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Archive for April 22nd, 2009

I <3 Pad Thai

I think eggplant is the shizznit of the veggie world.  I mean seriously, can you think of a more awesome veggie?  Butternut squash is probably close but I’m not sure it can take the crown.

Anyway, we make pad thai almost every week, and usually I stick to the typical random mixed frozen veggies.   But today I thought I should try out some of my favorite purple veggie, the eggplant.  It was FLIPPIN delicious!!!  The pictures don’t do my tastebuds justice.  If you like pad thai but generally find yourself screwed to find a veggie version in a restaurant, do try this.  The sauce is a work in progress but it seems to taste better every time I make it.

Instructions:

Soak 8-9oz of rice noodles in hot water for 30-60 minutes.  Refer to package for appropriate time if needed.

Slice the eggplant and sprinkle with salt.  Let sit for about 30 minutes to extract the bitter juices and then rinse.  Cut the eggplant into small chunks.  I used about 3/5 to 3/4 of a smallish eggplant.  There was more eggplant than noodles (as I only had about half of the noodles) but that’s how I like it.

Heat some oil in a wok or large skillet on medium-high to high heat.  Once hot, add the eggplant and cook for about 45 seconds.  Add noodles, baby spinach (if using), and sauce (below).  Mix well and fry it up for a minute or two until everything seems well coated and somewhat glossy (you don’t want the sauce to be runny).  Transfer to a plate and try not to burn your mouth since you won’t be able to wait until it cools!

For da sauce:

1/4 C tamarind concentrate
1/2 C H2O
1-2 T turbinado sugar
1 big heaping table spoon (like the kind you would eat soup with) of peanut butter – use chunky if you like the peanut pieces
1 T fish sauce (or oyster flavored sauce to make it vegan)
1 T rice vinegar
1 T soy sauce
1 T lime or lemon juice (both taste good so whatever your preference)
1/2 T garlic powder (or 1-2 cloves)
1/2 T onion powder (or 1/2 onion)
1/2 T chili paste (I use this stuff)

If you’re using actual onion and garlic, saute them over medium heat for a few minutes until they become soft. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until mixed through.  I typically do it this way but lately I’ve realized that onion likes to hold a grudge against me so I’ve been using powder.

If you’re using onion and garlic powder, just mix everything together and nuke it for about 40 seconds so the PB dissolves.

*Makes about 1&1/2 C of sauce, enough for about 8-9oz of noodles plus veggies (or chicken if you swing that way).

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Haven’t posted anything in awhile as I’ve been awash in homework lately and can’t seem to find much time to breath, or to do any other vitally important function I typically do when able, like blogging.  The homework horizon still seems somewhat far away, like 6 weeks most likely, but hopefully things will start balancing themselves out.

Anyway, I will say that this morning I got to witness a bus driver actually asking somebody to remove themselves from the bus as they stank to high heavens.  It sounds kinda funny but the smell was really, really bad; like been 2 – 3 weeks since a shower kind of bad.  In all honesty it’s sad that such a situation occurs in this day and age as there’s no real reason anyone should be without the resources we all consider standard.  But perhaps the guy actually chose not to shower and then it’s a whole other ball game.  I can smell myself after a 6 mile run; there’s no way in hell this guy hadn’t had a whiff of himself.  Just another day on the ole public transportation I guess!

I also gave blood today (been busy, I told you!).  I now have a slightly unbendable arm with a bright blue apendage wrapped around the elbow.  If you don’t currenlty give blood because you are lazy or a wimp you should sit yourself in a corner for 10 minutes and put on a dunce hat.  After that you should go online and schedule an appointment to save a life!  There always seems to be a never ending shortage of blood for people who need transfusions and what not and this shortage seems entirely unncessary to me, being that we have oodles of people running around the world who are more than able to donate.  It’s doesn’t hurt much at all and only takes an hour or so.  So get goin! =)

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