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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pad Thai

I'm a white girl from the Northeast but Pad Thai reminds me of home. For a while it was our family's favorite take-out dinner and often my best girlfriends and I would order it for those fabulous girls stay in have drinks watch bad TV nights. Oh and us ladies have had some pretty serious conversations over Pad Thai too - who to marry, where to live, should I have a baby? For a simple wok fried noodle dish it carries some heavy weight for me.

For these reasons I've never made it at home but decided my Ikea wok was worth the honor.

Pad Thai 
slightly adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home
serves 4

2 quarts water
3/4 lb mung bean sprouts
6 oz brown rice noodles, 1/4 in wide

juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup fish sauce or soy sauce

3 tablespoons canola oil
3-4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon minced fresh chile, or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups grated carrots
4 large eggs, lightly beaten with a pinch of salt
2/3 cup chopped peanuts
6-8 scallions, chopped (about 1 cup)

In a covered pot, bring the water to a rolling boil. Blanch the mung bean sprouts by placing them in a strainer or small colander and dipping it into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Set aside to drain well. When the water returns to a boil, stir in the rice noodles and cook for 3-5 minutes, until tender but firm. Drain the cooked noodles, rinse them under cool water, and set them aside to drain well. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients.

Prepare the remaining ingredients and have them near at hand before you begin to stir-fry. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet just shy of high. Add the garlic and chile, swirl them in the oil for a moment, and stir in the grated carrots. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Push the carrots to the sides to make a hollow in the center. Pour the beaten eggs into the center and quickly scramble them. When the eggs have just set, pour in the sauce mixture and stir everything together. Add the drained rice noodles and mung sprouts, and toss to distribute evenly. Stir in the peanuts and scallions, and serve at once.

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