I love Thai food…I typically do not order Pad Thai because I am not a real fan of peanuts/peanut butter. So, it got me thinking…could I come up with a recipe for Pad Thai that uses my favorite nut…cashews. Yes…yes I did…and it is amazing! It’s funny because I went through my pantry and fridge and actually came up with a sauce from all of the asian condiments I already had on hand.
You know I am all about cooking more at home. Once you make this recipe, you may never order Pad Thai in any restaurant ever again…well, at least that’s my goal! A few things to note about this recipe:
- You will want to prep all of the ingredients before you start cooking…the cooking process is rather quick…have everything at the ready
- Use whatever protein you wish…I used chicken and shrimp…you can substitute/add tofu
- I made this cashew-based…if you like the more traditional peanut-based recipe…go for it
- I have a total dislike for green onions…if you love them…put them in
- Use your favorite veggies…I used red bell pepper and bean sprouts…
- The sauce ingredients are key to this recipe…so I would try not to substitute…all of these ingredients can be found at your local grocery store
- Use a wok…it makes for a quicker cook/sear…I used this one from All-Clad
What you need:
- 2 boneless chicken breasts (sliced very thin) (I used Springer Mountain Farms Chicken available from The Carolina Meat & Fish Co.
- 6 large peeled/deveined, tail-on shrimp (or 12 small)
- olive oil
- 1/2 pound rice noodles (prepare according to directions…will talk more about this later) (I used the brand, A Taste of Thai)
- 1 red bell pepper (cut into very thin strips)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 to 2 C bean sprouts
- 2 beaten eggs
- 1/3 to 1/2 C chopped unsalted cashews (I only had salted, so I rinsed and dried them)
- fresh cilantro
- lime wedges
For the sauce:
- 2 TBLS soy sauce
- 2 TBLS cashew butter, I used this one from Trader Joe’s
- 1 TBLS peanut butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- juice of one lime
- 2 TBLS fish sauce
- 2 TBLS rice vinegar
- 2 tsp chili paste (add more for additional heat)
- few dashes of white pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
START soaking your noodles first according to the package directions. I found that I had to soak mine a bit longer than the directions. I actually changed the water once…it probably took about 30 minutes…I would probably heat up water on the stove the next time…hot tap water did not seem “hot” enough. You want to get them to just under done…they will cook a bit more in the sauce.
Whisk together all ingredients for the sauce and set aside. Beat your two eggs in a bowl and set aside as well.
Heat up to medium-high a tablespoon of olive oil in a wok. Add your sliced chicken and allow to cook through…transfer to plate and reserve. Add a touch more olive oil and cook your shrimp until they are no longer translucent and turn pink. Transfer to plate when finished.
Add a touch more olive oil to the pan. Add the red bell pepper (or other veggies of your choice…not the sprouts) along with the garlic/shallots. Stir fry for about one to two minutes…do NOT burn your garlic/shallots. Stir often. Add in the beaten eggs and stir so as to scramble.
Add the reserved sauce and noodles to the pan. Be sure to rinse your noodles prior to adding to the stir fry pan. Stir to coat and allow to cook a few minutes. Add the shrimp, chicken and bean sprouts to the pan and allow to heat up. Toss in the cashews…reserve a tablespoon for topping on the finished dish.
Plate in big bowls with fresh lime wedges and top with chopped cashews and fresh chopped cilantro! ENJOY!