i can’t pinpoint when exactly my obsession for thai food began but over the last couple years, it’s reached an all-time level high of daily bonkers. as a married couple raising a kiddo and trying to keep everything in check, baby daddy and i are fairly frugal people. early on in our dating, we endorphined-out by spending hours together at the goodwill outlets (coined, “the bins”), digging for the cheapest treasures around (literally – 1 lb of goodies is under $2). it was probably our top choice of entertainment. now we’re just waiting for seb to be a couple years older so we can stuff him full of carbs and then drag him to Sellwood or Vancouver or Beaverton so we can sweat it out, searching for hidden gems from the 80’s and 90’s. (it’s a definite sickness. i even wrote an ode about it on trillaboos, a blog my bestie and i had for several years. oh, the good old days, for real! aside from hoarding too many worn-before clothes, we really don’t splurge on anything with regularity.
except eating out. specifically, lunch. but in my defense, Portland makes it really hard not to. with hundreds of crazy cheap and mouth-watering food carts peddling $5 meals from every corner of the globe (and usually prepared by natives of those countries, who, lucky us, decided Portland was a good place to live and cook) and just as many restaurants who compete with their lunch menu offerings, we probably grab lunch out at least half of the week. and to be honest, i’m, usually too tired after doing mommy and me things with seb all morning that the last thing i want to do is spend precious free me nap time in the kitchen. but as i bceome more and more of a mom home body who realizes those innocent $5 lunches add up, i’ve decided lately that i simply can’t continue the indulgence. and i really do want to cook more, especially, specifically, thai food. so, on a recent day as i returned home with pad se ew in hand from one of my favorite places in town, it was definitely a sign that this book showed up in the mail, ordered online the week before for $.99 (less than one lunch out), from an indie bookstore (i feel the need to say).
i can’t pinpoint when exactly my obsession for thai food began but over the last couple years, it’s reached an all-time level High of daily bonkers.
it’s not like there aren’t uber many pad thai recipes online that i couldn’t tried but there’s something extra satisfying about having a good old fashioned cookbook in the kitchen with me. i’m a page-turning kind of girl. big disclaimer up front: i did not try her sauce. 1. i was too damn hungry to mess around with ingredients and 2. i happened to have a jar of pre-made pad thai sauce in the pantry, leftover from a rampage trip to an dong market, where i grab things off the shelves in blacked-out optimism, all under the assumption that one day, i will experiment with them. this day had come. but also from previous sauce-in-a-jar experience, i knew that they weren’t always great so first i tasted the sauce straight from the container and then i reached for my trusty creamy peanut butter and dark soy sauce to mix in (fun fact – the difference between “light” and “dark” soy sauce if you’re as confused as i used to be, standing in front of many soy sauces at an asian market, eyes glazed over, is that dark soy sauce has caramel in it, thus making it more delicious and in my opinion, the superior soy sauce).
the sauce part taken care of, i did follow Nina’s stir fry order of operation except that i cooked the shrimp separately in a small pan while i did everything else in the wok. and soaking the rice stick noodles was THIS easy. i dunked them in hot water to soften while i chopped up all the veggies. the whole thing took 20 minutes start to finish meaning i had time to sit in blissful silence, reading the ny times style section while seb continued to be nap knocked out. my homemade pad thai was pretty darn tasty and i had enough leftover for lunch the next day. kapow. the only ingredients i was missing were fresh bean sprouts and cilantro. yummy nonetheless. next up, tackling pad se ew and my boba tea obsession.