I am very, VERY picky about my Pad Thai. The first Pad Thai I had was at The Bamboo on Queen Street in Toronto eons ago and I fell in love. All those noodles! All that seafoodie flavour! Yup, I was in heaven. I have been searching for an authentic recipe ever since. This recipe was recommended to me by a beautiful blogger friend Robyn but sadly, it is not the recipe I am looking for.
This is the problem. Every recipe for me is about the sauce. Warning bells should have gone off when I saw that you were supposed to use a sweet chili sauce like Heinz. I have made made Pad Thai recipes that call for ketchup and you know, I just don’t think that is what they use for authentic Pad Thai. I am a little sensitive to fish sauce so I used a little less but boosted the flavour with oyster sauce. There were no chilies at my store so I used Sriracha hot sauce for the heat.
My rice noodles clumped together, next time I will put olive oil in the water to prevent this from happening.
The recipe says it is vegetarian but how can it be with fish sauce in it? When I was a vegetarian, I would have been offended by that. Since I am no longer a vegetarian, I added some shrimp to the frying pan and then when they were done removed them and browned up the tofu.
This is where the photographs of the cooking process came to an end. After I sauteed the garlic and added the egg the sauce hit the pan and the too-sweet smell of cooking ketchup turned me off immediately! I then added the noodles, followed by the veggies. I put my camera on the counter and saved the tofu and the shrimp on the side, in case my tastebud suspicions were correct.
I put some of the Pad Thai in a little bowl and topped with some peanuts, tofu, shrimp and a lime wedge. I tasted it. Yup, did not taste like real Pad Thai. All I could taste was fishy ketchup. Sigh.
According to the web site, a lot of people loved it and I wish I could say I was one of them! I am always worried about taking on recipe recommendations because I worry about disappointing my online friends. It is hard to explain just how picky I am about food. I am CRAZY picky and my palette does not forget flavours. It is kind of a curse!
But this foodie will not give up, she will keep searching for that authentic Pad Thai flavour she longs to taste again.