I finally made phad thai from scratch last night.
It was an interesting experience.
Not only did it take close to an hour to find the ingredients in Cold Storage, but the cooking portion was quite "colorful" too.
First off, while shopping for the ingredients, we had to ask an employee to help us because we couldn't find anything other than the bean sprouts.
Lesson learned: Palm sugar is "gula malaka" and tamarind is "asam paste". Thank goodness that guy could understand our American accent. It seems that the Malay word is always preferred over the English word when labeling foods in Singapore supermarkets. (Also to note, I've never seen "Bok Choy" in Singapore. They have it, but I have no idea what the Malay word is that they use to label it. I'm also not worried enough to Google it.)
It makes sense to use the Malay words, in retrospect, considering a large number of the population here is from Malaysia. I just wish I'd thought to look up those words before we left.
To figure out how to cook this dish, I found a very helpful YouTube video that teaches Westerners how to make it at home. However, some of the ingredients in the video were a little different than the ones we found.
It wasn't a big deal though.
You know what was a big deal?
The stench that cooking phad thai produces in your kitchen.
It smelled of things that I can't even discuss on a family friendly blog such as this.
And it was totally the fish sauce's fault.
I now totally get why they don't have air conditioning in kitchens in Singapore. After cooking with something like that, you have to open a window to keep from gagging.
It smells something retched and dead.
On a more positive note, the finished phad thai tasted really good despite the nose-killing fog in the kitchen. Once it was finished and removed from that area, it didn't stink at all. It even tasted very close to the yumminess we had in Thailand.
It was surprisingly good, even considering that some American chick made it.
I don't know if I can handle a kitchen that smells like that. If I had people over for dinner and they smelled that, they'd run and hide. This may just have to be one of those dishes that we order in.
Please God, let there be somewhat decent phad thai in Kansas.
6 months ago