Shrimp pad thai has always been a favorite delivery/takeout food item — it's just always seemed a little too complicated, too involved a dish for me to attempt a homemade version. But in the spirit of pushing the boundaries of my cooking comfort zone, I decided to take a stab at it. And I encourage you to as well. Seriously, if I can make it, so can you.
For the peanut sauce
- 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 1/2 teaspoon chile paste
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
For the shrimp pad thai
- 1/2 cup carrots, julienned
- 1/2 cup zucchini, julienned
- 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 package rice noodles
- 3/4 cup medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup pea shoots or sprouts
- cilantro, for garnish
- crushed peanuts, for garnish
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
Step 1: Peanut Sauce
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix together until full incorporated into a smooth, medium-thick sauce. (Feel free to adjust the flavor of the sauce to suit your preference. Just remember that mixing in the noodles and other ingredients will tone down to sauce, so I would advise making it more intensely flavored than you might think it needs to be.)
Step 2: Shrimp for Pad Thai
- In a pan over medium heat, cook the carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms with the oil, vinegar, and sugar, tossing to coat.
- Once the vegetables are lightly cooked, about 6 minutes, set aside on a plate.
- In the same pan, scramble the 2 eggs over medium-low heat for about 4 minutes. Once cooked, add to the plate with the vegetables.
- Meanwhile, place the rice noodles in a pot of warm water to soak until softened and then drain, reserving a small amount of the soaking liquid to loosen the sauce.
- Add the noodles and vegetables to the pan with the peanut sauce. Add in the shrimp and cook over medium-low heat until the shrimp have cooked, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve, plate noodles with some pea shoots, cilantro, and crushed peanuts for garnish. Spritz with lime juice.