Week One: Pad Thai

Introducing my newest project, Handmade52! My goal is to create/craft/cook/bake/make something new each week for the duration of 2011. A whole project of cooking or crafts would probably be a little overkill, so I’m hoping that by combining them all into one big, nebulous project, it will be easier to stick with it. Of course, my rule-following self is already struggling (mentally) with such a vague guideline, but it’s okay.

This week I decided to start with something that I have loved for a long time, namely pad thai. I remembered that Kasia had a recipe that she was obsessed with, and since we tend to have similar tastes, I asked her to share her recipe, which came from Jaden Hair’s Steamy Kitchen cookbook. I pulled the book off the shelf at the library that afternoon, and made it on my day off today. As usual, the prep took me way longer than it probably needed to, and involved an overly large number of dirty bowls and cooking utensils.

perhaps it is a result of watching too many cooking shows

I had intended to just use the original cookbook recipe, but I had some trouble finding some of the ingredients to make my own pad thai sauce, and ended up buying a pre-made sauce. Of course, that package came with a slightly difference recipe, and I was sort of disorganized when it came to combining the two.

mixing, lots of mixing

The end result? Was a little underwhelming, and I was SO disappointed after what felt like a long time cooking for such a simple recipe. (It probably wasn’t as long as it felt, but a few near-disasters made it seem like forever.) The problem, I think, was that I bungled the noodles, which needed to soak before being stir-fried. Except the package I bought said to cook them like regular pasta, and I followed the recipe’s instructions rather than the package’s. The noodles were stiff and undercooked, which made it sort of hilariously difficult to mix all the ingredients together. (The noodles were stubbornly staying in one rather solid chunk.) I also probably used too much chicken. Or maybe not. I’m not sure anymore. I would try this again, though, because I think with some practice I can get it right.

handmade52.1 pad thai

Chicken Pad Thai
(Adapted from Steamy Kitchen’s Shrimp Pad Thai and the recipe on the back of the A Taste of Thai Pad Thai sauce, and inspired by Kasia)

8 oz dried rice noodles
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 lb ground chicken
2 tbsp chopped garlic (4 cloves, or thereabouts, which seems like a lot looking back)
6 scallions, chopped
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
1 lime, cut into wedges
1/2 cup chopped unsalted dry roasted peanuts
1 3.25 oz package Pad Thai Sauce

Soak noodles according to directions. Scramble the eggs lightly in a separate pan, and set aside in a separate bowl. Heat oil in wok. Add chicken, and stir-fry until cooked through. Push the chicken to one side of the wok, and add garlic and green onions to an empty area of the wok. Stir-fry until fragrant. Add the drained noodles, the cooked eggs, and the Pad Thai sauce. Stir-fry until the noodles are soft and all ingredients have combined. Add the peanuts and bean sprouts and cook a minute more. Serve with a lime wedge. Makes about 4 servings if your bowls are big like mine.

5 thoughts on “Week One: Pad Thai

  1. What a bummer that the recipe wasn’t a rousing success. I like your “can-do” attitude about trying it again, though, despite the dispiriting “prep/cleanup” to “end result” ratio.

    More importantly, though, I love the new blog! The header kicks ass!

  2. thanks, dudes! i am pretty excited about this project and the new blog overall. (and don’t think i don’t have a few ideas for other color combinations for the header lol).

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