Anyone who knows me knows that I love Thai food. I love it so much that even when my husband and I were living in Germany and visitors would come looking for hefeweissen and weinerschnitzel, I would still try to convince them to go to the Thai place (Rainbow Garden) on our street. It is just the right balance of sweet and spicy and usually chock full of vegetables. My love affair with Rainbow Garden ended when we next moved to a small, remote town in Alaska. Although we could get an excellent fresh seafood meal, we no longer could choose from the wide variety of international restaurants that had been within walking distance of our apartment, and we had young children, so eating out regularly was just not an option anymore.
Since we no longer had access to such a wide variety of cuisines, I decided to bring the world to my kitchen. I have always loved to cook and regularly try to cook a wide variety of dishes, but the move to Alaska really pushed me to broaden my spice rack. One of my earliest attempts was making pad thai. It is one dish that I craved in my first pregnancy that doesn’t bring back memories of nausea. I tried many recipes, but I chose this one because it only includes ingredients that can be found at your local, basic supermarket. The ingredients are not fancy, but the taste is wonderful!
3/4 lb mung bean sprouts – I have used canned when I couldn’t find them fresh
6 oz rice noodles
3 Tbsp lime juice
3 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup fish sauce or soy sauce – use fish if you can get it
3 Tbsp peanut oil or vegetable oil
3-4 garlic cloves minced
1 Tbsp mince chili or 1 tsp crushed pepper flakes – adjust according to your taste
2 cups grated carrots
4 eggs beaten
2/3 cup chopped peanuts – or don’t chop if you are tired from grating all of those carrots. If someone has a peanut allergy, I think that sunflower seeds may help add some crunch and protein.
6-8 scallions chopped
If using fresh bean sprouts, blanche in boiling water for 30 seconds. You can use a colander and dip it into the water, so you can pull it right back out and use the same water to boil your rice noodles 3-5 minutes. In a small bowl mix the lime juice, ketchup, brown sugar and fish or soy sauce. Heat the oil in a wok or skillet. Add the garlic and chili for a moment and add the carrots. Stir fry for 1 minute and then push the carrots to the side and make a hole in the middle. Pour the eggs into the hole and scramble them. When the eggs are cooked, add the sauce and stir it all together until all is heated. Add the noodles and mung sprouts and toss to mix evenly. Finally stir in the peanuts and scallions and serve.