Saturday, February 9, 2013

Recipe 13: Pad Thai Soup

A few weeks ago, a friend was telling me about how she'd had what basically tasted a lot like Pad Thai in the form of soup.  Which made me wonder: could pad thai soup actually happened?  I hit up the googles and found a really great looking recipe on Domestic Fits for just the thing: Pad Thai Soup.  It seemed great, but maybe not peanut-y enough for me; I think Pad Thai needs to have some solid peanut undertones, along with the crushed nuts on top.  It also didn't have shrimp, which think of as a requisite for my favorite versions of Pad Thai.  I wondered (lots of wondering going on here), could I add peanut butter to the broth (like the Spicy Peanut Soup I made, way back when), and shrimp, AND some veggies, and create the Pad Thai soup of my dreams?  

Spoiler alert: the answer is yes.  As the forecasters started going crazy with snowpocalypse predictions, I realized a snowy day would be the perfect accessory to this dish.  And then when Ms. XB, she of the new blog WeRouxTheDay called to ask if she could come up early and get snowed in to avoid traveling during the storm, I knew this had to happen.  Dudes.  This was the greatest.  Fresh, healthy (or maybe not, but I don't want to know), good flavor, good spice, a nice balance of nutty and tart, and really perfect for being snowed in.  

 I assure you, it goes well with that blizzard survival wine stash you and any of the other treats you've got hoarded up  to make it through the snowy blowy weekend (ahem, ahem, chocolate covered frozen bananas, salt and pepper pretzel chunks, infused bourbon, brick of cheddar).  As an added bonus, this recipe is one of the quickest, easiest soups I've made, and will adapt well to your personal preferences for what you like in your Pad Thai.  This is a wonderful choose your own adventure type of dish.  For me, it was winner, winner shrimp, chicken, peanut dinner!

Recipe below:
Pad Thai Soup + Friends + Major Blizzard = Majorly Tasty Fun
Pad Thai Soup
Adapted from Domestic Fits
Serves 4-6
Pad Thai Soup


3 Tbsp sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 medium or half of a large white onion
1 egg
1 large chicken breast, diced (or tofu, or other meat of your preference)
12 shrimp, shells removed but tails on
1 generous Tbsp crunchy natural peanut butter
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1/2 Tbsp sriracha
4 cups veggie Pho broth (or regular chicken or vegetable broth)
4 oz rice noodles
2 small heads of baby bok choy, chopped bite size
1 large carrot, diced
1 lime wedge
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 cup peanuts, crushed (use whatever kind you prefer - roasted, salted, etc.)
1/4 cup green onions
1 cup bean sprouts
lime wedges


1.  In a large Dutch oven or Le Creuset, heat the sesame oil over medium, and stir in the garlic and onion.  Saute until the garlic begins to brown lightly.
2.  Crack in your egg and stir it around to scramble it lightly. 
3.  When the egg is still a little soft but not runny (you don't want it to coat your chicken and shrimp, so make sure it is cooked enough to hold its own shape), add in your proteins and cook for a few minutes, until the shrimp gets pink and firm.
4.  Add the peanut butter, soy and fish sauce, and sriracha, stirring to coat the ingredients.  
5.  Add the broth, add the rice noodles, and bring to a simmer/boil for about five minutes, before adding the bok choy and carrot.  The trick here is that you the noodles cooked through, but the vegetables to remain slightly crisp/al dente, as they would in a normal stir fry or pad thai.  
6.  Stir in the red pepper flakes, and squeeze a lime wedge in to up the acidity a little and really make the soup pop. 
7.  Serve, with some nice chilled white wine, allowing your guests to garnish their bowls with as many peanuts, bean sprouts, green onions, lime wedges, and sriracha as they see fit. 

8.  Go for a walk around the neighborhood to see how snowy the snowpocalypse is, and then chase it with a chocolate peanut covered frozen banana and your first game of Candyland since the USSR was still a country...

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