Vegetarian Pad Thai

So we all know that I am quite a picky eater.  That really shouldn’t surprise anyone at this point.  What might surprise you, are some of the foods that I DO like – considering those that I don’t.  A few years ago, some friends convinced me to go to a Thai restaurant for dinner for someone’s birthday.  I’m not really sure how they convinced me on this one, but it happened.

I was skeptical about Thai food mostly because I was afraid that it would be really spicy.  I just assumed that all Asian style food was spicy, really. (which I have since learned is not at all true) At dinner, everyone got something different – because they were all very much more adventurous that I was.  I got Pad Thai.  Everyone told me that this is the typical “beginner Thai” dish.  I must have been feeling adventurous myself, because I went for it.  And I’m so glad I did.

I am happy to report that ever since that night, I have been in love with Thai food. Wait, I take that back.  I have been in love with Pad Thai.  (Although, chicken satay is pretty good too.)  And bean sprouts.

When I saw Heather post about this recipe on Hangry Pants, I knew that I wanted to make it.  I’ve tried to make Pad Thai at home in the past, but the most success I have had was really only boiling rice noodles and adding a packet of pre-made  Pad Thai sauce.  I was especially interested in this recipe, because you do make your own sauce, and it doesn’t use strange ingredients (or so I thought).  You can find the recipe here.

As I went to look for ingredients to make this, there was only one thing that threw me off.  And it really shouldn’t have.  You see, when the recipe says “Chili Sauce” and gives an example of Heinz brand, thats what you should look for. Even if you can’t find what you think it should be in the “international foods” section that you think it should be in, ask someone.  Don’t assume that this is what they are talking about just because it is near the other Thai food products:

Siracha

As far as I can tell, unless you want some super spicy Pad Thai, that is not what you want.  But it was the only “chili sauce” that I knew of.  Luckily the Husband tipped me off on this one, and I went back and got what I was supposed to.  It looks like this, in case you have no idea what you are looking for either:

Chili Sauce

Other than that minor mixup, nothing else was a problem.

So was it worth the extra trip to the store to get the correct sauce?  Absolutely.  This was really good!  We added some peanuts as well – because how can you have Pad Thai without peanuts?  Also, I prefer to keep my bean sprouts raw instead of cooking them.  I love bean sprouts.  I did leave out the green onions and the pepper because I knew that I would not like them. (In restaurants I always order my Pad Thai without green onions)

Pad Thai

Ease: B+, it does take some prep and timing, but nothing too difficult.  I will warn you though, that unless you have a larger skillet than I do it is kind of tricky to get everything mixed together in the end.  It works, but I wish somehow that was an easier way.  Or maybe I just need a larger skillet.  Or less noodles.
Taste: A, this was really good! It was not spicy really at all, but definitely had a Pad Thai like flavor – which honestly is surprising since the chili sauce by itself smells like ketchup.

Would I make it again? Yes.  Definitely yes.  Maybe next time with chicken.

Do you like Thai food?  How can I venture out beyond Pad Thai?
What is another safe thing to try?

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4 thoughts on “Vegetarian Pad Thai

  1. this recipe is not vegetarian. the recipe calls for fish sauce, which is, believe it or not, made from fish. vegetarians like myself couldn’t eat this.

    • My apologies, you are correct. I think I titled this post before I had a recipe in mind, and since I’m not actually vegetarian myself it didn’t occur to me – especially since the recipe that I used was called “vegetarian”

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