Our next #adventurous meal is #PadThai! The biggest difficulty in making good Pad Thai is that all of the ingredients must be added to a hot cooking pan in a very short period of time, or else some ingredients will overcook. So there is a lot of preparation that must be done ahead of time, before you even turn on the stove. The preparation that will take the most time (but not effort) is the rice noodles, so we will start with that.
In case you aren’t familiar with cooking rice noodles (or rice sticks, as the packaging may call it), they are very different from your typical wheat flour pasta. Texture, taste, and shape are the more obvious distinctions, but they must also be prepared very differently. For our Pad Thai, we made sure to buy dried Banh Pho rice noodles.
Boiling water is too violent for rice noodles, which are much more delicate than other pastas. Instead, you use lukewarm water for a longer period of time. Fill a large bowl or pot with your noodles first, then add warm tap water until they are completely submerged. Set it aside, because you’re going to leave it for about 40 minutes while you handle other preparation, or until the noodles feel flexible but still extra al dente. That is to say, the noodles will easily bend, but will still feel too hard to eat. This is because the noodles will continue cooking when you fry them later, so you don’t want to fully cook them now.