Friday, August 3, 2012

Shrimp Pad Thai, Take 1

I promised I'd write about my first Pad Thai experience! What can I say, I love Thai food.

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
From Skinnytaste


  • 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

  1. 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!
  1. Prepare noodles according to package, rinse with cold water and drain (seriously).
  2. Mix fish sauce, sugar, water, rice vinegar and chili powder in a small bowl, set aside.
  3. Heat large skillet on high and add oil.
  4. When oil is hot, add garlic. Stir until you can smell the garlic.
  5. Add tofu and shrimp and keep stirring.
See? Soupy!
  1. When shrimp changes color, add noodles. Stir for 30 seconds.
  2. 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.
  3. Break the yolk with a spatula and let cook for about 30 seconds.
  4. Combine egg with rest of food.
  5. Add sauce and stir to combine.
  6. Add bean sprouts and chives and keep stirring.
    Hard to tell, but still soupy. 
  1. When sprouts are done, add peanut.
  2. Turn off heat and serve immediately with lime wedges.

Like I said, it wasn't a complete disaster, so I'll definitely try this one again. If at first you don't succeed and all that.