Some Like it Hot: Shrimp Pad Thai

Judging by the most recent posts under the Homecooked Meals category of the blog, I suppose you could say I’m on a seafood kick. Beyond that, I’ve been craving Asian food lately for some reason. Last weekend I played off a recipe from Cooking Light magazine for spicy Shrimp Pad Thai – one of my favorites I typically order when out to eat.

I had never made the dish at home, and I was pleasantly surprised to find this simple recipe, which is packed with spicy Thai flavors. If you’ve never cooked with fish sauce before, I’ll warn you that it has an incredibly pungent (if not somewhat repulsive) aroma, but don’t let that scare you away – it adds an intensely delicious tang to the dish.

The recipe calls for flat rice noodles, but I couldn’t find those at my Publix supermarket, so I instead used fettuccine, which tasted great. I would, however, suggest breaking the noodles in fourths (in half and then half again) to maintain the short rice noodle consistency typically seen in traditional pad Thai.

This recipe serves 4 modest servings (perhaps add a side salad), but my husband and I shared equally between the two of us, and I didn’t think the portion was out of control. Also, we love spicy food and the level of heat in the sauce was perfect for our tastes (my husband didn’t add any extra Sriracha, and he likes it really hot!). You might keep that in mind when mixing up the chili-garlic sauce!

Shrimp Pad Thai
Serves 4

Ingredients:
8 ounces  uncooked flat rice noodles (I used fettuccine)
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar (I had light in my cupboard, which worked great)
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
1 tablespoon Sriracha
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup (2-inch) green onion pieces
8 ounces peeled and deveined large shrimp
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1/4 cup chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

Directions:
Cook noodles according to package directions (I cooked the fettuccine until soft – about 13 minutes) and then drain.

In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice and Sriracha.

Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add green onion pieces, shrimp and garlic – stir-fry for 2 minutes or until shrimp is almost done. Add cooked noodles to the pan and toss to combine. Stir in sauce and cook 1 minute – keep stirring to combine.

Spoon noodle mixture equally among bowls and then top with ¼ cup bean sprouts, 1 tablespoon peanuts and 2 teaspoons fresh basil.

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