It didn't turn out horribly, but it wasn't great either. The tastes were right, but the texture and the whole experience of the dish was way off. Luckily, I know exactly what went wrong, so I know what to do to make it better next time. Heed these words of wisdom and learn from my mistakes!
Mistake #1: Forgot to check on noodles and didn't rinse with cold water thoroughly
Result: Mushy, overcooked noodles
Solution: Keep a better eye on the noodles as they boil, and rinse them better.
Mistake #2: Dumped freezer burned shrimp, complete with ice crystals, into pot.
Result: Dish came out soupy. Watery straight-out-of-package tofu may have also contributed.
Solution: Use fresh shrimp, or thaw and drain frozen shrimp. Also pre-fry tofu or buy extra firm tofu next time.
Mistake #3: Cracked egg directly on top of cooking food instead of pushing food aside and cracking into empty space in pan
Result: Weird egg white specks throughout dish instead of those nice yellow chunks-o-scrambled-egg
Solution: Follow the recipe, jerk (me, not you)
The morals of the story are 1) don't do what I did, and 2) don't be a jerk. The latter can be applied to almost any situation, how's that for efficiency?
Shrimp Pad Thai
- 2 tsp oil
- 1.5 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp chili powder or to taste
- 3 oz rice noodles or rice sticks
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 6 oz medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 oz firm tofu, cut into slices (optional)
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white
- 5 oz bean sprouts
- 1 oz Chinese chives or scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 tbsp crushed peanuts
- lime wedges
- Prepare chives, tofu, garlic and peanuts and set aside. This recipe moves quickly, and I'm a slow chopper. Not a good combination. Cutting everything up beforehand makes things so much easier!
- Prepare noodles according to package, rinse with cold water and drain (seriously).
- Mix fish sauce, sugar, water, rice vinegar and chili powder in a small bowl, set aside.
- Heat large skillet on high and add oil.
- When oil is hot, add garlic. Stir until you can smell the garlic.
- Add tofu and shrimp and keep stirring.
- When shrimp changes color, add noodles. Stir for 30 seconds.
- Use a big spatula to push the food to one side of the skillet, then crack an egg into the empty part of the skillet.
- Break the yolk with a spatula and let cook for about 30 seconds.
- Combine egg with rest of food.
- Add sauce and stir to combine.
- Add bean sprouts and chives and keep stirring.
- When sprouts are done, add peanut.
- Turn off heat and serve immediately with lime wedges.