One of the time-of-times in a sad superstitious old man’s life is approaching. My youngest is preparing to emigrate. She has finished the formal part of her education and wants to spread her wings. This is not a lucky time for me. So I suspect that it’s appropriate that number thirteen in this series is a meal that she has begged me to cook as one of her departure treats. It’s my take on seafood-free Pad Thai or ‘Dad Thai’ to take it for my own. The ingredients are all in the photo above. For superstition’s sake, there are fourteen.
The ingredients list is as long as my list of reasons why Youngest should not fly the coop.
Dad Thai Ingredients
- 7 or 8 chicken thighs
- Rice noodles for 6
- 6 to 8 spring onions
- 2 chilis
- 3 limes (2 for juicing, 1 for serving)
- 4 eggs
- 1 handful of coriander (cilantro)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons of tamarind paste
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- 2 big handfuls of bean sprouts (the quantity is approximate)
- 1 big handful of peanuts (the quantity again approximate)
- 2 tablespoons of peanut oil
Sink the rice noodles in a big bowl of cold water. They will take about half an hour to soften enough for cooking. Don’t boil them or they will get too soft. Soft like me, when it comes to Youngest. Heat the wok and add half the peanut oil. Fry the chicken until cooked in the wok. Let it cool and slice to into small strips.
All the ingredients need to be sliced, one way or another.
Slice the spring onions into 3 cm (1 inch) slices.
Roughly crush the peanuts.
Mix the lime juice, tamarind, fish sauce and sugar.
Get all your prepared ingredients and line them up beside the stove. Things start to happen quickly from now. Whip the eggs. Heat some oil in a wok and pour in the eggs.
Work fast at this stage.
Take the eggs off the heat while they are still half-cooked. Add the rest of the oil and then start to fry the ginger. As soon as the aromas rise, add the spring onions. Add the chilli and stir until the colours get very vibrant. Add the noodles. Add the liquid mixture. Stir to combine. Add the chicken strips. Stir.
Add the egg, the bean sprouts and the peanuts.
Stir to combine. Finally, add the coriander.
Give it a last stir to combine and then serve it immediately with a lime wedge or two on the side. I served it with a glass of non alcoholic ginger beer. Perfect paring and best not to be taking to the bottle what with my Youngest leaving home….
I don’t want to seem too bitter about Youngest departing. We have Skype, Face Time, Facebook, Google+ hangouts, email, the telephone and even post cards to help keep us in touch. Lucky to have her as a daughter. Lucky to see her spreading her wings. Not so lucky to miss out on dinner ideas like this one. I might just have to persuader her to stay. Perhaps if I break down in tears and beg….