Yes, my friends, you know what time it is … it’s Secret Recipe Club time!
Faithful readers of Rhubarb and Honey know that I’ve been participating in The Secret Recipe Club for awhile now. The idea of The Secret Recipe Club is similar to other blog exchanges in that each participating blogger is assigned another participating blog to make a recipe from, but the twist with The Secret Recipe Club is that you can’t tell anyone whose blog you have—shhhh, it’s a secret!—until you finally post about the blog you were assigned and the recipe you chose.
This month, my assigned blog was Flying on Jess Fuel, a lovely blog written by Jess, who currently resides in Mississippi and loves all things food. She and her fiancé Nick both share a passion for “delicious food, good red wines, and cold, frosty homebrews” … sounds pretty good to me!
Jess has a ton of recipes on her blog so it was difficult to choose just one for The Secret Recipe Club this month. Crock pot balsamic glazed pork tenderloin? This one looks so easy … and so delicious! Crab rangoon dip with baked wonton chips? I think The Chef would love me forever if I made this for him! Homemade pickles? I’m always on the lookout for new pickles recipes, but no … this just wasn’t the one either.
So, what was the one? Jess’s recipe for chicken pad thai! Both The Chef and I love pad thai, but I’d just never tried to make it at home. Sensing a kitchen winner might be upon us, I bit the bullet … and I found a true kitchen winner indeed!
My version below is slightly adapted from Jess’s recipe; I added in shrimp and took out the bean sprouts, though they were definitely missed and will be added next time. I also mixed up the sauce a little, and I have a few more tweaks in mind for it the next time too … oh, yes, this recipe will be made again soon! Why? Because it was delicious!
With a nice balance of salty, sour, and sweet, the flavor profile was pretty close to the pad thai at my favorite Thai restaurant in St. Louis. The texture was just right too … soft and chewy, yet crunchy as well, this dish had a great mouth feel. And with the proper mise en place, homemade pad thai is a cinch to make … just read throught the recipe carefully, prepare all the componenets beforehand, and you’re good to go!
While I do have a few tweaks in mind when I make this dish again, I was really impressed with how it turned out on my first attempt … and so was The Chef! Thanks for a great recipe, Jess … I’m looking forward to making it again!
Chicken and Shrimp Pad Thai
- 14 ounces dried Thai rice stick noodles
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 6 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 6 tablespoons fish sauce
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 4 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
- Fresh lime wedges
1. Fill a large pot with warm water. Add the noodles and allow to soak for about 20 minutes. Drain, then set aside.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the lime juice, rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, sprinkle the shrimp and chicken with the chili powder. Set aside.
4. Coat a large non-stick skillet or wok with cooking spray, then heat over medium-high heat. Crack the eggs into a medium-sized bowl and beat together. Add the beaten eggs to the skillet, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring until scrambled. Remove from the skillet, and set aside. Wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel.
5. Add the peanut oil to the skillet, and swirl the pan to coat. Add the chicken, and cook approximately 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic, and continue to cook for approximately 5 minutes more. Add the shrimp to the skillet, and cook until pink, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer all the ingredients from the skillet to a plate; set aside and keep warm.
6. Stir the sauce one more time, then add it to the skillet. Simmer for approximately 3 to 5 minutes until slightly thickened. Add the softened rice noodles, and stir together, coating the noodles. Cook for approximately 2 minutes. Add the chicken, shrimp, and scrambled eggs back to the pan. Stir together with the noodles, and cook for approximately 1 minute, then transfer to a large serving bowl.
7. Sprinkle each serving with some of the peanuts and cilantro, and serve with a fresh lime wedge.
A few notes on this recipe … most “authentic” pad thai recipes call for tamarind paste in the sauce. I will be adding this to my next version, along with some kaffir lime leaves to amp up the sour flavor. I’ll also be adding some red chile flakes, which I aptly forgot this time, though a little Srichacha (or a lot in the case of The Chef) fixed that minor blip. I’ll let you know how these changes work (or don’t)! Also, this recipe makes 6 large portions or 8 smaller portions … and you could easily cut it in half as well! Enjoy!