Most every day I ask my kids, and anyone else who might be dining with us, for dinner suggestions. I do this knowing full well I will not be able to please everyone, and that a food tiff between my two culinary-opinionated children is a possibility.
My son always begs for anything Asian, while my daughter likes more comforting dishes like roasted chicken with a brothy pasta. Tonight I made something that appealed more to my son, and it was only because I found some super-fresh bean sprouts at the supermarket yesterday. When I think of the fabulous water-filled crunch of bean sprouts, I think of Pad Thai. It is the perfect combination of Asian zing, while also having the comfort factor, (the yummy noodles).
My daughter said not to give her too much as it was not her favorite thing in the world, but she ended up loving it as much as everyone else, declaring it to be my “best Pad Thai ever!”
I attribute this to the fact that my sauce combination turned out to be the perfect balance between tangy and subtly sweet. I usually make the sauce with tamarind paste, but since I didn’t have any, I improvised with lime juice and ketchup, (sounds awful I know, but it really worked!). That, along with some soy sauce and brown sugar made my Pad Thai sing.
* This is a Blood type A Diet Friendly Dish. If you are really strict you may not want to use the ketchup, but I feel it is a small enough amount to be forgiven*
You will need:
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tbs tomato ketchup
juice of 2 limes
3 tbs soft brown sugar
4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
4 chicken breast fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 medium carrots, peeled and grated (use large side of box-grater)
8 scallions, including green parts, sliced
4 large eggs, cracked into a bowl and beaten with a fork
3 cups bean sprouts
1 1/2 cups crushed peanuts (to crush peanuts: place in a strong plastic bag and roll with a rolling-pin until nuts are broken and slightly crushed)
1 lb rice noodles (sometimes called Pad Thai noodles, or Thai noodles)
6 cups chopped curly kale (optional)
1 – Prep all ingredients as directed above. Mix first 4 ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Cook rice noodles according to instruction, making sure to rinse well with cold water after draining. Scramble the beaten eggs in a small pan with a little olive oil, and set aside. When the egg is cold, break it up into smaller pieces in the pan with a wooden spoon.
2 – Put large saute pan or wok (large enough to hold the entire finished dish) on high heat and add oil. When it is hot, add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3 – Add grated carrots and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.
4 – Add the scallions and scrambled egg and cook for a further 2 or so minutes.
5 – Add the bean sprouts and stir into rest of ingredients. Cook for another minute.
6 – Add the rinsed rice noodles and using two wooden spoons, turn the noodles into the rest of the dish. Add the sauce and cook everything until noodles are heated through. Add crushed peanuts and give one last stir.
Serve, passing more peanuts and a little hot sauce if you like.
*To cook the kale: wash and chop into small pieces. Put 1 cup of water in a pot and bring to a boil. Add kale, cover pot, and simmer until soft (about 12 minutes). Toss into the finished dish*