I love most Asian food. Okay, minus things involving seafood and coconut, which, I know, makes up a large portion. But as for the rest, delicious. There's just something about the way that all the flavors are so well balanced -- the sour with the sweet, the bitter with the salty, and let's not forget about umami.
I was a little leery about the authenticity of a Pad Thai recipe coming out of a Cooking Light magazine, but figured I would give it a shot anyways. While I am positive that there are one or two key "authentic" ingredients missing from the line up, their replacements do a fine job of getting this version close.
I did have to stop by the Asian grocery store to pick up a few of the items on the list -- the flat rice noodles and the bean sprouts, and was lucky enough that the lady working there suggested I buy basil. I was about to say no as I had picked some up the other day until I realized that it was most likely Asian basil rather than regular basil. Score! I've been on the search for sweet basil for a while now, and I knew it would make this dish even better.
Adapted from: , March 2011
8 ounces uncooked flat rice noodles
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon garlic chile paste (such as sambal oelek)
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1/4 cup peanuts, unsalted & dry-roasted, chopped
3 tablespoons sweet Asian basil (regular basil will also work)
Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Add noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, and garlic chile paste. Set aside.
Add the oil to a large skillet (or wok), and warm over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic, and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add noodles, tossing to combine. Pour sauce over top and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Serve topped with 1/4 cup bean sprouts, 1 tablespoon peanuts, and 2 teaspoons basil.
Turns out, Adam ended up liking this dish even better than the one served at a local Thai place. Apparently it's not quite as sweet as theirs. But I wasn't really listening to him, I was far too busy eating as much of this as I could. It's one of those dishes that you really just want to keep eating and eating, no matter how full you get. There's just something about the crisp from the bean sprouts with the crunch from the peanuts all mixing in with the chewy noodles and spicy sauce that's irresistible to me. I am very sad I was snookered out of the leftover for lunch today.
I had actually done the prep work before dinner (as we had a dinnertime soccer game, so didn't get home until much later), so the actual cooking of this meal was a breeze -- not to say that you couldn't easily do all the prep work in the time it takes the water to boil. With this recipe being so quick and easy, it's is definitely sticking around.
|Amount per serving|
|Calories 259||Calories from fat 139|
|% Daily Value|
|Total Fat 15.4g||24%|
|Saturated Fat 1.4g||7%|
|Total Carbs 26.5g||9%|
|Dietary Fiber 2.2g||9%|
|Vitamin A 7%||Vitamin C 45%|
|Calcium 6%||Iron 9%|