Nov 17, 2009

Pad Thai and Veggie Fried Rice

If there is one international cuisine that my husband and I love equally, that's got to be Thai cuisine. We have our favorite Thai restaurants in each city! That's something you have to have figured out!

Everytime I think of making Thai food at home - I think about the one time I screwed it up big time - I had called our friends over for dinner - and told them I was making Thai. I got everyone excited about the food - I had made red curry. I had got the curry paste from the store - added my veggies and all that and added the paste to cook. It would have been really good if I had read the instructions at the back. The packet said to use 1 tbsp of curry paste - I had used the whole packet of it! Oooppsss...We all sat down to eat and each of us put a spoon of the rice and curry into our hungry mouths - the minute the curry touched the back of the tongues, I knew it was time to call the fire engines! It was hot..not just hot - but just can't eat hot. Talk about showing off your international cooking skills to your guests! I'm just glad that we are still friends!

So, every time I cook Thai food now, I do make sure that its not another night of fiasco! I'm extra careful if I'm adding store bought spices or pastes.

This last friday, I decided to skip the curries and stick to just rice and noodles. A carb over load friday night - and sleep until late Saturday morning - talk about good planning!

I do have to mention that this time I did not make the pad thai paste from scratch. I've done that a couple of times before but never seem to get that restaurant taste - I'm sure I was missing something. So, I got a pad thai paste from the store and used a little of that for the flavoring. If you are vegetarian, please keep in mind to look for a vegetarian pad thai paste - usually the regular ones contain fish sauce. The vegetarian version replaces the fish sauce with a mushroom based sauce which matches the flavor. You can find this in speciality asian markets. The regular american grocers all usually carry just the normal pad thai sauce version.

Let's get started with the fried rice. Here's my plate of veggies for the fried rice. Clockwise from left - onions, green bell peppers, red bell peppers, broccoli, bean sprouts and carrots.



In a wide pan, add about a tbsp of oil, fry the onions first for a min. Then, add the red and green bell peppers. Saute for a couple of mins. Then, add the carrots. Don't cook the veggies completely. They should still be crisp at the center.
 



Add the broccoli at the end and just saute for a min. Add salt to taste. I added about a tsp of red curry paste dissolved in water to the veggies. That provides a nice flavor and spice to the rice.


Add about 11/2 cups of cooked rice to the veggies and mix well gently. You could use a fork if you like. Try not to smudge the rice and try to keep it grainy.

 

When all the rice is mixed up well, add the sprouts at the end and switch off the stove.
 

Serve hot. Really hot.

 


Now, moving on to the Pad Thai. I used the same palette of veggies as the fried rice but added baby corn and Fried Tofu to the Pad Thai.

I could not find fresh baby corn at the store and instead got the canned one. The thing I don't like about the canned stuff is the damn preservative smell and taste. In order to get rid of this, wash the baby corn well - like about 4-5 times in water. Then cut them into thin long slices and again wash them gently for a few times. Then, in about a tsp of oil, fry them separately for a few mins. This removes all the preservative smell and taste from the baby corn.

 

Cook the pad thai flat noodles in a pan of boiling water. Boil the water - then switch off the stove and then add the noodles. Let it sit for about 5 mins and then rinse the noodles with cold water. This will cook it just enough.

 

I got the extra firm tofu. To fry the tofu, cut into long pieces. Squeeze out all the water from the tofu. Some people add a coating of  batter to fry these - but I just like them fried straight in a pan. I do not deep fry them, but do a shallow fry with about 2 tsp of oil. Let this just fry slowly until the sides are brown.

 

Saute the vegetables similar to the fried rice above. Add the roasted baby corn at the end.

 

Then, add the fried tofu and mix well.

 

Now, add the noodles. Then add the pad thai sauce and mix well with the noodles and veggies together.

 

Until you get this.Lick!

 
Add some crushed roasted peanuts and mix well. Or just leave them on the side.

 

There's our Pad Thai!

 

With the fried Rice. Long Live Thai Food!



Enjoy! Peace Out!

21 comments:

  1. LOL...you used whole packet of red curry!!:D hahaha..
    Here your thai food rocks! Look so colorful!

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  2. So lovely colors! I have never tried pad thai at home and your recipe is very helpful

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  3. Very colourful and delicious. Would like to have it now. So tempting.

