By MiNa Kim
I love Pad Thai. I remember the first time I had it. A plate of noodles with a sweet but sour scent, topped with…peanuts?! “What the hell is this?” was my reaction. However, my tastebuds had a different opinion, and it just kept going OH YEAH. However, Thai food is hard to come across in Aomori, unless you live in Misawa or Hashikami, where it is expensive, takes forever, or the amount isn’t the plethora you are accustomed to receiving. It is such a delicious comfort food and it tastes just as good if not better the next day so it’s totally worth making an atrocious sized serving at home.
I eat Pad Thai quite often at home and it really isn’t difficult to cook, especially once you get used to it. All the ingredients you need for a basic Pad Thai rip-off CAN be found in stores near you (Kaldi, Jupiter, AEON) so try making it yourself.
Serving size: 3-4
Tamarind paste – 1 tablespoon
Sugar – 3 tablespoons
Fish Sauce -1/4 cup
Minced Garlic – 1 tablespoon
Cayenne pepper (optional)
Rice noodles – 200-250 g (dry), prepare as directed by package.
Meat – chicken, sliced pork, sliced beef, shrimp. 100-150 g (you can use more than one/ mix n’ match)
1/4 cup sliced scallions
crushed peanuts (optional)
bean sprouts (optional)
1/2 cup water
- Prepare the sauce first. Mix all the ingredients together and make sure the paste has been well dissolved. Sauce should be sweet first then tangy. If it is sour, add another spoon of sugar. Gum syrup works as well. DON’T ADD MORE TAMARIND.
- In a wok or frying pan, add a bit of oil and scramble the eggs until they are almost fully cooked, then set aside in a bowl.
- Add oil to the pan and stirfry the meat with some salt and pepper. When fully cooked, set aside with the eggs. (Setting aside the chicken isn’t mandatory but it makes mixing the noodles easier. If you are not making a big serving, feel free to keep the chicken in the pan.)
- Add onions (and half the bean sprouts) to the pan and stirfry on med heat. When the onions have browned, add your rice noodles, 1/2 the sauce and water to the pan. Turn the pan up to HIGH HEAT, and start mixing. Mix the bottom to prevent burning.
- Add the meat and egg that had been set aside, along the rest of the sauce and water. Mix well for about a minute or until the sauce has been well incorporated into the noodles, then turn down the heat.
- Try a noodle and if it’s at a texture that you like, then it’s finished. Top your dish with scallions and peanuts. You can always add fish sauce, squeeze some lemon or sprinkle sugar on the dish AFTER it is finished as well to accommodate your tastes, so don’t fret if it doesn’t come out as well as you had hoped. Also salt and pepper are your friends! If you’re uncomfortable with cooking at high heat, medium heat is okay. It will just take a couple of minutes longer for the noodle to soften. ENJOY!