The Best Pad Thai Recipe. Ever.

Pad Thai at Home

After years of testing and trying, I’ve finally found it! The perfect, best, most fail-proof pad thai recipe. This is a major feat, as it’s easy to mess up authentic Thai cooking at home, especially for someone like me who did not grow up in a Thai home. I’m learning this stuff as I go along. My brother Eric and I had the Summer of Pad Thai back in 2011, when we attempted SO many versions and nothing seemed to turn out just right. It was the noodles that caused the most trouble. And Eric is a chef who went to years of culinary school! You’d think he would be the ideal accomplice. But pad thai stumped us both.

NOT ANYMORE, thanks to this recipe! We’re talking something that anyone can make, right in their own kitchen. You might have to run around the Asian markets to pick up all the ingredients, but it’s well worth it. Then, as long as you have a hot stovetop and a big skillet, you’re in business.

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Of course, credit where credit is due. I did not come up with this awesome tutorial and recipe. Leela from one of my favorite food blogs, She Simmers, did. Everything she writes is great, but this recipe in particular is SO thorough and SO well executed. The result? No gloppy noodles, nothing overcooked, nothing undercooked. A perfect sauce that isn’t too spicy, too sweet, too salty – just the best mix of all the Thai flavor profiles.

Pad Thai Homemade Vertical

And in case you were wondering, no, She Simmers did not solicit this shout-out whatsoever! (Trust me, she wouldn’t need to be begging us for publicity, psshhh. Her site is super popular and she published a wonderful cookbook.) I just wanted to give the world a piece of my mind… and some pics of my beautiful pad thai.

So, are you ready for a project with a VERY delicious and pride-inducing result? Check out her tutorial here! This is part five (I told you it was thorough) but it links to the first four parts throughout the intro. So be sure to go through and read them all and watch her video before attempting!

Pad Thai Homemade Vertical 2

If you try this (or any!) pad thai recipe and have great success (or great failure, for that matter) I’d love to hear about it! Or do you have any other go-to pad thai recipes ES should try? Let us know!

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Seared Tuna with Ginger-Wasabi Stirfry

Seared Tuna with Ginger Wasabi Vegetables

For some reason making seared tuna at home is impressive to people. I mean, I get it, seared tuna is a somewhat “fancy” thing you’d order at a restaurant, but here’s a secret: it’s SO simple (and usually more inexpensive) to prepare in your own kitchen. I promise. This recipe looks good and tastes even better, and if you have guests over they’ll be wowed. Only you have to know the truth: seared tuna takes about 6 minutes to make and is virtually fool-proof.

Tropical Seared Tuna with Ginger-Wasabi Stirfry

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Slow Cooker Ginger-Honey Chicken

Slow Cooker Ginger Honey Chicken

I can’t believe it took me so long to blog this ginger honey chicken dish, because it was SO GOOD. While winter is in its last gasps I encourage everyone to make and enjoy this super-easy slow cooker recipe. As with all the best slow cooker situations, it’s quick to prep, makes your house smell delicious, and seems like you put waaaay more work into it than you actually did. Score, score, and score.

Slow Cooker Ginger-Honey Chicken

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Ultimate Crab Rangoon Dip with Wonton Chips

Crab Rangoon Crock Pot Dip

We threw a holiday party last night and I wanted to make something a little different, and also wanted to use my new-ish crock pot so I wouldn’t have to stand over the stove while we had people over. While brainstorming about my favorite drunk foods, I realized I wanted to make crab rangoon, or even easier, reverse crab rangoon aka a crab rangoon dip. (If dip counts as “reverse,” not sure, you know what I mean.)

A quick search on the ol’ internet taught me that I was not the first person to think of a crab rangoon dip, but a lot of the recipes from Pinterest just seemed a little basic (in the purest sense of the word). Crab, cream cheese, basically done. I attempted to elevate mine to the next level by incorporating more Asian ingredients and baking my own wonton chips, which is actually incredibly easy. This dip was devoured at my party. It’s perfect for a big gathering of boozy friends, say, your own holiday or new year’s party?

