The ingredients I used in my Pad Thai are not the exact vegetables called for in the traditional Pad Thai recipe. I don’t have bean sprouts but I do have a substantial supply of Asian vegetables.
First is a visit at the backyard, our backyard is always a work-in-progress in my attempt to create an edible landscape here in the zone 10 region of Florida.
Anyway, I picked two kinds of beans, the bush beans and the Asian yard long beans.
Based on what’s in the refrigerator and what I picked from the garden, here is the list of vegetables I came up with:
- 3/4 cup sweet peppers
- 2 cups sliced Napa cabbage
- 1 cup sliced beans
- 1 medium sweet onion, sliced
- 2 pieces of mini sweet pepper
- 3 pieces of whole chili, optional
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cucumber, cut in sticks
- a bunch of Thai basil
- 1/4 cup course chopped cilantro
- 2 stalks of green onions, sliced
- 1 lb of shelled shrimps
- 1/2 lb Pad Thai Rice Noodle. I used fresh Pad Thai noodles. If using the dry noodles, pre-cooked as directed on the package.
- 2 T peanut oil
- 1 T fish sauce
In a wok, heat the oil. Add the garlic, and cook until lightly browned. Add the onion and shrimps. Stir fry until the shrimps turn pink. Do not overcook the shrimps. Push the shrimps on one side of the work or transfer to a plate and stir-fry the vegetables until slightly wilted. Mix shrimps and vegetables. Season with fish sauce. Transfer in a bowl.
Pad Thai Sauce. You may adjust the proportion based on personal taste. I’d like to point out that the Pad Thai’s salty-sweet-sour taste appeals to most Filipino palate.
- 3 T fish sauce
- 3 T brown sugar
- 3 T tamarind liquid (this is available in Asian stores. In place of the first 3 ingredients, you may use the bottled Pad Thai sauce also available in Asian food stores. I stay away from Asian flavor mixes because they usually include MSG.)
- 1 T peanut oil
- 1 cup chicken broth
Using the same wok, add the first three ingredients and 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Boil until it thickens. Add the noodles and stir to coat with the seasoning. Check the noodles, add more broth to cook, if necessary. Since I used the fresh noodle, I ended up using all of the broth.
Transfer the cooked noodles in a serving platter, pour the shrimps and vegetables on top. Add the chopped green onions and cilantro and Thai basil leaves. In a separate platter, arrange more Thai basil, cilantro and cucumber sticks. My husband and I like eating the Thai basil fresh so we add the leaves just before eating. We also like a squeeze of lemon or lime on the Pad Thai, actually we like it on all of our noodle dish.
It goes without saying, be bold. Play around. Substitute. Sometimes it’s OK to use a cookbook as an idea book and not as a cooking bible.
And now as we say in Tagalog, kain na! Let’s eat!