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Thanks for visiting Sauce du Jour. Feel free to share a great recipe, leave a comment, or make me dinner. I'll bring hors d' oeuvres and the wine! To visit my website go to Thanks for visiting the Sauce ~Tammi

Nov 25, 2013

Fish Heads, Asian Farts and Pad Thai

I recently went to an Asian market in Denver (Little Saigon) and stepping through the door was like stepping into another country ~ a dirty Asian country, complete with flies and food that I couldn't identify. The place smelled like ass. (Did everyone in here just simultaneously fart? I wondered.
     And there were fish heads. Yes...a big bucket of fish heads and people were buying them. Why? I have no idea. I'm sure there are recipes out there but not one that I am willing to make. Pass the sushi please, but no fish heads. Ewwwww!

Near the fish heads was the meat counter and all it took was one glance and a whiff to get me to do an about face.  I couldn't even look at what was hanging there. I was afraid I'd be grossed out and never eat dog again. Just kidding!!! You know I love dogs. They taste like chicken. I'M KIDDING!!!  I love my dogs more than I even like most people and I'm saving a kidney for Elvis, just in case. Honestly I would chew my own arm off before I'd eat a dog. I'll just shut up now..........

Side note:  I should mention that I was in the store because I was on a quail egg mission. I needed them for my next cooking class, in which bacon is the feature ingredient. (Bacon. Bacon and eggs, bacon and quail eggs!) As we speak I have about eighty, yes 8-0 (crazy I know!) of them in my refrigerator. More about that later, but I will tell you that I have been loving up on quail eggs lately. 

But this is about Pad while The Big Guy and I were browsing the aisles and aisles of food that we couldn't identity, I said something like, hey I should make Pad Thai.
     The Big Guy is a Pad Thai connoisseur and confession to make: I had never made it for him. I once sent him and Mikey on a Pad Thai grocery shopping mission here in Hickville, but since they couldn't even score the rice noodles let alone the tamarind paste or bean sprouts, my Pad Thai ambitions died a quick death.Think fish heads.

But here I was in Asian heaven, which by the way smells like hell, and I got the ingredients I needed plus a bottle of Pad Thai sauce just in case I screwed it up while trying to make a homemade version.
     Funny thing; I picked up a bottle of what I thought may be Pad Thai sauce but I couldn't read the label because it was written in Pad...or Thai...or something...but not English.  I asked the mean looking checker if the bottle in my hand was Pad Thai sauce. She spoke about enough English to tell ME to read the label.  Huh? We stood there, having a stare-down contest. A Mexican standoff with an Asian. Can that happen? Ruuuuuude!

Back in the kitchen at the Know-It-All's house I prepared to make this dish. I know that Pad Thai is typically garnished with chopped peanuts and most recipes don't call for peanut butter in the sauce but The Know-It-All and I made the executive decision to add peanut butter to our sauce, mostly because she adds PB to about everything.  It was a good call. 
     Don't worry if the peanut butter doesn't incorporate very well when you whisk it in because once it's heated up it will all come together.

The first night my sauce was a little too thick and didn't have quite enough bite. Probably because at the last minute I wimped out and added some of the store bought stuff to my concoction. 

A quitter I am not. The next night I tackled it again, this time adding some garlic chile sauce (sambal oelek for heat and flavor) and after some tweaking I think I came up with a pretty good version. My official taste-testers (Mike, Karen, and Big) were transported right to Thailand, minus the flies, fish heads and pigs blood.

I'm a sucker for the produce section so I also picked up some funky Thai and Japanese eggplant and some baby bok choy. I roasted it and served it on the side.

Don't be put off by the slightly long list of ingredients in this recipe....most are staples and it comes together rather quickly. I knocked this dish out after driving 400 miles, unloading a car full of groceries (and shoes), thawing out chicken and shrimp, and we ate dinner by 8:00 PM.  What did you just call me? Superwoman?  Into the microphone please!  

Ultimate Pad Thai (a combo of beef, pork chicken and shrimp) from Rhumb Lines, our favorite St. John restaurant is Big's most loved Pad Thai and it is the bar by which all Pad Thai that we eat, is measured. Here is a shot of their dish. Whatcha think?  Mine's prettier is what I think. Just sayin'.

The main thing to remember when making Pad Thai is that you want to taste sweet, spicy, salty and that order. The sweet being the sugar, the spicy comes from the chile sauce, the salty from the fish sauce and finally the sour is from the tamarind.  Adjust your measurements as needed to get to that order of  taste.

So if you live anywhere near a good or even a bad Asian market pick up some rice noodles, tamarind paste, palm sugar, then whip up some margaritas and try this dish at home. Click here, on the "Pasta" tab . It was pretty bueno! Olé!


  1. Love it - sounds great - and as for dog - Boshintongue - yep, ate it in is eaten as a substitute for viagra....

    1. Stick with the viagra Billybob.....and give the dog a bone.