Ultimate Crab Rangoon Dip with Wonton Chips

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It’s Braised Meat Season: Celebrate with Short Ribs

Braised Beef Short Ribs_Bibigo

Fall is a time for feasting upon braised meat, that is a fact I think we can all agree upon. I’m a big fan of short ribs in particular – when done right, they’re so tender and decadent. Short ribs might seem a little intimidating if you’ve never cooked them before, but they’re really not. Same with this recipe shared to us from our friends at Bibigo – you might be like, “Galbijjim?! What the what?!” but if you just follow along with their instructions, it’s easy! And have you tasted Korean style short ribs? They’re absolutely delicious and a great vacation from your more typical fall beef flavors. Case closed.

Korean Braised Beef Short Ribs

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‘Lite’ At the End of the Tunnel

udon5

I’m faced with a dilemma; I live in a land of unbelievable bounty and choice, where an unlimited supply of fresh, affordable and tantalizing food options are available to me 24 hours a day, every day. My car has been transformed into an International Travel Pod, where once exotic and labor-intensive meals and delicacies are now just an arms-length away from my driver’s side window. I merely have to voice my meal mandate out loud in front of a brightly colored menu board full of photographic representations of my deepest food desires. Why, I can even ‘supersize’ my choices, all while sitting comfortably behind the wheel listening to the harmonic melodies of my own choosing.

Up ahead a smiling face awaits at an open window delicately holding my expertly prepared and lovingly wrapped meal, which they conveniently stowed in a festive paper bag. After a quick monetary exchange I’m handed my culinary travel clutche and a tall, cool waxed paper vat of sweet, sweet liquid. “Adios” I reply to my Spanish compadre-in-white. And even before I can merge into traffic my fingers are seeking out one of those golden fried sticks of masterly salted carbohydrates and starch.

Ah, yes. What’s a fat bastard to do?

Man, I am pathetic! I don’t remember what happened to me and my relationship with food but at some point I totally bought in to the  slogans and catch phrases that tell me I deserved it, I’m worth it and that it tastes soooo good! A 1220-calorie Deluxe Breakfast? “I’m loving it!” A 1090-calorie Mesquite Chicken sub? “Mmmm…toasty!” A 590-calorie pack of French fries? “It’s Way Better Than Fast Food!”

I’m to the point now where I call my bib overalls my ‘skinny jeans.’

So it’s back to the lighter fare in this column. I know that it’s not what you eat but how much you eat, however that doesn’t help when I’m making a meal and it turns out so good that before I know it I’m eating it right out of the serving dish and I look up to see my dinner guests sitting around the table staring at me in disbelief. (My friends call it ‘Dinner and a Show!’)

So here it is ESers; a tasty low-cal meal that’s healthy and good for you. Just remember, this serves 6. That doesn’t mean dinner in 6 acts, it means dinner for 6 people or 6 different meals. Just do as I say and not as I do and you’ll be squeezing back into your XXLs in no time! Enjoy.

Katt’s “Now That’s Using Your Noodle” Udon bowl

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Ridiculously Easy (and Awesome) Broccoli Stir Fry

Easy Broccoli Stir Fry

As anyone who has had the “luck” to be around me recently could tell you, I’m about to go on vacation! To Europe. I’m pumped. I haven’t been out of the country for three years (except Mexico, which hardly counts) so the anticipation is killing me. Know what else is killing me? My finances. Iceland and the UK are not exactly cheap, especially since I’ll want to live it up while I’m traveling, so I’ve been trying really hard not to burn through my money at restaurants and bars as usual. For some people this might not be much of a feat, but for me it’s extremely difficult, since those two types of establishments represent the cornerstone of my social life. Sigh.

So that leaves me to do a lot of cooking at home, which I also love of course, but groceries can really add up as well. In the past couple weeks I’ve really been focusing on simple, healthy meals at home. It’s kind of a fun challenge; how can I make not-really-boring dinners for my boyfriend Rob and I while still staying on, if not under, my travel savings budget? (At least I try to tell myself it’s “fun.” Once again… sigh.) Anyway, this is beginning to sound like the intro to Rachael Ray’s $40 a Day or something, so let’s just get to the point.

One solution I’ve been really into lately is the stir fry. Cheap and healthy, this meal has become a mainstay in our household, and I’ve practically perfected my recipe. It’s easy, quick, and tastes absolutely awesome. If you’re unfamiliar with any of these ingredients, just (a) check out your local Asian market, and if you don’t have a local Asian market, (b) check out the ethnic and/or health food section of your grocery store.

Ridiculously Easy Broccoli Stir Fry

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