Today's thought for the day can be found here.
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Pad Thai is one of my favorite go-to meals and its simplicity makes it perfect to serve at the end of a busy day. While my recipe is a highly Westernized version of the real thing, it is quite satisfying and I think you will enjoy it. Strangely enough, this most popular of Thai dishes is not truly Thai. The dish is the result of political expediency and the vision of a political revolutionary, Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsongkramin, who in the late 1930's, thought noodles would be a means to advance his country's industry and economy. So, in addition to changing the name of his country from Siam to Thailand, he instituted a series of reforms that would begin the modernization of Thailand. His mandates included the use of forks and spoons, the wearing of more European-style clothing and the use of products made in Thailand. In the process, he created a new Thai diet that was rice based and led to the development of an industry that would make rice and rice-based noodles available for export. It's believed that modern versions of Pad Thai were based on a dish developed by his family's cook. To help battle unemployment, he sent push carts into the streets to introduce the meal to the masses. For a period of time, eating Pad Thai was considered to be a patriotic act and it became the dish most foreigners associated with the country. The irony is the dish is more Chinese than Thai and its resemblance to Vietnamese Pho can't be overlooked. What sets it apart from these other influences, however, is the Thai sense of equilibrium that keeps the sense of sweet, salty, and sour in balance. There are many versions of Pad Thai. Mine is not authentic, but it can be made with ingredients that can be found in most Western kitchens. It is fast, easy, delicious and all-together perfect for a warm summer night. Here is how it is made. I know you will enjoy it.
Shrimp Pad Thai for Two...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Family Circle magazine
4 ounces packaged rice noodles
5 teaspoons packed light brown sugar
4 teaspoons fish sauce (such as Thai Kitchen)
1-1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided use
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 ounces raw peeled and deveined shrimp
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup sliced scallions
3 tablespoons chopped roasted unsalted peanuts, plus more for garnish (optional)
1 lime, cut into wedges
Fresh cilantro (optional)
1) Soak noodles in water for 30 minutes or according to package directions. Drain; set aside.
2) In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, fish sauce, vinegar and cayenne; set aside.
3) Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Stir in eggs and scramble until barely set. Transfer to a plate.
4) Add remaining tablespoon of oil to pan. When it shimmers, add garlic and saute until fragrant, about30 seconds. Stir in shrimp and saute until they turn pink, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
5) Add noodles and 1/3 cup water to pan. Stir noodles for 3 to 4 minutes, until almost all the water is absorbed, Pour in fish sauce-brown sugar mixture and toss to coat noodles. Return shrimp and eggs to pan and stir to combine and warm. Add bean sprouts, scallions and peanuts, stirring to combine. Serve immediately with lime wedges and cilantro. Yield: 2 generous servings.
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