[thechat] McDonald's food (was: The youth today...)

Tara Cleveland tara at taracleveland.com
Thu Nov 28 17:31:00 CST 2002

Madhu Menon wrote:

>> I know how to make a
>> yummy Pad Thai.
> What's your recipe? Do share.
> There a few thousand variations.
> (as long as there's no ketchup in it.)

Well it's sort of an amalgamated, modified Joy of Cooking/How to Cook
Everything/Tara's sister version ;-) I don't like shrimp and peanuts make my
husband puke, so this version has no shrimp and no peanuts and no tofu
(sometimes I sneak it in if I think my hubbie won't notice). Too bad. So

I'm also a wimp when it comes to spice. For some reason chilies make my
stomach hurt - but I love wasabi - like it so hot it makes tears stream down
my face. So this is *very* mild pad thai - but you can add more chilies if
you want.

It's also a recipe with ingredients and equipment that I usually have
around. No peanut oil - that's okay - use vegetable oil! I say, make the
best food you can - but don't be afraid to substitute and use alternate
methods if you don't have the exactly the right equipment or ingredients.

Let's see...

1. Take the rice noodles and fold them into a bowl of hot water. Joy of
Cooking says to leave them in for 20-30 mins - DON'T leave them in for the
whole 30 mins. They'll be really mushy if you leave them in that long.

2. Beat 3 eggs. Scramble in a wok. Remove from wok.
If you don't have a wok use a really really big frying pan, a big pot or one
of those deep, rounded frying pans.

3. Defrost the chicken (better if you do it hours beforehand - but if you
forgot - sling it in the microwave on defrost for awhile). Cut into slightly
smaller than bite-sized pieces.

4. Before you squeeze the juice out of the lime, grate the zest off of at
least a whole lime and set it aside. Make sure you're only grating the green

5. In a measuring cup put 1/4 cup Thai fish sauce, the juice of a whole
lime, 3 tablespoons of sugar (could be a bit more or a bit less depending on
your taste). If this doesn't make up 1/2 cup in the measuring cup, add some
more lime juice - if you have no more fresh limes or lime juice left - add
lemon juice.

6. Put together on a saucer/plate:
*A bunch of chopped green onions (white part only) - 1/2 cup should be
enough - but you can put in more if you like the taste. I usually save some
for the very end and throw them in just before I take everything off the
*2 tablespoons of finely minced garlic - 2-5 cloves depending on how big
they are
*1/2 - 1 fresh red chili (if you can't get red chili use jalapeno peppers or
those dried hot pepper flakes or cayenne pepper - a tiny bit - or if you're
really stuck use Tobasco sauce)

7. Put together on another saucer/plate:
*1/2 cup bean sprouts
*1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves - if you can get real Thai basil great - if
not just use regular basil
*1/4 cup fresh cilantro

7. If you're used to red-coloured pad thai, open up a can of tomato paste.

Cooking it all together:

Keep in mind that when I say stir in this recipe I really mean shake, lift
and fold over - you know wokiness. Stirring like you stir cookie batter
doesn't really work.  It's important to keep the temperature quite high -
which means that you have to keep everything moving if you don't want it to
burn. That's why it's a good idea to prep everything first and have it close
by and ready when you need it.

1. Put a bit of oil in the pan. Heat oil till it's really hot - but not

2. Add green onions and garlic and peppers. Keep them moving so they don't

3. When they're a bit softer looking and maybe a bit brownish, add the
pieces of chicken.

4. Throw some grated lime zest over the chicken (about a half a lime's

5. When there are no more pink bits showing on the outside of the chicken
pieces, put the eggs back in the wok.

6. Strain the noodles. Add the noodles to the mixture in the wok.

7. If you want it red-looking, add a spoonful of the tomato paste and stir
thoroughly. Keep adding more until it's the colour you like. Make sure you
stir it well because globs of the tomato paste like to hide in the noodles.

8. Add the fish sauce mixture.

9. Throw on a pinch or two more lime zest over the top.

10. Sprinkle on some red pepper flakes

11. Grind some black pepper over the top (to taste).

10. If you wanted to add the extra green onions, do it now. If you're
running out of liquid - that's okay that's just about right - but if
everything is burning on the bottom, add some more lime juice or a little
bit more oil.

11. Check to make sure that all the chicken is done by cutting the biggest
piece in half. It should be done by now - but who knows you might be super

12. Once you're sure the chicken is done, taste it. Make sure it's as spicy
as you want it to be, or as limey as you want it. If you want it more spicy
add more red pepper flakes and stir it around some more so that the flavour
goes through everything. If you want more lime add more lime zest. Whatever
you like.

13. Turn off the heat.

14. Add the basil and cilantro and fold it into the noodles.

15. Serve onto plates. Add the bean sprouts. be creative! Maybe a little
cilantro and basil as garnish too.

16. I like to serve it with a lime wedge on each plate, it helps add a
little more limeyness (I don't think that's a word) and that's a nice
flavour if you aren't going for super-spicey.

17. Serve it to yourself and your friends and family!

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