Not only is this an Italian take on Pad Thai but it is also a “quick and dirty” version thanks to Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen: Cookin’ for Trouble cookbook, published by Random House of Canada.
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.
Debra She Who Seeks says
Peanut butter is always so friggin’ hard to whisk.
Um, can I just say that this is the most bizarre rendition of Pad Thai I’ve ever seen lol…Leave it to Nadia. Still looks yummy though.
I tried the Looneyspoons “Tongue Thai’d” recipe last week and it was a hit (minus the tofu, lots of juicy shrimp mmmmm). Janet and Greta use ketchup in their recipe which I know you’re not crazy about, but if you have tamarind I’m sure you can use it instead.
Sandy aka Doris the Great says
You may already know this, but for future recipes when they’re calling for minced ginger: I freeze my knobs of fresh ginger; when a recipe calls for minced, I use my kitchen plane grater and grate the frozen ginger. Grates wonderfully easily and is the perfect size.
nice post. You might be interested in this post I did on Thai fish sauce. http://caroleschatter.blogspot.co.nz/2012/03/fish-sauce.html