Introduction: Pad Thai Mix Up
This is my version of Pad Thai using only the ingredients I could find in my cupboard, fridge and freezer. All together making this delicious dish took around 15 minutes to make. Depending on your skill/confidence and how good your stove is, it can take between 10-20 minutes (not including time to boil your water.) Everything is simple! No baking required, no complicated consistencies to attempt, just boiling noodles and browning in a pan.
True Pad Thai is a Thai dish that typically stir fries rice noodles with chicken, tofu or shrimp. It also uses lime and peanuts. If you want to incorporate any of these things into your dish, just add that to your list of ingredients and cook accordingly.
Alright, on to the steps!
Step 1: The Ingredients and Tools
First things first, there is one basic rule I have for cooking.
Never follow a recipe exactly. If there are some vegetables you want to add or ignore, do it! If there are sauces you want to substitute, try them. Though I do recommend not adding too many sauces as this can cause some strange tastes...
1) Large Frying Pan
2) Small or Medium Sauce Pan
3) Strainer or Colander
4) Wooden Spoon or Spatula
1) Ramen Noodles (any flavor or brand will do as you won't be using the flavor package.)
2) One Large Egg
3) Red Onion (you'll only need about one good slice of it so either get a small one or plan to cook with onion soon!)
4) Frozen Green Beans (my favorite are French cut, but any cut will work. You don't need to get the steam in bag as you'll just be using a small amount.)
5) Red Pepper
6) Minced Garlic (or if you want, use fresh garlic or garlic powder)
7) Pad Thai sauce (very important!)
8) Olive Oil (or vegetable oil)
1) Soy Sauce (I recommend adding a bit of soy sauce or salt since the Pad Thai is pretty sweet)
2) Chili Paste or Sauce (for some heat)
All of these ingredients (except perhaps the Pad Thai sauce) can be found at most local grocery stores. Some stores will have an international section where the chili sauce and soy sauce can often be found.
To find Pad Thai sauce (of course the most important part is what may be the hardest to find) you will most likely have to check your local international grocery or Asian market. I bought mine at a local Asian market for less than two dollars. If you are interested in making your own Pad Thai sauce, I recommend this website: http://thaifood.about.com/od/quickeasythairecipes/r/padthaisauce.htm.
Step 2: The Preparation
On The Cutting Board
First, chop the ingredients. Cut out the stem and the seeds from the pepper and then just cut the rest into small pieces. I recommend about 1 inch square pieces. For the onion, peel the papery outside off and cut off the end. Then slice about 1/4 – 1/3 as much onion as you have pepper. Also chop these slices to about one inch long. For a sweeter onion that doesn’t burn too quickly, I recommend cutting thick slices of onion.
In a microwave safe bowl, put in about ½ the amount of green beans as pepper.
See second picture for idea as to how much you should have of each.
On The Stove
In the saucepan, boil water for the noodles.
In the frying pan, lightly coat the bottom with oil. For both pans, put the heat to medium high.
Step 3: The Saute
Microwave the green beans according to the directions and drain any excess water in the bowl.
After the frying pan has heated up for a few minutes, add the red pepper and onion. Make sure that they have plenty of room to move around. If the pan looks "crowded", look for a larger pan.
Every minute or two stir them until they just begin to brown.
Then add about 1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic and the green beans. Continue to stir every minute.
While the vegetables are cooking, put the Ramen in the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Step 4: The Egg
After the green beans and the other vegetables have browned completely (see third picture for an idea of what they should look like), remove all vegetables and place in a separate bowl. If the frying pan is non-stick (Teflon-coated), you should not need to re-grease the pan. If it isn't, you may want to use some non-stick spray or butter on it after you remove the vegetables.
In the same frying pan, scramble the egg (push it around and break it up to small pieces until it is fully cooked.) See the second picture for an idea of how to break it up. Make sure you have small pieces so that you don't find large chunks in your Pad Thai.
Remove from heat and put the vegetables back into the pan.
Step 5: The Mix-Up
At this point you should either strain or have strained the Ramen. If you take the Ramen out before the frying pan has everything in it, rinse the noodles lightly with cold water to help stop them from sticking together. Also leave them in the strainer to stop them from cooking.
Get your sauces ready!
Place the frying pan back on medium high heat. Add the Ramen on top of the vegetables.
Step 6: The Sauces and the End
Put in a good amount of Pad Thai sauce, enough to thinly cover all the Ramen. (See the second picture for an estimate. Feel free to add more.) Stir everything together until the Ramen is well coated and just begins to get sticky.
Put a small squeeze of chili sauce and pour a healthy amount (pour and count to about 4-5) of soy sauce. Restir.
Plate and enjoy!