Pad Thai is the national dish in Thailand, available at every street corner in every imaginable variation. Pad Thai is a delightful stir-fried rice noodle dish including, in any combination, fish or chicken, eggs, vegetables, tofu, peanuts, and the native seasonings—ginger, lemongrass, curry, and coconut: You just can’t miss! Pad Thai is a complete meal, and it’s very quick cooking, so don’t be daunted by the long list of ingredients. Perfect for buffets too, as long as you toss in the peanuts just before serving so they don’t lose their crunch.
- 1 pound rice noodles
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 6 large cloves garlic
- 1 2-inch piece ginger
- Choose one of the following proteins: 1 pound mock shrimp sliced thick, 4 chicken
- cutlets cut in thin strips, 1 pound extra firm tofu, or seitan cut in small cubes
- 3 cups shredded nappa cabbage
- 3 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps
- 1 tablespoon curry, or more to taste
- 2 tablespoons minced lemongrass, or 1 tablespoon powder
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 3 eggs, beaten in a bowl
- ⅓ cup sliced scallions
- 2 tablespoons minced cilantro leaves
- 2 cups soybean sprouts
- 2–3 tablespoons bottled hot sauce
- Salt to taste
- ½ cup chopped roasted peanuts (skip if you would rather not have nuts)
Soak the noodles in hot water just a few minutes and drain. With a scissor, cut through the noodles until fairly small.
Heat the oil in a wide-bottom pot. In a food processor, coarsely grind the onion, garlic, and ginger and add to the pot. Sauté until translucent. Add the protein ingredient of your choice and sauté 2 to 3 more minutes. Add the cabbage and shiitake and sauté
2 to 3 more minutes. Add the curry and lemongrass and sauté just one more minute. Reduce the flame to medium. Add the coconut milk and the reserved noodles and stir. Make a well in the center and pour in the eggs. Stir briskly until the egg has firmed up, without allowing it to get tough, just one more minute. Stir in the scallions, cilantro, sprouts, hot sauce, salt, and peanuts and heat through. Serve hot. Makes 8 servings.