Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Chicken Pad Thai

Courtesy of my recent stock-up trip to the Asian market...I told you there was many dinners' worth of stuff, remember?

I'm sorry the photo is less than fabulous. I was in such a hurry to shovel this pile-o-love into my mouth that I could barely be bothered to take a picture at all.

Anyway, I think I've finally nailed it, and I definitely have Pim at Chez Pim to thank, as I followed her advice and used tamarind concentrate and palm sugar where other recipes call for lime juice and regular white or brown sugar, and it was absolutely perfect. Even Boy said so and he is the true midwestern Pad Thai connoisseur, having sampled it across the cities. I would have kissed him, except then he said "where are the spring rolls and chicken satay?" But really, this little adventure has delivered the revelation that it's all about the tamarind, so if you can't find the jarred concentrate, buy the pods (relatively common at the regular grocery store) and do the work to extract the pulp that way, because Pad Thai with vinegar or lime juice or any other sour element impostor is just not the same. Or as good.

Also per Pim's instruction, I added the pounded dried shrimp, chopped garlic, and the peanuts, of course, but that was it besides egg and some green onion because my bean sprouts were skunky in the produce drawer (dang) and all the other stuff she mentions aside from the red pepper flake is just not a part of Pad Thai in my world although I am inclined to try it with garlic chives next time I see some at the market. And I loved her suggestion to make up the sauce in advance and have it at the ready. Much, much simpler than trying to adjust the flavors while everything is already sizzling away in the wok.

So go visit Chez Pim and make yourself some Pad Thai. It's super easy and, as Pim says "the best Pad Thai you've ever had will be the one you've just made! "

You see, this is why I always read your blog with slight trepidation... you always make me hungry!
That looks lovely.
This looks great. I'm so glad you love your pad thai.

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