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  4. Hi .. thr.. new here in your space.. .
    Came here thro a thread chain from A2 Z cusine..

    Nice post.. Pad Thai is new to me.. Can we nake it with regular chinese noodles??

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  5. I had a bad experience at a Thai restaurant once...the food was nasty...so I am quite weary of it....but hey, I'll give it another chance if its made the right way! :)

    your rice and pad thai look mighty tempting.

    -trupti

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  6. Wow, the Pad Thai looks so goooooood!!! I love the rice noodles :)

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  7. AM hungry now, just love pad thai noodles my all time fav...

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  8. nice dish and lookin yummy

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  9. Wow.. how much I looove your blog! Your style of showing recipes makes it simple and neat. Thanks so much! I also realize that you live in Irvine.. my neighborhood! Hope there are more recipes coming :)

    Thanks muchos,
    Anu

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  10. Hi All,

    Thank you for your wonderful comments -
    @ Supriya - you should try it soon - I'll bet you will make it a regular then.

    @ Shanthi - wish we were closer - would serve you a whole plate of it

    @Sandhya - thanks for stopping by - I have a very close friend by the same name as yours including surname! I told her about you too!
    You can surely make it with regular noodles - that will just be like veggie chowmein!

    @Trupti - I've had my share of bad restuarant food too -but don't give up on Thai yet - try some good restaurants in your area - you'll get hooked to it - just like Iam. I can't live without eating thai at least once in 2 weeks now! LOL

    @ Anonymous Anu..Hello Neighbor! Thanks for stopping by...I live in west Irvine - how about you. I'll try my best to keep the recipes coming!

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  11. Both of these look so colorful and inviting, love it!

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  12. Mmmmmmmmmmm mouthwatering dear.. both look fantastic... very hungry.

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  13. Pad Thai... yummmm... my fave... feeling hungry!! Jeez.. fedex me a plate will ya? :))

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  14. Hi if you are a vegetarian then the pad thai sauce contains fish sauce. We are vegetarians too and we didnot know about that for a long time and only recently we came to know about that.So jus wanted to let u know

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  15. Hi Anonymous,

    Thanks for stopping by! I was aware that the regular pad thai sauce does contain fish sauce. I got mine from an asian store here that replaces the fish sauce with a mushroom based sauce. I have mentioned about it above too. But, you are right - it is tricky indeed to find out the ingredients of some of these sauces. Thanks though!

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  16. Oh sorry i didnot read the description fully. Good to know that there is a substitute for that because i love pad thai.Because of the reason i mentioned we stopped eating pad thai. Could u tell me which asian store u get curry paste, chilli garlic sauce and pad thai sauce that u use in your cooking.I should say ur indo chinese dishes look awesome!!!

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  17. Hi Anonymous,

    Its been a while since I got my sauce- but I bought it from a local store - I don't even remember the name of that store, its in Anaheim though - its like a thai store at the corner of Euclid and La Palma.

    But, do check out places like whole foods market or henry's farmer market. They carry vegan products and you might find it there.

    I also looked online and check out the templeofthai website - they have some sauces you can buy online - and they have the ingredients listed as well - their pad thai sauce has no fish sauce in it - so its a safe buy. The fish sauce used is to primarily add salt to the paste - you can add soy sauce instead to achieve this - and there are mushroom based soy sauce easily available and that will work good too.

    Cheers!

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  18. Hi ! Loved the description and was too tempted to try it... I m sorry to say that i couldnt get the taste of Thai fried rice... something was missing, though i carefully put in all the ingredients you mentioned... there was no spice, no flavour.. Is there anythng else that you could suggest apart from salt, red curry paste?

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  19. Hi Anonymous,

    Try to make a paste of galangal, red chillies, ginger, some coriander seeds and a couple of leaves of fresh mint - make a paste - then fry it well, then add about 1/4 cup of coconut milk. Then add all the veggies and saute and mix the rice - that will indeed give you a way better flavor. Check my post for pineapple fried rice. You can use the same procedure - just skip the pineapples and add the veggies instead. That rice has a lot of flavor because of the coconut milk.

    Thanks for stopping by and trying out the recipe!!

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