Christmas is now fast approaching, and I am going to miss the holiday season’s bake-a-palooza when it’s all over. The blog has covered many of the holiday desserts I have been whipping up (and there will be more to come), but let’s do something a little different today and talk about a quick, flavorful, easy dinner to make after a day spent shopping, wrapping, and baking.
The story of this Pad Thai begins with a frozen meal. A Smart Ones Thai style chicken and rice noodles one to be exact. I tried this frozen meal for the first time earlier in the year to mix up my normal frozen meals rotation for lunch, and it was love at first bite. In the past I had a fear of Thai style anything because of the spices. While I am still a wimp when it comes to spice, I can now handle a little bit more, so this meal is the perfect spice level for me.
After trying this frozen meal, I was determined to make something even better myself. I tried several recipes, all just okay but none that were good enough to be repeated. Then I found this recipe, which seemed to have all the right ingredients. I was hopeful that this time I had found the recipe. I made the sauce as instructed and threw in some of my own ingredients. And I borrowed a secret technique from my mom: coat the beef in baking soda before stir frying. This way it gets extra crispy. (For full disclosure, this technique was discovered purely by accident when my mom accidentally the confused baking soda and cornstarch boxes. It’s nice to know that other people have scatter brain moments like me in the kitchen, although I still top them all).
So with our family secret revealed, go make this now! Reward yourself for all your holiday spirit with a quick and easy dinner.
8 ounces rice noodles
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 eggs, lightly beaten
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2-1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
5-6 carrots, juillenned
1 pound top round, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
4 scallions, chopped
Honey roasted peanuts, for serving
Lime quarters, for serving
Prepare rice noodles according to package (either by cooking briefly on stove or soaking in hot water). Drain and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk fish sauce, sugar, and hoisin sauce together. Set aside.
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Season eggs with a pinch of salt. Lightly coat with oil and pour egg into pan. Cook for 2-4 minutes until done and flip. Cook for 2-4 minutes, until eggs are soft but cooked through. Remove from heat and cut into strips. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Coat pan with vegetable oil. Stir fry garlic and sriracha sauce (adjust amount to your own spiciness preference) for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Add carrots and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. In a large bowl, stir together beef (or protein of choice) and baking soda. Add more oil to pan if needed. Add beef to pan and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, until beef is no longer pink.
Add rice noodles to pan and whisk in sauce. Let cook for 2-3 minutes. Carefully stir in egg. Serve topped with scallions and peanuts. Squeeze fresh lime juice over top. Other optional toppings include julienned cucumbers, bean sprouts, and chopped cilantro.