Thai month has had a slow start, but I promise I’ve got a buttload of dishes to share. A buttload.
I’m starting with a classic. A dish that everyone loves or has at least heard of.
PAD THAI WITH GARLIC SCAPES.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve tried to replicate Pad Thai at home.
It just never tastes like take out.
And isn’t that what we’re going for here? Legit pad thai that you want to eat at home without spending tons of money or feeling like you ate a spoonful of salt.
But what makes Pad Thai taste like…legit Pad Thai?
Most recipes leave out fish sauce and tamarind. Or worse, they add in soy sauce as a substitute.
The combo of fish sauce, tamarind paste and brown sugar (or palm sugar if you have it) make the Pad Thai sauce legit. It’s sour, a little sweet and satisfyingly salty.
Also, we haven’t talked about the best part here….GARLIC SCAPES.
We have them at the farmers market and their season is short and sweet so I grabbed a handful.
Garlic scapes are the flower bud of a garlic plant. They are normally cut off to encourage the bulb (garlic) to grow. They have a subtle garlic flavor and are a genius combo for Pad Thai. If I do say so myself…
If you can’t find them, NBD, you can use the green parts of scallions.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and call this Pad Thai with Garlic Scapes healthy. I am. I just did it.
Tons of good protein (tofu, egg, shrimp), lowish in salt (only fish sauce), low in oil added (I reduced from the original), AND it’s gluten-free if that’s your thing (rice noods).
I served mine next to a giant bowl of steamed broccoli which I ended up eating 98% of because boyfriend still doesn’t eat broccoli no matter how much I put it in his face.
Shockingly, this dish comes together in a snap. The ingredients are not inaccessible and there aren’t any fancy cooking techniques hiding in here.
The only thing I’ll say is that this dish serves 2, and only 2 people. If you crowd the pan with more ingredients, it will turn into a hot sloppy mess.
If you want to double: prep everything, then cook in two batches. Problem solved.
Go make legit Pad Thai with Garlic Scapes!
I’ve adapted this recipe from Leela Punyaratabandhu’s Simple Thai Recipes.
Pad Thai with Garlic Scapes
(Start making 1 hour before you want Pad Thai with Garlic Scapes)
*Tamarind paste can be found at a lot of grocery stores. You want this in a paste form, not the block.
Soak your rice sticks in room temp water for 30 minutes, or until you can wind a noodle around your finger without it breaking. Once ready, drain the noodles, cut them in half and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, fish sauce, and tamarind concentrate. Prep garlic, shallot, tofu and shrimp and have these near the stove so they are easy to grab.
In a large wok or non-stick skillet, heat up 2 Tbsp of veggie oil over medium-high heat. Add your rice noodles and stir for 1 minute (careful of splatters). Pour in the pre-mixed sugar, fish, and tamarind sauce.
Push aside your noodles to one side of the pan, then add 1 Tbsp of oil. Add shallot, garlic, and tofu. Let cook for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp to this side of the pan. Saute until shrimp are halfway cooked.
Give the noodles on the other side of the pan a stir.
Create a well in the center of your pan and crack two eggs in there. Scramble with a wooden spoon or spatula until they are nearly cooked.
Carefully mix everything in the pan together. At this point, test a noodle for done-ness. If they taste undercooked, add 1 Tbsp of water to the pan until they taste done.
Remove from heat.
Add half your mung beans and sliced garlic scapes. Let the residual heat partially cook them.
Plate into two servings and top with the remaining mung beans and garlic scapes. Add any additional toppings you like.