...

Fantastic! I love pad thai but have never made it from scratch like this. I have the same brands of sambal and patis, too! I can't wait to try this out.