Made an insanely easy version of Pad Thai today. I’d really been wanting some but many of the recipes I found just weren’t what I was looking for. For example – I don’t like anything that smacks of a satay sauce (read nut butters) in my pad thai. Um, no. I understand the sprinkling on at the end, but not adding nut butter to the pad thai sauce. Lots of others just seemed horribly complicated or unbalanced in some way. I kept thinking to myself, this can’t be that hard. Street vendors can churn and burn this stuff! I finally found a great reference <http://chezpim.com/cook/pad_thai_for_beginners> for “authentic” pad thai. What he said about the sauce made total sense. You need that balance of sweet, salty, hot, sour, and umami. Sadly, my tamarind paste was way out of date, so I couldn’t use it, but limes made a reasonable substitution. I didn’t feel like gaffing with cayenne pepper, so the sriracha came out of hiding. So here’s what I came up with. This has been modified for my own tastes/allergies, however, feel free to add in a couple eggs and bean sprouts. I also strayed from the path and added more veggies in there by way of finely minced spinach and veggie “noodles”.
Pad Thai – Beth style
- 1/4 cup lime juice (or tamarind pulp/concentrate if you have it on hand)
- 1/4 cup coconut amines (or GF soy sauce, or even regular soy sauce for those not needing GF)
- 1/4 cup (scant) fish sauce (start with 2 Tbsp and add from there, to taste – it’s easier to add than take out)
- 2-3 Tbsp sriracha (less if you don’t want it so spicy)
- 2-3 Tbsp Palm sugar or honey (a bit less if you use white sugar or brown sugar)
Pad Thai base:
- 2-3 Tbsp coconut oil (or oil of choice)
- 1 lbs ground turkey or chicken
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1/2 cup green onion, sliced thin
- 6 cloves of garlic (more or less to taste – I love garlic)
- 4 cups spinach, minced in a food processor or blender
- sweet basil (or thai holy basil if you can get it), julienned
- 1-2 zucchini, cut with spiralizer or wide flat noodles made with a peeler (feel free to use spaghetti squash, or regular rice or kelp noodles for GF)
- 1/2 cup or more shredded carrots
- cilantro (optional)
Bang out the sauce first. Add all the sauce ingredients to a small saucepan and heat up until sugar/honey is dissolved. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust accordingly. The idea is to balance all the elements, but play with it to suit your own tastes. Set aside.
Add oil to a large pan or wok. Heat the oil and add the finely minced onion. Cook for 30 seconds or so, then add the ground chicken and garlic. Cook the chicken until there is no pink. Towards the end of the cooking of the chicken, add in the green onions and spinach. Heat through. Then add 1/2 cup-1 cup sauce. Add in the noodles. Heat through. Then add the basil in the last minute of cooking. Serve warm.