A month or two ago a friend of mine asked, “Do you know how to make pad thai?”
To which I replied, “No, but how hard can it be?”
Truth is, I didn’t even know what pad thai was.
The next day I asked my wife, “You ever had pad thai?”
“Oh my God! I LOVE pad thai!”
“I’ve never even heard of it.”
“It’s a noodle dish, and it’s soooo good. How about we go out for lunch tomorrow at one of the local Thai restaurants so you can try it?”
So that’s what we did.
My wife ordered pad thai. I ordered fried chicken, because I didn’t want to get stuck with a big plate of something I might not like. She let me try a taste and it was pretty damn good, so that evening I typed “pad thai recipes” into the google.
I looked at dozens of recipes, and I couldn’t believe how much they varied. The only ingredients consistent among all of them were noodles, fish sauce, some type of sweetening agent, eggs, peanuts, and lime juice.
I discovered that pad thai is street food, so I watched some videos people had taken while on vacation in Thailand of this stuff being cooked by the local vendors.
I then went to three of the local Asian markets to see what I could find in the way of ingredients.
Yesterday I decided, “Let’s give this a shot,” and after a bit of shopping I came home with this.
What I didn’t buy, and what stands as a perfect example of why I never ask my wife to go grocery shopping for me, is this.
She knew I was planning to make pad thai, and she knew I was going to need sriracha, so she took it upon herself to buy this while doing her grocery shopping last week. When she handed it to me, I said, “What’s this?”
“Sriracha. You said you were going to need some, and I saw it in the store today so I bought it for you.”
“Where’s the rooster?”
“That stuff was almost twice as much as this. Sriracha is sriracha.”
Now the “single me” would have replied, ”Did you ever stop to think that the reason rooster sauce costs twice as much is because it’s twice as good? And since when have you become an expert on sriracha? Have you been conducting blind sriracha taste tests recently? Have you ever even tried this brand before? This is why I’d rather do my own goddamn grocery shopping. If the vet had said you needed to start giving your dog sriracha, you would have bought the most expensive bottle of shit on the shelf, but whenever it’s for me you reach for the cheapest fucking generic garbage you can find. Tell you what. Since ‘sriracha is sriracha’ then why don’t you save this bottle for yourself and I’ll buy what I want next week.”
Instead, the “married me” said, “Thanks sweetie.”
If you can find fresh rice noodles, good for you. If not, get the dried and soak them.
Crush some peanuts.
Mix some fish sauce...
...with some palm sugar…
...with some tamarind paste…
...and some “sriracha,” together with a little water.
Cut up some tofu and some green onions, and then dice up a small shallot. Once that’s done, mince up a bit of this shit.
It’s the only thing I couldn’t find in any of the local stores, so I ended up buying it online.
Bring everything over to the stove, and heat up a wok or skillet with some oil.
Add the shrimp.
Once they’re cooked, remove them from the pan, add some more oil, and brown the tofu.
Add the shallot and the sweet radish.
Add the noodles and the sauce.
Cook until all of the liquid has evaporated. Push everything to one side of the pan and then add some more oil and a couple of eggs.
Break up the eggs, and then add the cooked shrimp, bean sprouts, green onions, and peanuts.
Mix everything together and cook for about a minute.
Plate and serve with some lime wedges.
I couldn’t say if it was good or bad. My wife and I are both sick, and right now neither of us can taste a thing.