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Failure - Pad Thai


It happens to everyone. Some days you just shouldn't be in the kitchen. There are signs all around telling you it isn't a good idea, but when you are really excited to cook you sometimes ignore them. Last Friday Mandi and I had BIG plans to make Pad Thai. We have been trying to eat less meat lately so we thought this would be a great meal because you can use tofu as the main protein. We have made a few different Thai dishes including a green curry so we thought this wouldn't be a problem at all.

The first failure of the night came at the grocery store(s). We wanted to follow a fairly authentic recipe so we veered away from anything that added ketchup or peanut butter. We saw that the most important ingredient seemed to be Tamarind paste. Ok, no big deal. I've bought Kaffir lime leaves and dried Galangal in Bermuda before, I should be able to get Tamarind right? 3 grocery stores later we decided to give up on the Tamarind and hope the dish would still be somewhat flavorful.

We used Alton Brown's recipe from the episode "Your Pad or Mine?" (as close as we could)

Here Mandi is cutting the Tofu. We were happy to use it because we have never worked with it at home

Marinade in soy sauce

The Fennel is for the Spring Rolls. We used Fennel, Carrot, Cabbage, and Shallots

This is the Spring Roll mixture.
We also added Fresh Basil, Cilantro, Mint, and Ginger. Just a little of each.

Here are the rice stick noodles waiting to have boiling water dumped on them

Getting the Peanuts ready for the topping.

These are store bought Spring Roll wrappers. It looks like its gonna be great right??

The egg is for in the Pad Thai

This picture inspired me to clean my stove the next morning.

Directly after this picture came the second fail of the night. This was the worst and could have been extremely bad. Now, first off, we deep fry all the time in our apartment and are VERY careful. Unfortunately, I was cheap buying this wok. I had bought it earlier that day for 40 bucks. I was faced with the decision: spend 200 bucks I don't have on an awesome wok that will last a long time, or buy one for 40 bucks and get a real one when I have the money and/or a more permanent residence and larger kitchen. I opted for number 2 and almost burnt my house down. The 400 degree oil went all over the floor and I really thought it was going to light up instantly. We held our breaths for about 10 seconds and then cleaned it all up with towels. Luckily neither of us got hit with the oil and badly burned. Anyways - on with the cooking.

Here we are back in action for fail number 3 of the night. Alton presses his tofu and leaves it for a day or 2. We did not have time for this but we thought it would still be ok if we took care when frying them so they would still get the golden brown crust. After the hot oil incident, we kind of just threw the tofu in the wok because we were getting really hungry. Had we dried them and fried less at a time, it would have worked much better.

Tofu out, Veggies in. Also Failure #4 Mandis camera died. Switching to phone cam

Even with all the failures, this meal was still great. It was just more of a stepping stone to a better Pad Thai in the future. The Spring Roll filling was awesome but the shell was not. We should have fried them in slightly cooler oil for a longer time because the inner parts were still chewy. The Pad Thai was 10 times better microwaved the next day for some reason.

Good Morning!


i think using the wrong noodles also didn't help the feel/flavor of the dish... they didnt have the right kind at the store. i have sausage fingers!!! haha

There's are no failures in food, just areas for improvement. I will NOT accept that you didn't cook something good.

You should let people know what pad thai sauce is like to make, so they aren't scared and horrified when you smell fish sauce and tamarind together.

What a difference in the stove!!

try them cold:) u would only have to cook the water for the noodles and u dont have to fry them once they are wrapped.

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