Friday, December 13, 2013

Pad Thai from Scratch

One of my favorite dishes is Pad Thai.  I have tried to make it at home before, but the smell of the fish sauce just overwhelms me.  In our new home, we actually have a vent fan that vents out to the roof (not one that just spits the steam back into the room).  So, I thought I'd try again with the help of a new cookbook.

Enter Everyday Thai Cooking by Katie Chin.  This is a fun cookbook to look through and it has many of
the standards you'll find on the menu of most Thai restaurants.  There are many ingredients in this cookbook that are hard to find where I live.  But, that's where David Joachin's Food Substitution Bible comes in handy.  There was one thing that I most wanted from this cookbook--a good Pad Thai that I could make.  And I found one.

One night a few weeks ago, I gathered the ingredients and started with fixing the noodles.  This was the area where I made my one mistake.  Rice noodles get mushy if you leave them in the hot, boiling water too long.  I forgot to set a timer and remove them from the water after ten minutes.  I won't forget to do this next time.  I also had to substitute lime juice for the tamarind concentrate.  (I had to substitute after looking in three local grocery stores for this ingredient.) I was concerned that this would make a big difference, but it worked out quite well.  The pad thai was recieved well by my husband and oldest daughter, the most experimental eater of my three children.  I will be making this recipe again.  

As for the rest of the cookbook, it is formatted well.  The directions are easy to follow.  I liked that the ingredients were in a different color ink than the directions.  But, neither color was hard to look at.  I've read some cookbooks over the years printed with light colored ink that were very difficult to read!  For every recipe, there was a beautiful color picture.  Being a visual person, I love pictures.  The photographs were very well composed and the focus was on the subject.  I find the more I get into photography, the more I pay attention to photos and their composition.  

If you're looking for an engaging and fun thai cookbook to try, take a look at this one.  But, be prepared to look for a few substitutions unless you live near an asian market.  The closest big asian supermarket to where we live is 45 minutes to an hour away.  So, I'll plan on making a list from this cookbook and picking up a few ingredients the next time I'm in that area!  

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this cookbook for review from the publisher.

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