I was sent this Pad Thai sauce to review but after the many, MANY bad Pad Thais I have made I was nervous to tackle Pad Thai in a jar, even if it came from President’s Choice which makes products that I buy all the time. A night came up this week where suddenly it was just me for dinner so I gave it a shot.
I followed most of the directions on the jar but I had to change the ingredients, I was not spending a lot of money on snowpeas (they are $4 for a tiny bag right now) so I worked with what I had. I sauteed some shrimp, added veggies, added the sauce, warmed it up while the noodles cooked…
The first thing I thought when I look my first bite was, way too sweet. I was relieved that at least it does not taste like ketchup! I could taste the tamarind which was impressive and authentic but holy cow, too sweet! When I checked the ingredients, I was vindicated. Yes, they used tamarind but the first ingredient was sugar!
As I kept eating I realized something that was missing, there was no seafood flavour to it at all. They used oyster extract instead of fish sauce. Oyster extract is much milder in flavour. I think the major flavour ingredient other than sugar was chicken. And, there was zero heat. I noticed that when I tested the sauce as it was heating up so I added some of my own hot sauce. No heat at all? Come on! Heat is a great way to balance the sweetness and without the heat, all I tasted was gooey sugar.
I think this is a Pad Thai Sauce for people who do not like Pad Thai. Other than using tamarind, there is very little in the sauce that is authentic to most Pad Thai recipes. Also, do not eat this if you are diabetic. All this sauce seems to be is sugar, water, a dash of oyster extract and some chicken broth with some other veggies and spices. That is not Pad Thai to me but then I am beginning to think good Pad Thai is my foodie holy grail.