pad thai

August 12, 2010

I may or may not have had Pad Thai on the brain since last week when I ordered it for lunch during a work takeout/viral video lunch hour fest. Watching viral videos on your lunch break with your coworkers is a recipe for win, FYI. As is chowing down on $5 take out Pad Thai from across the street.

Anyway, back to this Pad Thai. And Thailand.

Thailand is a magical place. I’ve had the luck and pleasure of visiting there twice before.

Grand Palace, Bangkok

The first time was part of a year of backpacking which I promise to go into more detail about soon (trust me, you don’t have to twist my arm). The second time was for my brother’s amazing destination wedding a couple of years ago.

Flower girl for the wedding! On Koh Mai Phai

The second time around after all the wedding shenanigans were over, Dan and I along with my sister and her partner decided to travel up north and away from the beaches and islands where we’d been for the wedding. We ventured up to Chiang Mai and Pai and spent some time in Bangkok before flying home.

Hiking to the top of Ko Phi Phi

Whilst we were in Pai, which is in hilly northern Thailand, I took a cookery course with an amazing guy who welcomed us into his home for the day to teach us to cook an array of dishes.

We hung out with Tee the day before and told him what we were interested in making and he got up at the crack of dawn the next day to buy all the goods from the market. Apparently we were still sleeping.

When we turned up at his house the next day, we were ready to go. It was one of the most memorable days from my trip and such a wonderful learning experience in so many different ways. Travelling is the best.

We made curries in the morning (green and Massaman amongst others)

and in the evening we came back to make stir fried holy basil:

And, of course, Pad Thai.

And then we smoked hookah and guzzled Leo beer before I tipsily fell in love with Tee’s dog and thought about stealing her.

Along with my memories and photos, Tee sent me off with a bound cookbook that included all the recipes for things we’d made, plus more. You can probably imagine how much I treasure this book.

And you might remember that I tried my hand at green curry earlier this year. I’ve been itching to try out Pad Thai so here goes nothing!

Pad Thai
(for one person)


  • 100 g narrow rice noodles or glass noodles
  • 50 g hard tofu, cut into small cubes
  • 50 g bean sprouts (or chinest cabbage, cut into 1cm strips)
  • 20 spring onions (green onions) cut one inch long
  • 1 tbsp dried shrimp (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp tamarind juice or vinegar
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce


  1. Put all ingredients on a plate! Separate the hard and soft vegetables.
  2. Put three tbsp vegetable oil in your wok and fry the tofu til it’s yellow and crunchy.
  3. Add shrimp for 5 seconds (optional).
  4. Add the garlic, fry until it’s yellow and the smell is stronger.
  5. Move everything to the side of the wok and break the egg into the middle. Scramble the egg, then mix everything together.
  6. Turn up the heat a little bit and add noodles. Stir until noodles get soft.
  7. Add the sauce.
  8. Check the taste!
  9. Add soft vegetables (bean sprouts) and the spring onions, stir it about ten seconds.
  10. Turn off the heat and garnish with crushed peanuts and ground pepper.


I don’t own a wok and my life might be better if I did. My pad thai would definitely be better.

Yes, the measurements are in Imperial. It’s easy to find conversions online.

The wording is Tee’s, not mine :)

I did not use three types of soy sauce but I did use two.

Tee’s biggest thing with every dish was making sure everything was set up on a plate before you began so that it was an easy, smooth and above all, quick process.

And finally, I effed up on the noodles. Which means I am blind or stupid and read the weight on the package completely wrong and thought I needed the whole lot instead of the quarter package I actually needed.

I have this habit of making big mistakes when I’m following recipes and even though my gut is telling me “Angharad, that is an obscene amount of noodles and you will drown the entire dish in them“, I still second guess myself and “follow” the recipe (in this case I just read everything wrong. Let’s put it down to lack of sleep?)

I think it’s part of not being a hugely experienced cook and of learning. I need to trust my judgment more!

Anyway, I didn’t use all the noodles but I still used too many and hence my pad thai was noodle-tastic. You have been warned.
You know what though? I don’t think it mattered one bit. I inhaled a restaurant-sized portion of this in no time at all and my mister inhaled the rest on his return from brat-fest. All signals pointing to yum there, no?

What is your favourite dish from a country other than your own?
I think Indian food wins for me and the dish would have to be either chana masala or lamb rogan josh.

What are you most looking forward to doing this weekend?
I’m off to the north shore (of Lake Superior, for out-of-towners) for the weekend to go camping and hiking with my man. Amazingly excited. I’ll be back Monday and see you then with some updates, hopefully cool pictures and maybe some delicious food!

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