Shrimp Pad Thai
I’m over-the-moon about this recipe.[Now, if by chance, there were anyone under the age of 40 reading this post, I will have lost them with that first sentence. What kind of loser says “over the moon?”]
But I am. Over the moon.
I am giving all the credit to the recipe on Rouxbe.com. I know I have mentioned that site before, but can’t remember when. I watched a whole bunch of their video cooking lessons when the site was first launched and everything was free — about a year or so ago. (It was probably three years ago, and my addled and aging mind has compressed a thousand days into 300 or so.)
As planned, after that initial launch period, some of the content became subscription based. I got busy and stopped visiting the site, having watched most of it anyway. Then one day early this year, I got an email saying something like “One Time Chance! Lifetime Membership for the low fee of _____!” I usually delete offers like that, and who knows why, but I clicked the link. I refuse to give the amount I paid here because Dave has apparently been sneaking over to this site and secretly reading it on occasion (!) and I don’t want him using it against me. I like to pretend I am a woman barely making ends meet by using three year old garden carrots out the freezer for dinner. You know what I mean? He knows I’m buying cooking school lessons and… well then I’ll have to start explaining why I won’t turn the heat up past 64 degrees in the winter… (Answer: to pay for online cooking school lessons.)
You can go to Rouxbe (pronounced Roo-Bee) yourself to see how much it was. But let me just say this: my aging and addled mind — for some reason — saw the price as being $100 less than it actually was. It must be that sub-conscience 99 thing that I always dismiss as being so stupid. Like $1.99 or $299 or whatever. Well, it got me this time.
Oh for Heaven’s sake. It cost $299, OK? I spent fricken $299 on Rouxbe.com! Are you happy? In my mind I thought it was $200 and I thought that was a pretty good deal. Lifetime membership! The website is a huge undertaking. And very well done. I wanted to support them. Assuming they are still around in a few years, that’s a great deal, right? The site has expanded to contain a ton of stuff, they are always adding more videos…. Oh, you’re not my husband, why am I explaining this to you?!
Whatever. Now I feel stupid. Is it any wonder I can’t keep secrets? I write a stupid post and feel compelled to tell all. Just imagine how easily I cave when questioned by a real person! Note to readers: don’t tell me secrets.
Anyway, I certainly experienced pangs of buyer’s remorse, but since I have the membership, I’ve been using the site a lot more. But here is what I can’t figure out: most of it still seems free to the public! It really is an amazing site. This shrimp pad thai recipe is so good. I’ve probably made pad thai three or four times in the past, and frankly, they stunk. Nothing like the real thing. This recipe was THE BEST. Easily as good as the best pad thai I’ve had in restaurants. And it’s so simple. And you can watch it free. While I paid $299. And you can feel smart and frugal. And I can feel dumb and frivolous. Even though you wouldn’t even know about it if I hadn’t taken the $299 bullet. Consider it my gift to you.
The only new ingredient I used for this batch, versus the other recipes I’ve tried, was tamarind concentrate. To be clear, other recipes had called for it, I just didn’t have it. But I hardly think that alone could have made such a huge difference. Taste, yes. But the recipe as a whole, no. I think it was the actual technique, which a video demonstration is perfect for. See for yourself: watch this video below. If you like it, watch some of the other videos, too. Be careful though, you might get hooked.
- I did have tamarind concentrate, not the brick, but a jar of it, and used the same amount listed in the recipe.
- I used vegetable stock instead of chicken, and for once didn’t taste it.
- I used stupid thin little rice sticks because — for the life of me — I can’t find the larger flat ones ANYWHERE. And it makes me so mad! And that is why my noodles are more mangled in the photo above. At least that’s why I say they are more mangled, and not because of my unpracticed technique.
- I ran out of fish sauce after 4 tablespoons (instead of 6) and it was just fine.
- I did not have palm sugar (jaggery in Indian cooking) and used brown sugar as a substitute.
- I did not have pickled radishes. I had moldy radishes and considered putting some vinegar on them and calling them pickled, but I restrained myself.
- I did not have ground shrimp. I made no substitutes and make no apologies.
My photo is, as usual, hideous. I apologize for that. Oh, and I also apologize to Morgan, who I yelled at before dinner and, therefore, ruined her true enjoyment of another great meal cooked by her mom.
With that, I end this post and leave to go eat the leftovers as depicted in this blurry photo: