Monday, November 5, 2012

Shrimp Phad Thai and a Desert Weekend

We got our first big snow a couple weeks ago, and promptly loaded our bikes and tent in the car for the quick(ish) 3 1/2 hour drive to the desert of Moab, UT where the sun was shining and it was 70 degrees.  We rode the famous Slickrock Trail, as well as the popular (almost famous) UPS to LPS to Porcupine Rim shuttle route.  While Slickrock was fun, I loved the shuttle ride.  Maybe it was the 2 miles of climbing for 16 miles of downhill, or the lack of other riders, or the beautiful views of Castle Valley, but I would highly recommend it.

After our ride on Sunday, we stopped at the Thai restaurant in town for a very early dinner (5pm), and promptly devoured our HUGE servings in about 10 minutes before hitting the road.  Generally we are believers in slow food, but we were starving. My all time favorite Thai dish is Phad See Ew, but I have never found the wide rice noodles, so at home I tend to make Phad Thai.  

Castle Valley
I am not Thai, nor have I been to Thailand, so I am sure this recipe is not all that authentic.  I know it has more veggies than the traditional Phad Thai, but that is how I like it.  I think the sauce is fairly accurate, so you could omit the broccoli and pepper, and garnish with bean sprouts for a more "real" version.  Some Moab photos are at the end.

Shrimp Phad Thai

for the sauce:
  • 1 to 1.5 Tbsp. tamarind paste , to taste
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock*
  • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1.5 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sirracha
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 3-4 Tbsp. palm sugar OR brown sugar
  1. Place all ingredients in a cup and stir to dissolve both tamarind paste and sugar. At this point the sauce should taste strong.
  2. Use immediately, or store refrigerated up to 2 weeks.
  3. Makes enough for 1 batch of Phad Thai (below).
*you can substitute vegetable stock or water, just add ~1 TB oil to the sauce

Make the Phad Thai:
  • 6 oz Phad Thai Brown Rice Noodles
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup firm tofu, cubed
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound raw shrimp, tails and shells removed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 batch Phad Thai Sauce
  • Cilantro and lime for garnish
  1. Boil 2 quarts water and then remove from heat.  Place the noodles in the water until just limp but not fully cooked. Remove and set aside.
  2. While the water is boiling heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large saute pan or wok (this is one recipe that I use non-stick for).
  3. Add onion and a sprinkle of salt and stir until translucent (about 1-2 minutes).
  4. Push onions aside, and fry tofu until brown in the center of the pan.
  5. Add broccoli, red pepper and garlic, and cook 1-2 minutes.
  6. Push pan contents to 1 side and cook shrimp until beginning to turn pink.
  7. Push shrimp to side, and add the beaten egg.  Do not stir 1-2 minutes until beginning to cook through. Break up with your spoon and mix into rest of dish.
  8. Add the noodles and sauce and stir to combine.
  9. Reduce heat to low. Cover and steam until broccoli is soft and noodles are tender 1-2 minutes.
  10. Serve garnished with cilantro and a wedge of lime.

Slickrock Trail and the La Sal Mountains

Thanks Kristi for the ride in your sweet VW

Castle Valley View from UPS
The Rim

Riding Porcupine

Headed to the river
Finish of Porcupine Rim

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