If you don’t know, I’m Black and Thai. My father is black and my mommy is 100% Thai with her short and Asian self 😍. Mommy loves to cook and she never shied away from making cuisines from her hometown. I call her cooking, soul Thai food. Most Thai restaurants I’ve visited are always commercialized and not so tasty or remotely spicy. Mom’s spicy food will unclog your pores, open your sinuses, and burn your mouth all at the same time but we love it!! One of my favorites that she makes is Pad Thai and she makes several versions of it. She just calls them “noodles.”
I work a lot and live a few hours away from her that I don’t have time to allow her to cook for me so I decided to cook it myself. Let me tell you: I used to hate cooking. I felt like I was forced to cook after my parents divorced that I hated it. I’m glad I have the skill but cooking, should be fun. Now I’m on my own and on my terms, I decided to find the fun. Okay back to the noodles.
The first thing you need is rice noodles. They come in many shapes and sizes and are aesthetically pleasing when veggies are combined. I opted for these. Take out your portions and add them to hot water until they soften.
After they soften, drain and leave it in a strainer, or bowl. Don’t manipulate them because they become sticky. Now the next part is to grab your veggies. The one thing I love about Pad Thai is the endless options. Use whatever veggies you like! I took what was in my fridge.
With the exception of garlic, I love these veggies because of the crisp crunch effect. I don’t like mushy Pad Thai and neither does mom. It’s best to prep your food before cooking because you don’t want to mess up anything. For meat, I decided on shrimp, and then I saw some ground pork my brother left so I seasoned them with salt, pepper and paprika.
I decided to sauté my veggies in sesame oil because of the extra flavor, but if it’s too strong for you, use olive oil. Besides these are healthy oils to use for cooking. The soy bean sauce on the far left is major key in Mommy’s house and she uses this to n ALL of her noodle dishes. Thank God I live near an Asian grocery store.
Now that we have our ingredients, let’s start cooking!
I sautéed the shrimp in sesame oil til about 80% cooked and removed them from the pan. Then adding garlic and the ground pork to cook until about 95% cooked. We’re going to add it to the vegetables in a moment.
Those jalapeños were last minute, but I wanted to kick it up a notch! Ask my fiancé, I love spicy food!
Once your veggies cook, add the protein and let cook for a few more minutes until the pink is gone. I added salt and pepper. The cabbage needs it!
I grew up in a household where “eye-balling” was a measurement so, when it came to the sauce, that’s what I did. You only want enough to coat the noodles and you don’t want them runny. This isn’t soup, lol. Give it a good stir, and then season to taste. I added fish sauce, which gives a light seasoned taste and not overpowering.
At the last minute, I added the green onions for extra crunch and flavor. This tasted so freaking good. Mommy would have been proud after she made several suggestions!
Ta-daaaa! I’m very proud of me. This tastes just like Mommy’s and I garnished it with fresh lemon juice, grounded crush red peppers and peanuts. Normally I chop my peanuts in a processor for a garnish shape, but I was tired. Like I said, Pad Thai has several options and there’s no specific way to make them. If you’re vegan this would be great for you, just eliminate the meat. Stay tuned for more Pad Thai options coming to the blog!