Verdict: win

I love those kinds of recipes that you stumble on and just happen to already have most of the ingredients on hand. And it's about time that I whipped something up in the kitchen. It also doesn't hurt that it's a recipe by Marc Bittman, and it was featured on Serious!

To be honest, I had my doubts about this dish when I was making the sauce. Something about odor of fish sauce and tamarind makes my stomach churn; however, minimal sauce is used and the flavor turns out to be quite balanced. I did add a tablespoon of peanut butter (since I didn't have peanut oil) and a splash of soy sauce at the end. DY would've liked more eggs too. Most importantly, do not be tempted to skip the lime! Lime juice makes this dish complete.

The most time consuming part is slicing the Napa and peeling the shrimp, but after that the pad thai comes together so quickly. Perfect for a birthday dinner in!

Marc Bittman's Pad Thai found on Serious Eats
Yield: 4 servings

4 ounces wide rice stick noodles
4 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
4 teaspoons tamarind paste
1/4 cup fish sauce (nam pla)
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 garlic clove, minced
2 eggs
1 small head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1/2 pound peeled shrimp
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 limes, quartered

In a large bowl, add the rice stick noodles and cover with boiling water. Set aside for five minutes until tender but not too soft. Drain in a colander, and then rinse with cold water. Toss with a tablespoon of the oil to keep the noodles from sticking together.

In a medium saucepan, combine the tamarind paste, fish sauce, honey, and rice vinegar. Turn heat to medium-low and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Add the red pepper flakes and turn off the heat. Set aside.

In a large wok or skillet, pour in the remaining three tablespoons of oil and turn the heat to medium-high. When oil starts to shimmer, add the scallions and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about one minute. Crack the eggs in, and let them cook for a few seconds until they start to set. Then scramble them with a wooden spoon. When the eggs are almost cooked, add the cabbage and bean sprouts. Stir well and cook until the cabbage starts to wilt, two to three minutes. Add the shrimp, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they turn pink.

Add the cooked noodles and the sauce to the pan. Stir until everything is combined. Cook until the noodles are once again warm. Turn off the heat.

Divide the pad thai mixture between four plates. Garnish with peanuts and cilantro. Serve with the lime wedges.


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