Tag Archives: thai

Feeling a bit Thai’d Up

15 Nov

My friend was coming over for dinner and I had not defrosted any meat to prepare a meal and was not feeling especially excited about cooking at the moment. I was thinking about my favorite restaurants in the neighborhood and Thaiger was the first restaurant that popped in my head. But the weather was rainy and cold so I felt too lazy to trek over there since it was north of me. So I figured I’d make my own Pad Thai (minus peanuts and egg). Haha, yeah from not feeling like cooking to totally wanting to make Pad Thai is very random for me, but I got excited becausse I’ve never made it before. Plus even though I didn’t want to go out to get pre-made Thai food from my favorite restaurant, I still had to go out to the grocery store to buy most of the ingredients. Yeah I had a very confusing night, but I had to pass the grocery store anyway, from picking up Mantou from daycare.

But I was glad I did, the pad thai turned out great. When I was looking up recipes online I actually started with the search being “gluten free vegan pad thai” and I got a few good results but nothing that really looked authentic.  But when the results actually come up saying “authentic” then it’s worth a second glance; from the blog Savory Sweet Life, I used her Pad Thai Recipe.

This was my first attempt to make pad thai from scratch so I had to buy some vital ingredients. For the sauce I needed to buy tamarind concentrate and palm sugar. In the recipe the sauce was “ready” after the palm sugar dissolved into the fish sauce, tamarind, and garlic mixture and the blogger suggested to taste it to see if it needed to add extra sugar or spice. When I first tasted it, it was soooooo salty! I was a little scared that I might have to throw it out. I added two tablespoons of brown sugar just to tame it a bit. Fish sauce was the culprit, I have no idea of there is a certain brand to buy or if all fish sauce was this salty. Anyway, I put the sauce aside and prepared my rice noodles and tofu.

I only needed to boil the rice noodles for ~5 minutes, I didn’t want them to get too mushy. In the meantime I cut up a block of tofu into thirds then sprinkled some rice flour on them. I heated up some corn oil and let the pan get warmed up then tossed two slabs of tofu into the pan. When the bottoms of the tofu turned golden (leave them in the pan for a couple of minutes untouched) I flipped them over so the other side would turn brown. When the two were done I put the third slab onto the pan to fry. Then I put the tofu aside, let them cool before further cutting them into cubes.

I heated a wok and added some oil then added the garlic and onion, letting the onions soften. I added the carrots next since I like carrots to be cooked a little longer. Then I added the cooked noodles and tossed them all together. Added the Pad Thai sauce and evenly mixed it in with the noodles. I added the bean sprouts, green onion, then tofu to the noodles and again tossed them in the wok. When I tasted the complete dish the saltiness of the sauce disappeared. The Pad Thai all came together at the end. I did get a complaint later that it was a little too sweet, so I should have not added those 2 extra tablespoons of brown sugar.

Red Duck Soup

29 Jul

Eating out at an Asian restaurant I already know there is a limit to what I can order. For example, most of the items at a Chinese or Korean restaurant include entrees that are soy sauce based. Vietnamese and Thai  foods usually have peanuts sprinkled here and there. I’ve already experienced slim pickings so whenever someone bends over backwards to make sure they can serve you, I am really thankful.  Take this with a grain of salt, as I’m sure there are restaurants out there that will claim to not allow the allergens to co-mingle with your food but actually do allow it. A friend of mind shared a story with me about his cousin who was allergic to many foods. His cousin talked to the waitstaff and explained to them of her allergies. They said they would not use any of those ingredients, however when the food came and she took a bite, she immediately had an allergic reaction. I don’t know what happened and I’m sure these stories occur frequently.

Since I am not the one directly affected by allergies, I can only offer what I think is an amazing restaurant in my area that accommodates my diet. Every time I’ve come to order, the owner is very helpful in providing us with almost customized meals. She doesn’t rush us to order as she helps determine what entrees would be safe. Considering that she’s a busy person with many customers, her service is beyond A+. I’m talking about a tiny little restaurant off of San Mateo Ave called Thaiger Thai Kitchen. Before, this place was a “What’s UP Dog” hot dog stand that lasted a few months, and before that it was vacant for a long time. Their location is actually a little odd right in the outskirts of the auto mall. However, because of their delicious food and high Yelp reviews this place will probably be sticking around a lot longer – and that’s a good thing.

We’ve gotten their salmon and pumpkin curry in the past which our friends had today. My husband and I shared a duck and pineapple curry and we also had a stir-fry veggie dish (green and red bell peppers, stringbeans, tofu, garlic and fish sauce). The veggies dish is somewhat of a custom dish because they substituted fish sauce instead of using soy sauce. I remember the first time she suggested this dish she told us that it would be stinky. I laughed since I’m familiar with fish sauce and knew what she meant, however it was so delicious we asked for it again. It is good to know that there are restaurants who will listen and offer suggestions for making your diet work especially when the food tastes so good.

So what’s up with the title of this post, Red Duck Soup? Well we had red curry with duck tonight and it triggered a story – It’s actually an internal family joke that haunts my husband. When my husband (then boyfriend) came over to my parents for dinner one evening, my mom brought home some Chinese bbq pork and roasted duck. My mom tells him that she bought some duck. My husband having not eaten roasted duck before eats a piece, but wasn’t really into it. He takes a piece of the red meat next to it and really enjoys it. He tells us that the red duck is really good. We all look at him and wonder what he’s talking about since there is no red duck. We then realize he was talking about the Chinese bbq pork. So whenever we have bbq pork we call it red duck and laugh.