Everybody Deserves Pad Thai

Delivered six hefty portions of Pad Thai to the Nickelsville Central District Tiny House Village today. Made eight servings but kept one and gave one to a friend.

Argh! Forgot the egg and also the lime garnish. Still one of the best things I have ever cooked. This is a dish of many ingredients and not as practical of a food donation as, say, burgers. Burgers just need to be heated and slapped on a bun. For proper somewhat authentic Pad Thai you will need rice noodles, chicken, tofu, garlic, shallots, bean sprouts, cashews (Nirvana Wok is a peanut-free concept), egg, green onions, limes, chili and dried radish.

Ooooh that smell

For the sauce you’ll need palm sugar, tamarind paste and fish sauce. Some recipes suggest equal parts of all three but I put not even a third of that much fish sauce in this time and you should have heard the howls of complaint from the offspring. It’s certainly something I’ll cook down outside next time. These poor kids - they also don’t know what Limburger cheese is. Limburger and how smelly it is used to be a mainstream pop culture meme and now only one American company in Wisconsin makes it and few supermarkets sell it. It smells really bad but tastes incredible, the same concept as fish sauce.

It was impractical to cook this like a Thai restaurant would – each entree made to order in a wok – so I combined the finished ingredients and then fired up just the tofu, chicken, garlic and shallots in the wok in three batches to produce the wok hei taste.

More Deep Kitchen Thoughts

I always par-boil bean sprouts because they are a top vector for food-borne illness. They retain their crunch if you do that. The tamarind paste had to be soaked and strained to remove seed matter. Adding some crumbly dried fermented radish to the chicken during cooking gave it a pleasant dark orange color. Unfortunately that would be because Khamphouk brand sweet preserved minced radish contains FD&C Yellow No. 5 and FD&C Yellow No. 6, which are known to cause cancer, hyperactivity and allergic reactions. Will look for a better alternative for next time.

Par-tay!

I think it’s OK to announce that the Nickelsville Central District Tiny House Village is holding a benefit event this Summer and that Nirvana Wok will be providing spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread and salad to donors. Will follow up when the early August date is confirmed.

–Alex