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

Good Morning!