Long-time readers will know how picky I am about Pad Thai. I have yet to find a version that satisfies in any way and her version is so different from most, I just had to try it.
You are supposed to whisk 3/4 cup of crunchy peanut butter, 3 limes juiced and 3 tbsp of water in a medium-sized bowl and then add 3 tbsp of maple syrup, 1 tbsp of aged balsamic vinegar (minimum 7 years old) and a Thai chili sliced into thin rounds.
I was not making a full batch of the sauce since I was not sure I was going to like it. I only had creamy peanut butter, I used my basic balsamic vinegar and Sriracha hot sauce instead of a Thai chili. It still whisked up just fine, it just takes a while.
While cooking 1 lb of tubettini pasta (I used canneroni) in salted water until it is al dente, in a large sauce pan (I used a skillet) head 1/4 cup of canola oil. That’s right, 1/4 cup!
You are supposed to saute 2 peeled and crushed garlic cloves and 1 1″ knob of fresh ginger crushed with a garlic press. Sounds a hell of a lot easier than it is to do! I doubt I got even a 1/4 of the ginger out that way. My hands were not happy…
Add the cooked pasta and drizzle with 1 tbsp of soy sauce. Shake the pan so the pasta does not stick for around 2 minutes.
Turn down the heat to medium-low. Add peanut sauce. Mix and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
Plate the pasta and sprinkle with some chopped green onions, crushed peanuts (optional) and minced cilantro (I used parsley because I hate cilantro).
How Did It Taste?
Interesting. The sweetness coming from the maple syrup instead of tamarind kind of gave it a Canadian feel yet the pasta not being rice sticks and the use of balsamic vinegar made this version very Italian too. This was definitely a Thai-fusion dish. Very tasty and bold but I am not sure how much I liked it. Nadia G. did a fantastic job at recreating her own version of Pad Thai that reminded me of the true flavour but would I make it again? I don’t think so. It was just a little too odd and the lack of protein made this more of a side dish than a meal.
This is a recipe you are just going to have to judge for yourself.