Right now, I’m done with day two of final exams. Counting them all up, there are seven exams total. I’ve done four of them already and am mentally tired–tired of studying, reading notes, looking at questions. I can’t wait for noon this Friday.
Today we had an endodontic marathon: the written and lab exams. The written went okay; the lab made me sweat bullets. Well, mostly the instructor for our row, who is also our grader, made me sweat bullets. He’s a very nice guy, very knowledgeable, and actually doesn’t grade hard, but he’s very particular before signing you off for anything and it’s hard to guess what he’s thinking. (Usually I’m imagining that he thinks I’m doing something dumb, but I’m pretty sure this is just my head playing games with me.) Thankfully I finished the lab exam, a root canal on an upper front tooth, with half an hour to spare. Phew!
During times of stress like, oh, a week long of exams, I find myself hungry. Often. It must be my body trying to cope with the stress. I’ve found that a decent substitute for food grazing all day is to instead look at websites and pictures of good food.
Last week, Andrew’s younger brother Arthur was visiting. Since he was a student missionary in Thailand for a year and I was looking for some reason not to study during a day off, I offered to make some pad thai.
When Arthur was overseas, I went along with his family to go visit. While there, I had my first taste of street pad thai. I finally realized what all the fuss was about and fell in love with it. Previously, I never cared for it, but it’s because it’s just made differently in the States, even by those who are Thai. On the other hand, after having pad thai in Thailand, my opinion has changed dramatically–so much so that I’d be willing to fly to Thailand just to travel around and eat food from all over the country. (I’d do the same for Indonesia and be happy, too.)
Long story short, pad thai is awesome, wonderful, tasty.
After getting back home, I found myself ordering this noodle dish whenever we’d go to a Thai restaurant only to be disappointed time and time again. I started looking for pad thai recipes online and just couldn’t find any that described it right.
Until I ran across Chez Pim’s recipe.
After reading her very detailed explanation, I knew I had to try it. And really? Making pad thai is pretty easy. The only thing that is hard to do is all the prep work, but that’s only because it takes a long time.
What I like to do is make the sauce ahead of time and pour it into an old squeeze bottle. This makes it’s easy for adding to the noodles as I go along. (Another bonus: it lasts for a long time in the fridge.) There are few other things I do differently from the recipe: I just use any ol’ skillet and it works just fine; I use olive oil for the fat; I’ll substitute part or all of the fish sauce for soy sauce; since I haven’t the slightest idea where to find flat-leaf garlic chives, I use green onions instead.
After heating up the oil in the pan, add the not-quite-done rice noodles that were soaking in hot water and stir until the oil coats everything.
Adding the sauce comes next. Stir till it coats all the noodles.
Push the noodles over to the side. Crack an egg, let it sit for a while, then stir to mix it in.
Next comes the bean sprouts,
ground peanuts, chili flakes,
and finally the green onions and a bit of cilantro.
When I’m done with the pan and the food is on a plate, I always add more cilantro and squeeze copious amounts of lime on my serving of pad thai.
After making it the first time a few years ago, I realized this is the closest it’ll ever get to the street pad thai I had overseas. I used to make it with tofu but have since become too lazy to fry it. Nowadays, I just heap on the bean sprouts and other fillers.
I….I think I just might have to make pad thai again real soon.
Well, after final exams are over.