Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Recommended Posts


great pictures, it looks fabulous!

and yes that pickled radish you have is the Japanese type, I wonder how differently they taste. I have never eaten the Thai one so I can't compare them.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I think that mizducky and I can compare notes! I made the David Thompson recipe in Thai Food, adding some minced garlic with the shallots, tossing in some sauteed chicken slices, substituting scallions for the chives, and leaving out the radish (which I couldn't find at the store today).

What I did find, however, was something I'd never seen before and is pretty interesting. I bought a package of fresh noodles vacuum-sealed in this package (sorry, I thought to take the photo after I opened them to start soaking:


I soaked them only an hour in room temp water, and they turned out just the right texture.

Here's what the final dish looked like. The dried shrimp and ground chilis are off to the side; Andrea hates the shrimp and I like to add more chili than she in this dish.


It was FANTASTIC, the best pad thai I've ever made. I really think that the Thompson recipe is great. He's big on shallots, which provide a good foundation, and the balance of flavors is spot on. (I should say that I always add a full dose of chili, which makes for a different balance than, say, mizducky would get.)

Also, I have been working very hard to develop my wok's patina, and the wok hei is excellent. I usually use a propane wok cooker that I adore, but we had a rain storm warning while I was doing meez, so I used it on my stove for the first time. It worked out really well: the vegetables sauteed well, and by the time everything was waiting for the noodles, the wok was very hot.

That meant that the noodles picked up a lot of color and hei. Following Thompson's advice, I really pressed the noodles into the wok for a while before adding the sauce, and some of them darkened nicely. It's worth it to get a good wok and treat it like a member of the family, I'm telling you....

I also served a tom yum soup --


-- and a fantastic pomelo salad --


-- both of which are from Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet and both of which were also excellent.

I do want to go back and find that salted radish, though, and see if I can tweak this.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Torakris, if you hadn't :laugh: omitted the radish, which would you have considered the better substitute for sweet pickled radish - dried radish (kiriboshi daikon) or bran-pickled radish (takuan)?

I faintly remember eating it when I worked in a Chinese shop, but so long ago...and we never thought that much about what pickles to eat, just ate them in order of breakages :huh: .

Pad thai looks like a good lunch before the school lunch schedule swings back into action!

Chrisamarault, that looks like a wonderful pomelo salad. They are so good at this time of year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the compliments, folks!

Reflecting on the experiment, I now find I have some further geeky-detail questions:

1. The eggs. The eGCI/mamster/Cook's Illustrated recipe said to stir-fry the eggs for a mere 20 seconds before adding the noodles. When I did that, the eggs were still a bit liquidy by the time I added the noodles, so that when I mixed them all together the eggs wound up as a mostly-invisible (though quite tasty) coating on the noodles. Is that the effect we're going for? Or are there supposed to be discernable bits of egg as in fried rice? If the latter, I'm probably going to have to stir-fry the eggs longer, because my wimpy electric range doesn't seem to push enough juice to make the eggs solidify in that short a time even when the burner's set to high.

2. Browner noodles: chrisamirault, I note the suggestion you got from the recipe you followed, regarding pressing the noodles into the wok to get them to pick up some color. As noted above, I'm working with a wok on a wimpy electric burner, which I know is far from ideal, but it's extremely unlikely that I'll be able to get a better heating unit for under my wok for the forseeable future (at least it's a flat-bottomed wok, with some pretty decent seasoning). Any other thoughts on how I might get my noodles browner next time (without resorting to the dreaded ketchup bowdlerization)?

(edited to fix a tyop :wink: )

Edited by mizducky (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As mentioned upthread somewhere, it is not unusual to get more color on the noodles by adding some paprika to the water when you soak the noodles.

When I lived in Bangkok, sometimes the egg bits were more discernable, sometimes less.

Since we had pad thai about 2 days before this cookoff, I'm going to wait until later in the week to do it. In fact, I think over the course of the next couple of weeks, I might do it twice -- to compare fresh vs. dried rice noodles.

In the meantime, we'll work on the leftovers from my big ass brisket.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Torakris, if you hadn't  :laugh: omitted the radish, which would you have considered the better substitute for sweet pickled radish - dried radish (kiriboshi daikon) or bran-pickled radish (takuan)?


