Weekly meal planning has gone to hell this week, due to our new puppy addition. It's much more fun to play with Patches than it is to pour over cookbooks right now.
Which is why we ate dinner out of a box last night. (Gasp!)
I LOVE PAD THAI! It's what I order when we go out for Thai food. I love the rice noodles, and the sweet yet slightly sour and spicey sauce that accompanies it. I especially love the many textures you get in the dish - the noodles are soft, but still have a bite to them, the peanuts provide a chewiness when they hit the heat, and the bean sprouts lend a nice crunch.
I've been reluctant to try to make original Pad Thai from scratch, when this box version tastes so good. Dinner is ready in a snap - - and because you actually have to cook something, you feel good about making it. It's almost as easy as picking up the phone and ordering take out! For my money, the Thai Kitchen brand is definitely the best one on the store shelves. (Damn, I wish I was getting paid for this review!) I change up the recipe slightly from the directions on the box, depending on my culinary mood.
Thai Kitchen's ORIGINAL PAD THAI
(makes a meal for 2)
1 box Thai Kitchen Original Pad Thai Stir Fry Rice Noodles with Sauce (see picture above)
2 chicken breasts, cut into strips*
12 medium shrimp, de-shelled and de-viened*
6 oz. tofu, cut into cubes*
4 tsbp vegetable oil
1 can of bean sprouts, drained
1/4 cup green onions, sliced into 1-inch straws
1/2 cup peanuts, roughly chopped
In a large bowl, soak rice noodles in boiling water for approximately 20-25 minutes.
When you have about 5 minutes left in your soak, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over high heat. Scramble eggs, stirring constantly. Once eggs are cooked, remove from heat and set aside. Place remaining oil in skillet, and once hot, saute chicken, shrimp and tofu. Add soft rice noodles and sauce packet, and stir to combine. Let cook a couple of minutes until the noodles absorb all of the sauce. Add green onions and peanuts. Cook an additional minute. Finish the dish with cooked eggs and bean sprouts. If desired, garnish with some additional green onion and chopped peanuts. Sometimes I add a lime wedge if I want to be fancy!
*These proteins are completely optional. Last night, I made it with only chicken - which is what I had on hand. However, I've made it with no proteins, or all three, and it is still delicious.
The last time I made it, I didn't have any peanuts (I know I had some - - but they were mysteriously eaten!)...so I added a tablespoon of crunchy peanut butter. I never even missed the peanuts!
BTW - these rice noodles are gluten free, which is pretty darn awesome if you adhere to a gluten free diet.