Simple Pad Thai, a Quick Fix for Luxuriously Lazy Nights

So, I had been saving an empty boxed Pad Thai kit that I used to make dinner the other night, but it seems as though my husband does not value saving empty food boxes in the same way that I do, and he threw it away! Hopefully we’ll be able to make do here anyway.

Pad Thai spice

We picked up the pad thai box in the international section of the grocery store a few weeks ago. Back when the two of us were lazier, these little kits were an excellent choice for quick dinners and a welcome change from spaghetti.

Well, we were feeling lazy again last Friday, and we had half a rotisserie chicken left from when I made Sante Fe Soup earlier in the week. But as I was cooking the noodles and about to open the spice packet, I turned over the box to read the ingredients –

(Peanuts, Pure Cane Sugar, Salt, Corn Starch, Spices [Chili, Cinnamon, Pepper, Cumin, Clove], Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Yeast Extract, Green Onions, Citric Acid, Peanut Oil, Sesame Oil, Silicon Dioxide [To Prevent Caking])

I already had on hand chili powder, cinnamon, pepper, cumin and cloves, so I thought I could do without this processed version. I picked out a few of the peanuts from the spice packet (woops, that was one thing I didn’t have), threw the rest in the trash and embarked on a journey to recreate it.

pad thai noodles

I knew this wouldn’t be an authentic pad thai – though I have taken a Thai cooking course, this just wasn’t the night to break out the tamarind and fish sauce. I still have nightmares about working with fish sauce; in my Thai cooking course the instructor told us that it’s made by packing a barrel with fish and then collecting the water and liquid that runs off them… voila, fish sauce (shudder).

My attempt at recreating the boxed pad thai was pretty good, but I think I went a little wild with the level of spice. It’s possible that Edwin’s self-proclaimed “spicy wussiness” is making me overcompensate, and noodles are pretty good at retaining spice. I toned things down a little bit in the recipe below. If you have recreated a simple box pad thai with luck, please let me know!

Pad Thai

Thai Kitchen Pad Thai
(revisited especially for lazy Friday nights after a long week!)

1 box Thai Kitchen original pad thai
1/2 rotisserie chicken
handful of peanuts, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 bag frozen stir fry vegetables (or if you prefer fresh vegetables, shop for fresh snow peas, sliced carrots, sliced red and yellow peppers, onion, and broccoli or mushrooms)

Combine peanuts, salt, pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, cloves and cayenne in a small bowl. Set aside. Remove rotisserie chicken from bone and cut bite size pieces. Set aside. Soak banh pho noodles according to directions on box. In the meantime, heat your wok to medium heat, then add 2 tablespoons oil. Stir fry defrosted or fresh vegetables until desired tenderness is reached.

When noodles are finished soaking, drain and rinse well. Add noodles to the wok, along with the pieces of chicken and spice mixture. Stir-fry for approximately 5 minutes, until fully combined and noodles are tender. Serve hot, garnish with extra peanuts.

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