My favorite weeknight meal right now is Pad Thai. It comes together simply and I can keep most of the ingredients on hand. I never thought that while living in Poland, my cooking would become so Thai inspired - but my diet can only handle so much sausage and it's a section of the grocery store that is pretty well stocked.
My recipe is based on this one, I just made some minor changes to better match our desires. I was intrigued by Thai Wok Oil available at my store in Katowice and it is quite phenomenal. Infused with Thai basil and lemongrass, it added a lovely and delicate floral and citrus layer to the dish. The oil can be found in the US at stores such as Safeway, World Market, Whole Foods and Williams & Sonoma.
100 grams dried vermicelli rice noodles
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Dash galangal, optional
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon Thai wok oil or peanut oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 pound cooked large or medium shrimp
150 grams fresh bean sprouts (about 3 cups)
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Scant 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
Place noodles in a heat-proof bowl. Pour boiling water over noodles to cover and let stand for 8 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Combine the fish sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar and galangal if desired; set aside.
In a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the garlic and pepper flakes in oil for 30 seconds (be careful not to burn the garlic). Add the noodles and stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Push noodles to the edges of pan and pour eggs into the center. Cook and stir eggs until scrambled then stir into noodles.
Add sauce mixture to the pan and stir in shrimp and sprouts. Stir-fry for about a minute or until shrimp are heated through. Remove from the heat. Cut lime in half; squeeze one half over noodles. Cut remaining lime half into wedges. Toss the peanuts and a portion of the onions and cilantro into the noodles. Garnish servings with lime wedges and remaining onions and cilantro .