Friday, April 1, 2011

Pad Thai

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.

Pad Thai

Adapted from: Cooking Light, 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.

Serves: 4

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.

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 259Calories from fat 139
% Daily Value
Total Fat 15.4g24%
Saturated Fat 1.4g7%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 1018mg42%
Total Carbs 26.5g9%
Dietary Fiber 2.2g9%
Sugars 5.9g
Protein 6.5g
Vitamin A 7%Vitamin C 45%
Calcium 6%Iron 9%


  1. LOVE pad thai...and cooking light :) sounds like a match made in heaven!

  2. I agree with everything Lindsay said.

  3. This looks like absolute perfection. Pad Thai is one of my favorites, too.

  4. Wow this pad thai looks simple and soooooo delicious! Pad thai is my favorite noodles among all the Asian food, yet I haven't found my favorite recipe yet. I'd love to try yours next. Thank you for sharing!

  5. I love pad thai but have never made it before! I definitely need to try your recipe. Your photos are beautiful too!

  6. I love pad thai and this recipe looks great.

  7. Ooh, Pad Thai! Yeah! I love simple and delicious dishes and this is definitely one of them. I love how you were wolfing it down and blocked your ears from all sounds except for your chewing ;-) I'll definitely have to try this out!

  8. I just had pad thai earlier this week- can't get enough of the stuff! I'm always looking for good asian recipes to make at home though.

  9. This looks fantastic!

    PS - I love Cooking Light magazine. Some issues are better than others, but I always find delicious recipes that I can enjoy guilt-free!

  10. Ooh, boy this looks great. I think even my picky hubby would eat this...and if I throw in a little chicken, he'd be extra pleased :)

  11. This looks like a great pad thai recipe - a lot better then the ones I see that start with ketchup. I love most Asian foods but hate cilantro which is in everything - so I understand the seafood and coconut.

  12. Oh that sounds so good! Your photos are beautiful, too!
    I love pad thai... I think it was my first Thai dish that I ever tried and I fell in love.

  13. i love this pad thai recipe. i worked at Spice Market in NYC in the wok station, and pad thai was one of the most popular dishes. i love your recipe because it has the essential flavors of the dish yet it stays light. plus i like that the recipe doesn't call for eggs, it's nice to not be reminded of the pressures of making a perfect egg web each time lol.

  14. This is a great no-meat dish and the sauce sounds like it would even be good for egg rolls or dipping other appetizers. Very nice.

  15. I love pad thai but usually all the prep work takes too long to make the dish in a hurry during the week after school. Instead of making the sauce, you can buy bottled stir fries and add it to the noodles- SUCH a life saver (you can do that with regular stir fries, too). Plus if you're near a trader joes, precut and washed veggies cut the timing for asian dishes in half! So easy and delicious! Love your blog

  16. I love pad thai and this looks sooo good! I can't wait to try it out. :)



Related Posts with Thumbnails
Pin It button on image hover