Wednesday, 11 May 2011

My Trip To Thailand (In My Kitchen)

Ok, so I've never actually gone to Thailand.

I've gone on a few vacations to exotic countries. And I have packed up my car with all my belongings and driven across the country from tip to tip, but I've never visited Thailand.

Never even came close. Except for in my kitchen.

In my kitchen, I can pretend to be exploring hundreds of exotic locations from Italy to France to China and everywhere in between.

It's fun to cook dishes that I am not one hundred percent confident about cooking. I like the challenge of not knowing exactly what something should taste like but tasting it and adding things until it suits my own palate.

I love reading new cookbooks and magazines to broaden my techniques and I love visiting little hole in the wall ethnic food shops and discovering a wealth of ingredients.

People are so friendly when you talk about food and tend to share little secrets about how to pick out the best produce and how to toast the spices just right. They want you to love their favourite foods as much as they do.

So here I am on a "trip" to Thailand to cook Pad Thai. I read a recipe in a magazine and changed it to make it my own. It's definitely Westernized and suited to my palate so I don't know how authentic it is, I seriously doubt ketchup is in any real recipes, but I think it's tasty.

And anyway, Pad Thai just translates to fried Thai style food. I've fried rice noodles, cilantro, eggs, limes, fish sauce, and peanuts. I think that means I've done it.

Now my brother might have something else to tell me since he's actually been to Asia but he lives halfway across the country from me and didn't get to taste it. I guess that means he'll just have to take my word for it!

Pad Thai for Four or Six


1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup lime juice + lime zest from lime
2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon garlic chili sauce (use as much or as little as you like)
2 eggs, whipped
1 teaspoon oil
1 onion, sliced thinly
1/2 head of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon pickled ginger
2 chicken breasts, whole
1 cup shrimp
1 cup enoki mushrooms
1 cup sugar snap peas
3 cups bean sprouts
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Half package thick stick rice noodles
1 lime cut into wedges for garnish
1/4 cup peanuts

1. Heat oil in a pan and cook garlic, onions, and chicken. Towards the end of cooking, add shrimp to pan as well.

2. While chicken, onions, garlic, and shrimp are cooking mix up ketchup, chicken stock, lime juice, lime zest, fish sauce, brown sugar, and garlic chili sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. Remove chicken and shrimp. Slice chicken and set aside.

4. Add ketchup mixture to your pan and let cook for about 5 minutes or until bubbly.

5. Once you've added your ketchup mixture, cook your rice noodles in a medium pot of boiling water. It will only take a few minutes. Drain noodles and set aside. Also at this point scramble your eggs in a small pan.

6. When ketchup mixture begins to bubble, add chicken and shrimp back to your pan, add cooked rice noodles, cooked eggs, sugar snap peas, enoki mushrooms, and bean sprouts. Stir to combine. Only just warm snap peas so that they're still crunchy when you serve them.

7. Right before serving, add green onion and cilantro. Gently mix to combine and serve. Put out a bowl with lime wedges and another bowl with peanuts to use as garnish. Enjoy!

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