I am not sure. I have never tasted the Thai radish so I am unsure of the best substitute for it. I have never looked for the Thai style here so honestly I don't even know what it looks like...

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


Link to comment
Share on other sites

A very sweet eG-er gave me a little butane burner to get me through my no stovetop dilemma, so I pad thai'd too. Glad I did because it was great. I modified the CI recipe, by increasing the cayenne to 1 tsp (which was perfect for my taste, the 3/4 t in their recipe went mostly unnoticed), and using a fresh herb mix that included cilantro and some kind of Asian mint because that is what I had on hand.

I take back what I said earlier about the tamarind paste being a pain. That might be because I got seedless this time around, so there was more tamarind pulp in my mix, or because I used a smaller sieve that was easier to work with. In any case it was not a problem at all, and is WAY better than the tamarind concentrate, which tastes all overcooked.

That was a really good dish!!

Oil and potatoes both grow underground so french fries may have eventually invented themselves had they not been invented -- J. Esther
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first thoughts: To echo Suzi's remark, "thank you, thank you, thank you for this cookoff"! This was by far better Pad Thai than I made before. Everyone's discussion helped so much.


To start with, a Jason-style photo of the finished product


I was not confident that the end result was going to turn out looking as pretty as the condiments and the prepared ingredients sitting at stove-side did, so I took lots of shots of those. This is one of the pictures of the condiments.


The Table at Eating Time

I will be up for more discussion later, but for now I am trying to give the condensed version of the story. I mostly followed the Hot Sour Salty Sweet recipe for the directions, with the exception that everything took longer stir-fry, pressing, and turning time because our electric stove is not-so-hot (both figurativly and literally speaking) and because my volume of some ingredients was significantly larger.

I used about 3 ounces of fresh pork slivers and a pound of fresh local shrimp, in addition to about a tablespoon of the dried shrimp. I used all the ingredients called for in the Hot Sour Salty Sweet recipe, and also some shallots in with the bean sprouts mixture and some extra condiments. I did use the salted radish, and my tamarind was ready-to-use concentrate.

The photos make the condiments obvious. To go with it, I made Stir-Fried Napa Cabbage with Garlic and Yellow Bean Sauce from True Thai, and a typical spicy cucumber relish. We ate family-style instead of plating.

We enjoyed a Reisling with it. It was a hit with Russ, and also my Danish son who is visiting and said that Thai food is quite popular in Denmark.

Any questions about something I failed to mention, please feel free to ask. I am pleasantly full, but tired, and we have yet to clean up!

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That looks, gorgeous, Susan!

Totally off-topic ... my dad was a neighbor of yours (Ormond Beach) up until he passed away this past December. Lovely area you live in, there (I mean, when it's not being smished by hurricanes, I guess! :smile: )

Back on-topic: now that I've got this stock of leftover ingredients of various sorts, I've got questions about storage. I'm assuming the tamarind paste needs to be kept refrigerated, right? I've got it in the fridge wrapped in plastic wrap right now. How long does it keep? How about the open bottle of fish sauce? Fridge or cupboard?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never fridged fish sauce or tamarind paste.  Cupboard for both.

I've always put fish sauce (and soy sauce) back in the fridge, but I think snow angel is right, it's not needed. I mean the stuff is made form fermented fish guts and stuff, so what could possibly go off in it....it's already off.

Of course I have more space in my fridge then cupboard, so I'll probably just keep it there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

after reading about everyone's PadThai for days, today I really really had to have some, even if I couldn't get all the right ingredients in my supermarket.

I used the recipe from the Thai course on EGullet, with some cheating: I used ready boiled shrimp, onion instead of shallot, and no salted radish.

Here's what it looked like:


When we started to eat, we both felt it was lacking something in flavor, but as we kept eating, it sort of grew on us.. Then my husband said that "maybe this is the kind of food that tastes better when it's cooled off a bit" and I actually think he made a very good point there! In the end we finished the entire bowl.

We added some sambal (indonesian chilipaste) at the table, for some heat and more intense flavor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I made Malawry's recipe for Pad Thai today, and it looked very much like Chufi's, and I was pleased. I would recommend for anyone using the whole pound of noodles to use a deep wok or a 14 inch skillet. I used a 12 inch and tossing the noodles was a bit trying. It tasted nice and spicy, and so much lighter than American noodle dishes. Most of them seem to be covered in some sort of sauce or gravy. This was refreshing. As a fish sauce virgin, I was almost scared to add the NASTY smelling stuff, but I plowed on, and sure enough, couldn't taste it specifically, but I won't be afraid to use it again.

