Thai takeout — minus the seed oils and surcharges

May 16, 2024 | U.S. | 0 comments

If there’s one thing I really do miss about my life before kids, it’s being able to eat cheap Asian food on the fly. The Biden economy makes feeding a family of four more expensive than I ever imagined.

There is, as always, a silver lining: I’ve learned to do it myself.

If you read me regularly, you know how much I appreciate the flavors of the Far East. Here we go again! This time with a pad thai that eschews the hyper-inflammatory seed oils that makes take-out so additionally difficult to justify.

This recipe incorporates superfoods like wood ear mushrooms and ginger. You can add as many vegetables as you like. Spiralized peppers and carrots might be a nice touch.

Feel free to pare down, too. Not all the herbs are necessary, and many are interchangeable; I’ve indicated which.

Initially, you may have to go searching for the basic ingredients of the sauce, perhaps at your local Asian market, but the good news is that once you figure out how to make this, you can do so easily with what’s in the cupboard. In other words, you won’t have to repurchase the unusual ingredients for quite some time.

Also, once you figure this out, it’s as easy as my Thai curry, which, dear readers, I’m so happy to hear you enjoy so much. I hope this one serves you well, too.

NOTE: Fish sauce and oyster sauce are made with a fermented broth of shellfish and the like. If anyone in your family has a shellfish allergy, this recipe is not for you, even if you don’t use the shrimp. The sauce itself would cause an allergic reaction. Those with peanut allergies beware, too.

Ingredients (serves family of 4)

16oz rice noodles

Sauce:

6 tbsp tamarind puree
6-8 tbsp packed brown sugar (or honey)
8 tbsp fish sauce
6 tbsp oyster sauce

Stir Fry:

4 tbsp fat of your choosing (olive oil, butter, or beef tallow are what I prefer)
½ tbsp ginger paste (optional)
1 vidalia onion (my preference, but yellow or red will do), chopped
1 cup wood ear mushrooms (optional; can also use 1 can straw mushrooms)
6 garlic cloves (or a couple heaping scoops of pre-minced garlic)
3 lbs chicken (breast or thigh, sliced) (can also sub beef or shrimp)
8 eggs, whisked
6 cups of bean sprouts
1/2 cup chives, cut into 1 1/4″ pieces (interchangeable with green onion and basil)½ cup green onion, chopped (interchangeable with chives and basil)
½ cup basil, chopped (interchangeable with chives and green onion)
1 cup finely chopped peanuts

For serving:

Lime wedges
Basil
Ground chili or cayenne pepper
Soy sauce
More bean sprouts

Instructions

Place noodles in a large bowl; pour over plenty of boiling water. Soak for five minutes, then drain in a colander and quickly rinse under cold water. Be careful not to overcook! Don’t leave them sitting around for more than 5-10 minutes.
Mix sauce in a medium-sized bowl. Taste as you go. You may adjust up and down for sweetness. A dash of soy sauce can add a more umami taste. This isn’t an exact science.
Heat 3-4 tbsp fat (oil, butter, or tallow, whatever you choose) in a large non-stick pan or well-seasoned skillet (because I’m feeding a family, I use my giant Dutch oven) over high heat.
Add garlic, ginger, and vidalia onion; cook for a minute.
Add mushrooms and whatever spiralized veggies you have; cook for a minute.
Add chicken and cook until mostly cooked through.
Push to one side of the pan, and pour egg in on the other side. Scramble, then mix into chicken.
Add bean sprouts, noodles, and finally sauce.
Toss gently for about 1 1/2 minutes until sauce is absorbed by the noodles.
Add herbs and half the peanuts. Toss through quickly, then remove from heat.
Serve immediately, sprinkled with remaining peanuts, lime wedges, and additional herbs on the side, with a sprinkle of chili and a handful of extra bean sprouts on the side if desired. Some people might like a splash of soy sauce. Squeeze over lime juice to taste before eating.
If there’s one thing I really do miss about my life before kids, it’s being able to eat cheap Asian food on the fly. The Biden economy makes feeding a family of four more expensive than I ever imagined.

There is, as always, a silver lining: I’ve learned to do it myself.

If you read me regularly, you know how much I appreciate the flavors of the Far East. Here we go again! This time with a pad thai that eschews the hyper-inflammatory seed oils that makes take-out so additionally difficult to justify.
This recipe incorporates superfoods like wood ear mushrooms and ginger. You can add as many vegetables as you like. Spiralized peppers and carrots might be a nice touch.

Feel free to pare down, too. Not all the herbs are necessary, and many are interchangeable; I’ve indicated which.

Initially, you may have to go searching for the basic ingredients of the sauce, perhaps at your local Asian market, but the good news is that once you figure out how to make this, you can do so easily with what’s in the cupboard. In other words, you won’t have to repurchase the unusual ingredients for quite some time.

Also, once you figure this out, it’s as easy as my Thai curry, which, dear readers, I’m so happy to hear you enjoy so much. I hope this one serves you well, too.

NOTE: Fish sauce and oyster sauce are made with a fermented broth of shellfish and the like. If anyone in your family has a shellfish allergy, this recipe is not for you, even if you don’t use the shrimp. The sauce itself would cause an allergic reaction. Those with peanut allergies beware, too.
Ingredients (serves family of 4)
16oz rice noodles

Sauce:

6 tbsp tamarind puree
6-8 tbsp packed brown sugar (or honey)
8 tbsp fish sauce
6 tbsp oyster sauce

Stir Fry:

4 tbsp fat of your choosing (olive oil, butter, or beef tallow are what I prefer)
½ tbsp ginger paste (optional)
1 vidalia onion (my preference, but yellow or red will do), chopped
1 cup wood ear mushrooms (optional; can also use 1 can straw mushrooms)
6 garlic cloves (or a couple heaping scoops of pre-minced garlic)
3 lbs chicken (breast or thigh, sliced) (can also sub beef or shrimp)
8 eggs, whisked
6 cups of bean sprouts
1/2 cup chives, cut into 1 1/4″ pieces (interchangeable with green onion and basil)½ cup green onion, chopped (interchangeable with chives and basil)
½ cup basil, chopped (interchangeable with chives and green onion)
1 cup finely chopped peanuts

For serving:

Lime wedges
Basil
Ground chili or cayenne pepper
Soy sauce
More bean sprouts
Instructions
Place noodles in a large bowl; pour over plenty of boiling water. Soak for five minutes, then drain in a colander and quickly rinse under cold water. Be careful not to overcook! Don’t leave them sitting around for more than 5-10 minutes.
Mix sauce in a medium-sized bowl. Taste as you go. You may adjust up and down for sweetness. A dash of soy sauce can add a more umami taste. This isn’t an exact science.
Heat 3-4 tbsp fat (oil, butter, or tallow, whatever you choose) in a large non-stick pan or well-seasoned skillet (because I’m feeding a family, I use my giant Dutch oven) over high heat.
Add garlic, ginger, and vidalia onion; cook for a minute.
Add mushrooms and whatever spiralized veggies you have; cook for a minute.
Add chicken and cook until mostly cooked through.
Push to one side of the pan, and pour egg in on the other side. Scramble, then mix into chicken.
Add bean sprouts, noodles, and finally sauce.
Toss gently for about 1 1/2 minutes until sauce is absorbed by the noodles.
Add herbs and half the peanuts. Toss through quickly, then remove from heat.
Serve immediately, sprinkled with remaining peanuts, lime wedges, and additional herbs on the side, with a sprinkle of chili and a handful of extra bean sprouts on the side if desired. Some people might like a splash of soy sauce. Squeeze over lime juice to taste before eating.[#item_full_content]

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