Monday, August 11, 2008

Special Thanks for Special Ones

Pictures above are Fresh shrimp spring roll and peanut butter sauce

This Vietnamese appetizer is one of my favorite. When I was in Thailand, I always take my family to a Vietnamese restaurant and this dish is a popular one. I love all fresh ingredients in this roll which contains many kinds of vegetable, such as, mint, basil, cilantro, cabbage, carrot, etc. Moreover, cocktail shrimps get along very well in this roll, together with a peanut butter sauce, I don’t think anyone can control not to ask for more.
I would like to post this food in my blog to thank Sophie Sexton for her kind support and encouragement. She gave me a good advice to keep up with my blog which I almost quit to work on. I have some difficulties on writing, especially in English. Writing blog became a pressure rather than enjoyment. I love cooking and taking pictures of my food but I don’t know how to express those in words and make no mistake in grammatical structures. But Sophie wrote me a nice note telling me to start from simple sentences describing the picture and convinced me not to worry about the mistakes too much. That made me feel a lot better and I will try to practice more and more. Hopefully, I will be a good blogger in the future. Also, I hope Sophie will like my fresh spring roll.

Another person I owe a lot is my husband, Randy. He started his blog and he likes it so much, so he suggested me to have my own blog. He knows that I love cooking and eating. That’s why cooking blog is in my interest. Many times, I was upset when he pushed me to work on my blog. He made me feel a little guilty for not adding anything new in the blog. I don’t think he understands how I feel when I had to spend hours working on that and I ended up with nothing to put on my blog whereas it takes just 45 minutes for him to write a long story. I was not mad at him for what he did but myself. Anyway, I feel grateful to him for not giving up on pushing me. So I’m here trying to write this story. To thank him, I post the picture below which is his favorite dish. This is not original Thai food but Chinese food. We call “Dim Sum”, a steamed shrimp wrap. He loves a flavor of ginger that I put in this dish. Dim sum can be eaten alone or with sauce which is mixed between soy sauce and vinegar.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Amazing Pad Thai

Pad Thai is one of popular Thai dish. Every time I talk to people here and after they know that I’m from Thailand, most of them told me that they love Thai food, especially Pad Thai. Pad Thai is stir fried rice noodle with sweet and sour sauce. I don’t know how the word “pad thai” is from but Pad means stir fry in Thai language. When I was in Thailand, I had never cook pad thai as there are many ingredients to be prepared. Moreover, it’s easier to go to any street vendors and buy this food. It costs only $ 1 per serving ( approximately 30 bath in Thai currency). I learned how to cook pad thai when I’m here in the States. At first, I used pad thai sauce mix which I bought from Asian market but I was not happy with it much. It tasted totally different from the original pad thai in Thailand. I tried to look for recipe from cooking books and website. Then I adapted this and that until I can have my own recipe.
The key of this delicious dish is a sweet and sour sauce which you can cook ahead and keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Pad Thai Sauce


Shallots, chopped ¼ cup
Garlic, chopped 3 cloves
Palm sugar ¾ cup (** to make it thick but if you don’t have it, you can use ¾ cup brown sugar)
Brown sugar 3 Tbs
Tamarind paste 3 Tbs , mixed with ¼ cup of water
Fish sauce ¼ cup ( or soy sauce)
Tomato sauce ¼ cup
Water ¼ cup
Oil 2 Tbs

#Cook shallots, garlic and oil in saucepan using medium heat. Put the rest ingredient and boil it. Taste as you like. It should be 3 favors ; sweet, sour, salty

Pad Thai

Ingredient ( 2 servings)

Rice noodle, soaked in water for 30 minutes and drain, 2 cups
Eggs 4, divided ( 2 for pad thai, 2 for pan omelet)
Mung bean sprout 2 cups, divided ( 1 ½ cup for Pad thai and ½ cup for decoration)
Garlic, chopped 1 clove
Shrimp ½ cup
Lime, halves
Roasted peanut, cracked 1/3 cup
Green onion, cut 1 inch long ¼ cup
Cilantro, chopped 1 Tbs
Pad thai sauce 8 Tbs
Roasted dry shrimp 2 Tbs (* you can find it in Asian stores)
Oil 1/3 cup
Water ½ cup
Chili powder, optional

# Heat oil in the pan using high heat. Then put garlic and shrimp, cook for a couple minutes till the shrimps turn red. Add rice noodle and then water to soften it. Then put pad thai sauce, dry shrimp, peanut and cook till mix. Put noodle on the side of the pan and put 2 eggs, wait till the egg is partially cooked and stir with noodle. Add the rest of ingredient, except lime. Taste to see if you should add more sugar and fish sauce.

In the picture, you will see how I decorated the dish. I sometimes cook the pan omelet and put it aside or cut it and sprinkle on top.

Hope you enjoy cooking and eating your own Pad Thai!!!

PS. I used my own words trying to describe the recipe. It might be confusing but you can ask me if you have any questions. This is my first one and I will try to make it better. A lot of learning and practicing are needed.

Story and picture by Chaniya Ninbanphot Cole