What else can I use the 'sweeten radish' for? How long will it keep? I put the unused portion in the fridge, but since the recipe only calls for a small amount, that package will last a loooonnnggg time.

Stop Family Violence

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Late as usual....((in my best Eeyore's voice)). I loved looking at all the various styles; they all look so delicious.

Just made this following a recipe from a local magazine. I didn't add any pickled radish...don't like it in my noodles. I used glass noodles because we have the flat noodles cooked chinese style all the time. I also don't like my eggs scrambled in so I made an omelette out of the 4 eggs and cut into strips. The other yellow strips are yellow flat tofu.


Edited by Tepee (log)


Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I made this for Friday night dinner, which has to be made fast for 2 boys hungry after swimming, and it's a busy work day for me usually.

No question of photos! The boys ate it so fast I had a job reserving one serving for my husband before they were back for seconds! It was quick and tasty without being oppressive.

The peanuts and pickled radish definitely contributed a lot to my kids' enjoyment of the dish. We made ours using pork and shrimp, to cater for fussy shrimp-haters in the family. I cooked the egg around 40 seconds before adding the noodles, so it was half cooked, with just enough moisture to cling to the noodles.

I thought the rice sticks might disintegrate completely before my husband ate his serving, but for a noodle dish, this one survived the delay in good shape.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I soak the noodles for 20 minutes. Drain. Frying glass noodles is every bit as tricky as frying the pad thai noodles. I held a 1.5-foot long pair of wooden chopsticks in my left hand and the metal frying spatula in the other. Before that, I had made around 1.5 litres of stock from the prawn shells and added half of this to the noodles at the beginning. Do not allow the noodles to get too dry or they'll stick and lump together. Keep adding the stock as you cook.


Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I soak the noodles for 20 minutes. Drain. Frying glass noodles is every bit as tricky as frying the pad thai noodles. I held a 1.5-foot long pair of wooden chopsticks in my left hand and the metal frying spatula in the other. Before that, I had made around 1.5 litres of stock from the prawn shells and added half of this to the noodles at the beginning. Do not allow the noodles to get too dry or they'll stick and lump together. Keep adding the stock as you cook.

Those are great tips. I hadn't heard the one about adding stock as you cook, sorta like risotto or polenta. Makes a great deal of sense, and might actually get me to use those glass noodles, which scare me a bit (and if you read below you can see what scary ingredients do!).


Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

pad thai #2 was dinner (for john) last night - unfortunately he didn't get hungry until about 9 which was wayyyyyyy too late for me to eat.

i had prepped most everything beforehand so it was a matter of putting things together. made the Padd Thai Ayuthiya so had made a sauce of tamarind, fish sauce, granualated sugar and brown sugar earlier in the day. a tin of small shrimp was opened and they were well rinsed as were capers. i did add minced flat-leaf parsleyand finished with lime wedges. the color was wonderful and the extra taste it added to the sauce was very unique. john really preferred this one to the Padd Thai Bang Gog i made earlier. served it with a small salad of mixed greens, thin sliced radishes and a dressing made with lime juice and enova oil.

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.


Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jason is busy channing our Pad Thai after I did most of the prep for him. Ours contains:

  • thin bean thread noodle
    shrimp: dried and fresh
    fried tofu strips
    beef: leftover beef skewers from Chinese takeout :)
    mushrooms: shitaki and black fungus
    crushed peanuts
    Pad Thai Sauce

The pad thai sauce consists of a store bought pad thai sauce, that we both felt was too sweet last time we used it. So, we doctored it up with some sriratcha, fish sauce, lime juice and tamarind. I bought tamarind in the form of pure tamarind candy (just the deseeded pulp) from a Phillapino store. I'd never had straight tamarind before, yum.

Well, dinner smells like it's almost ready, so pictures after we eat!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Being that most people here seemed to be using rice stick noodles, I decided that we should do an alternative style of pad thai, which uses bean thread noodles.


The mise-en-place


Finished product in wok


The plated noodles, topped with fresh bean sprouts, chopped peanuts and fried shallots.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, I can't say I was that thrilled about hearing pad thai being the next cookoff subject, I'm not really a fan of noodle dishes, but this thread has really gotten my attention, I will have to try. I do have some questions though.

