Pad Thai is on my list of things to make some day. I love ordering it when we’re dining out but haven’t been quite bold enough to try to make it on my own. It looked too complicated. Which means I’m just so lazy that I haven’t looked up how to make it. It probably isn’t really difficult to make real Pad Thai.
When I ran across a recipe for Pad Thai Soup on the Domestic Fits site, I was intrigued. It’s soup weather here, and that fit our seasonal menu. And then of course I’d always wanted to try making Pad Thai, so there was that too. I decided to make it for dinner one weekend.
My soup making became way more complicated when I told my P.S. (Pantry Stuffer/hubby) that I needed a chicken. I told him I wanted a stewing chicken to throw in a pot and make broth, then use the chicken for a couple of recipes. He opened the fridge, rummaged on a lower shelf then showed me a huge whole chicken. “You mean one like this?” he asked. Apparently he’d anticipated my request in a supernatural way and we already owned a chicken. I apparently had not rummaged through the fridge recently.
I put the chicken in a big soup pot, covered it with water, and let it cook on medium for 1 ½ hours. It bubbled along and steamed up my windows so I didn’t have to look out and see the blizzard going on outside. I forget which one it was; as of this writing we’ve had 5 blizzards this year. They name them and the next one will be an “F”. I don’t make this stuff up, I just joke about it. It’s how we survive.
When the chicken was falling apart done, I removed it from the pot and placed it on a plate to cool. It looked like the chicken lost the battle and I won. The meat came of the bone easily.
I lined my fine strainer with cheesecloth to get an even finer strain, and poured the broth through it. I got about 3 quarts of broth out of it and returned about 1 ½ quarts (8 cups) to my washed soup pot. I refrigerated the remaining broth for another use.
In my large nonstick skillet on medium high I drizzled some oil and sautéed my diced onions, red peppers, celery, garlic and carrot until onion was translucent. It was maybe 4-5 minutes.
I added the veggies to the broth along with the seasonings. I diced up half of one breast, a leg and a thigh worth of dark meat, then added them to the soup.
When the soup came to a boil I added the rice noodles and let them cook until fairly al dente, about 6 minutes. As in all noodle soups, the noodles kept absorbing liquid and although we ate it as soup with broth that evening, the leftovers had no broth because the noodles had sucked it all up. The leftovers were more like Pad Thai which was fine with me, but the noodles did fall apart easily.
When the rice noodles are done to al dente check for seasoning, and add salt and pepper to taste. I added salt twice because my homemade stock wasn’t salty.
The soup was amazing, and just like Pad Thai! We loved the flavors, and with the chopped cilantro, crushed peanuts and lime juice garnishes it was heaven in our mouths. I used different sprouts, not wanting to go out in the blizzard to get mung bean sprouts. The canned sprouts were a passable substitute.
I even liked the bite of heat from the red pepper flakes. I cut the amount in half because I didn’t want to be spitting fire for the rest of the evening. I’m a wimp that way. I also omitted the sriracha sauce, and advised my P.S. he could add it to his serving if he desired. He said it was fine as is.
A few days later we fought over the leftovers; I won.
Pad Thai Soup
1 Tablespoon oil
1 small red bell pepper; thin strips
1 rib celery; thinly sliced
1 carrot; thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic; crushed (I used a teaspoon of garlic powder and added it to the soup pot)
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups diced chicken
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I used ¼ teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon sriracha (if desired; I omitted)
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
4 ounces rice noodles
1 cup bean sprouts (fresh, not canned; I used canned due to the blizzard)
2 tablespoons cilantro; chopped
2 tablespoons roasted peanuts; crushed
1/4 cup green onions; chopped
Heat chicken stock in a small soup pot.
In a nonstick skillet, add oil and heat to medium high; saute onions, peppers, celery, garlic and carrot until onion is just translucent, about 4 minutes. Add veggies to soup pot.
Add chicken and seasonings to soup pot and bring to a boil.
Add rice noodles and cook over medium heat until they are al dente, about 5-6 minutes.
Taste test for salt and pepper, adding if desired.
Serve hot topped with bean sprouts, cilantro, green onions and crushed peanuts with wedges of lime.