Pad Something-or-other (Thai rice noodles)

Pad Something-or-other

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Everyone in this family loves Thai food. We didn’t grow up with it, but we’re fortunate enough to have lots of it around to eat, both at restaurants and at home. It’s not hard to see why a girl like me, with a half-Italian mama, would love Thai food: think of all the noodles!

thai noodles with tofu, cilantro, and bean sprouts

While my beloved Tom Kha soup was easy for me to recreate with a few glances at some recipes, I didn’t have much success cooking my own Thai noodles until I discovered Thai Foodcast, a great site with clear, charming instructional videos on how to make lots of Thai dishes. I’m not sure it’s still being updated, but this is where I learned to make Pad Thai, and it gave me the courage to branch out. Next, I made Pad See Ew (not sure whose recipe I used first—Pim’s (@chezpim) or Leela’s (@SheSimmers), but both are great). And suddenly, I was making Thai-inspired wide rice noodles whenever I wanted to, without recipes, because they’re so very forgiving once you have the basic technique down.

thai noodles with tofu, cilantro, and bean sprouts

Today, while we were at the grocery store, the kid got it into her head that she wanted to make Pad Thai with me, but when we got home, we had forgotten the peanuts and the tamarind. Without peanuts and tamarind, you can make Thai noodles, but they won’t be Pad Thai.

The cool thing about the way I make Thai noodles now is that the kid was able to make the sauce with no recipe. I just told her to combine kecap manis, black soy sauce, a little sugar, and some minced garlic, to her own taste. She likes things kind of sweet, but none of us found it too sweet for the dish.

After setting the dry noodles in boiling water to soften, I fried the tofu and put it in the oven to stay warm. The kid helped me stir-fry the noodles for a minute, but she didn’t enjoy that part, probably because I was being too bossy, so I finished up, also doing an egg per person and a little bit of broccoli, in their own batches.

We put all the ingredients on separate plates (please pretend you don’t see the paper plates!) because the kid doesn’t like bean sprouts or cilantro, and is fickle about whether or not she likes tofu on any particular day.

thai noodles with tofu, cilantro, and bean sprouts

Everyone loved this, and it took literally 20 minutes start to finish. It’s not Pad Thai; it’s not Pad See Ew. We’ll just call it Pad Something-or-other.

If you’re nervous about making stir-fried rice noodles, I recommend watching the Thai Foodcast video and giving that a try, and then you can be brave and start improvising. It’s something I failed at a few times, so I’m here to tell you from experience that once you get the hang of it, it’s really super-easy.

And tasty, too!

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Author: Serene

I run The Mom Food Project, which was born out of love for my mom and a desire to preserve the recipes of my childhood, which didn't actually exist in written form until I quizzed my mom and wrote the recipes down.

10 thoughts on “Pad Something-or-other (Thai rice noodles)”

  1. Seeing this has reminded me that I like bean sprouts whenever I encounter them in “Asian” food, and lately I’ve been feeling bored with my vegetable options (as I’m rather picky). So I’ve added bean sprouts to my shopping list, thanks!

    1. Sure! I love them — well, sprouts of any kind — but the kid hates them, so these days, we throw them on after the main dish is cooked, and that mostly works for me. Except for fried rice, which I really really prefer with bean sprouts cooked into it, so sometimes I break my general rule and make two versions of the dish. (But sometimes I just make her pick the sprouts out, because hey, she’s nineteen; if she wants fried rice without sprouts, she knows where the wok is. :-)

  2. I think it’s great that your daughter is learning how to make dishes without the aid of a recipe! That’s the making of great cooking right there! Great post!

    1. Thanks so much! When she moved here, really, she had maybe one or two things she could cook, and she was so afraid of failing. Now she takes more risks, and I really am glad she’s learning that cooking isn’t scary or all that exacting.

  3. Pad-something-or-other sure looks good! We love Thai food and would like to learn to cook it. I’ll have to check out that Thai Foodcast site. Thanks, Serene!

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