I have never had pad thai noodles, so I know nothing of their texture. My two noodle options are either Shirataki or Yuba sheet noodles (tofu skin noodles). I'm sort of leaning towards the shirataki because they look more like the noodles everyone is using, and the yuba noodles are very chewy.

I have never seen picked radishes in the asian markets I frequent, but one that I really like just got in these jars (from thailand) of either pickled or fermented cabbage (not like kimchee) would this be a good addition?

Are these chile pastes made from dried or fresh chiles? I can pick up some bird chiles this weekend when the farmers market opens again, or I could get dried bird chiles at the co-op tomorrow. Do you use either the paste or fresh chiles, or can you use both? What about Huy Fong Chile Garlic Paste (basically Sriracha without the sugar)? I am thinking I might want to add some powdered dried bird chiles, make a paste from some fresh roasted chiles as a condiment, and top it off with some fresh unroasted serranos and bird chiles. I also might want to throw in just like a tablespoon of the chile paste for good measure.

I would love to add tamarind, but all of the tamarind I can find is loaded with sugar, is it just a naturally sugar-laden fruit or do the manufacturers add extra? To give it that sour tang what would I want to use instead of tamarind, just vinegar?

As for the fried tofu: I can't seem to find that either. Would I get the same effect just from draining some extra firm tofu and frying it up?

I am assuming the bean sprouts mentioned are mung bean sprouts, I can find those fresh I think, and they are pretty tasty, so that sound slike a good addition. Is there ever any greenery other than the cilantro though? I guess this is not the type of dish to toss in some bok-choy as it cooks?

I've taken to using pickled ginger I get at an Indian grocer for most of my ginger needs, and my intuitions says this would be OK for this, or would fresh be more the style? I could order dried galangal, but I have never seen it fresh anywhere around here. I suppose I should also get some fresh fish sauce while I'm at it, I've had the same bottle in the fridge for over a year now, not that I know if the stuff can even go bad...

What about the peanut factor, is it always just whole peanuts, or should I Grind some up or add some natural peanut butter too? What about coconut milk?

I am a total asian-food newbie here, I know I have lots of questions, just not sure where to even start with this one.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      Yesterday, an old friend sent me a picture of her family dinner, which she prepared. She was never much of a cook, so I was a bit surprised. It's the first I've seen her cook in 25 years. Here is the spread.

      I immediately zoomed in on one dish - the okra.

      For the first 20-odd years I lived in China, I never saw okra - no one knew what it was. I managed to find its Chinese name ( 秋葵 - qiū kuí) in a scientific dictionary, but that didn't help. I just got the same blank looks.
      Then about 3 years ago, it started to creep into a few supermarkets. At first, they stocked the biggest pods they could find - stringy and inedible - but they worked it out eventually. Now okra is everywhere.

      I cook okra often, but have never seen it served in China before (had it down the road in Vietnam, though) and there are zero recipes in any of my Chinese language cookbooks. So, I did the sensible thing and asked my friend how she prepared it. Here is her method.
      1. First bring a pan of water to the boil. Add the washed okra and boil for two minutes. Drain.

      2. Top and tail the pods. Her technique for that is interesting.

      3. Finely mince garlic, ginger, red chilli and green onion in equal quantities. Heat oil and pour over the prepared garlic mix. Add a little soy sauce.

      4. Place garlic mix over the okra and serve.
      When I heard step one, I thought she was merely blanching the vegetable, but she assures me that is all the cooking it gets or needs, but she did say she doesn't like it too soft.

      Also, I should have mentioned that she is from Hunan province so the red chilli is inevitable.
      Anyway, I plan to make this tomorrow. I'm not convinced, but we'll see.
      to be continued
    • By missdipsy
      Two of my family members are pescetarian, one of whom is my picky daughter who only likes a few types of fish cooked in very specific ways so to all intents and purposes is mostly vegetarian. Many Chinese soup recipes involve meat or fish, or at least meat broth, so I'd love to find a few more recipes that would suit my whole family (I also don't eat much pork as it doesn't always agree with me, and a lot of soups involve pork so this is also for my benefit!). Vegetarian would be best, or pescetarian soups that are not obviously seafood based (I could get away with sneaking a small amount of dried shrimp in, for instance, but not much more than that!).
      Any kind of soup will do, although I'd particularly like some simple recipes that could be served alongside a multi-dish meal. But I'm always interested in new recipes so any good soup recipes would be welcome!
      Any suggestions?
    • By Druckenbrodt
      So, our flights have been booked for next Sunday, we're servicing our loyal bikes, the panier bags are coming out of the cupboard and we're checking the tent still has all its poles.
      Our plan is 10 days of cycling, through the Pelopponnese and Crete, far from the madding crowds, through mountain meadows and forests full of bee hives, with regular visits to pristine hidden beaches. That's the plan.
      Of course, to make our holiday perfect, some feasting would go down well. I had thought that this would be impossible for my boyfriend, given he's vegetarian (no fish either), since I assumed the options will only be grilled meat, grilled fish, or Greek salad. But having had a look at some of these posts, it seems like there are quite a few really delicious (and popular?) dishes that don't involve meat or fish, but do include delicious things like spinach, fava beans, chick peas etc.
      So, I'd like to compile a list of Great Greek Dishes that vegetarians can eat, the sort of simple everyday stuff that we might be able to get in a small village taverna. To kick start the list I'm nominating:
      Briam - I had this about 10 years ago on the island of Amorgos and it was mindblowingly delicious. Potatoes, courgettes, tomatoes and maybe onions and lots of olive oil? All cooked together extremely slowly. I've tried recreating this but never succeeded. It's something I still have fond memories of!
      Any general advice or additions to the list would be most gratefully appreciated!
    • By Deeps
      This is one of my daughter favorite dishes, being mild and less spicy she loves this rice dish.  Its super easy to make and goes well with most Indian curries.
      Do try this out and I am sure you will be happy with the results.

      Prep Time : 5 mins
      Cook Time: 5 mins
      Serves: 2
      1 cup rice(basmati), cooked
      1/2 cup coconut, shredded or grated
      1 green chili, slit
      1 dried red chili
      1 1/2 tablespoon oil/ghee(clarified butter)
      1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
      1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
      1/2 tablespoon chana dal(split chickpeas)
      1/2 tablespoon urad dal(split black gram)
      1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
      A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
      Few curry leaves
      Salt to taste
      1) Heat oil/ghee(clarified butter) in a pan in medium flame. I used coconut oil here because it tastes best for this dish.
      2) Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chana dal(split chickpeas), urad dal(split black gram), green chili, dried red chili, ginger and curry leaves. Fry this for 30 seconds in medium flame. The trick is to ensure that these are fried but not burned.
      3) Add a pinch of hing(asafoetida) and mix well.
      4) Now add the cooked rice and coconut. Stir well for about 15 to 20 seconds and switch off the flame.
      5) Finally add salt into this and mix well. You could add peanuts or cashew nuts if you prefer. Goes well with most curries.
    • By loki
      Vietnamese Pickled Eggplant
      These use tiny white eggplants that are nearly impossible to get here.  I tried to grow them without success (this time).  I did not have these so used unripe cherry tomatoes.
      2 lb eggplant (tiny white SE Asian types) or green cherry tomatoes.
      1/4 cup salt
      1 TBL galangal root
      1 TBL ginger root
      12 green chilies - thai peppers or serranos
      6 cloves garlic
      1/2 cup onion finely chopped
      2 cup Granulated sugar
      2 cup water
      1/4 cup fish sauce
      1. Rinse off eggplant and pierce with a knife - or cut in half if larger than 3/4 inch in diameter.
      2. Put eggplant into jar and add salt - and water to top of jar.  Cover with plastic lid and cover loosely.  Let ferment for 7 days.
      3. Take out eggplant and drain.  Rinse with water.  Put into jars again.
      4. Chop ginger, galangal, chiles, onion, and garlic.
      5. Boil water and sugar, add spices and onion, and heat for 5 minutes.  Add fish sauce.
      6. Pour over eggplants making sure the spices and onion get all around (might have to take out some eggplant and return).
      7. Cover with plastic lid, and refrigerate.
      8. Ready in several days.  Will last a very long time in the refrigerator.
      Notes:  Good alongside other SE Asian dishes, or even alone with rice.  The green tomatoes are not the same texture as the eggplants, but are quite good.  The eggplants are very crispy.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...