cabbage chicken pad thai.

Cabbage Pad Thai_QuinnsPlace-6.jpg

it’s technically like a no-noodle chicken cabbage pad thai curry, but i didn’t wanna throw you off with a weird long title.

also - super almost vegan (just remove chicken & use alt fish sauce) and super customizable in the veggie or protein department!

Cabbage Pad Thai_QuinnsPlace-11.jpg

AND… best news ever:

i finally figured out the missing flavor in homemade thai dishes that i’ve been searching for FOR-EV-ER.

i have made thai curries at home over and over and over, adding one new ingredient at a time that i always think will be THE ONE missing link, but it’s never been quite right…

Cabbage Pad Thai_QuinnsPlace-8.jpg

until now.

i have found it. this is the one.

LIME LEAVES, PEOPLE.

lime leaves.

i should have freakin known. there’s a whole thing in that movie no reservations with catherine zeta jones where she’s a chef and she hauls her chef boyfriend all over town looking for her signature secret ingredient - which ended up being kaffir lime leaves.

i knew it somewhere deep in my head.

Cabbage Pad Thai_QuinnsPlace-3.jpg

i was actually buying thai basil at the store and admiring these edible flowers. i noticed the box of “lime leaves,” took one sniff and i knew that was the flavor i’ve been searching for.

i pretty much ran home and made this right away. i was so excited to discover how much flavor lime leaves give off when you steep them in coconut milk. it’s such a specific taste and it really makes your homemade thai dishes extra legit.

Cabbage Pad Thai_QuinnsPlace-4.jpg

this is kind of a “curry” recipe because it has the base of a thai curry - then you add a TON of freshly shredded cabbage which soaks up all the coconut milk and all the salty curry flavors to become noodley! and then voila, it is a cabbage pad thai with ALL the right flavors.

at thai restaurants, pete & i usually order panang curry & chicken pad thai - and i always end up mixing them together a bit, so this recipe is kinda like that idea!

the tenderized cabbage actually does a pretty good impression of noodles in this form. i was so pleasantly surprised! just don’t over cook them so they keep a little bit of that al dente crunch & chewy factor.

plz don’t be intimidated by the ingredients list - you can do itttttt. and once you buy all the thai flavors/spices/jars of various things (fish sauce & red curry paste are just staples around here now!), you’ll be making thai food for daaaays.

think of them as a homemade thai food investment.

No-Noodle Cabbage Chicken Pad Thai

Serves 2-4

Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large chicken breast, thawed & filleted

  • red chili flakes, salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil.

  • 2 cloves or 1 TB garlic, minced

  • 2 TB fresh ginger, minced (or Gourmet Garden Ginger paste)

  • 1 TB Gourmet Garden Lemongrass paste, optional

  • 2 tsp. tamarind concentrate

  • 1 TB fish sauce

  • 1 1/2 TB. Thai red curry paste

  • 6-8 lime leaves, whole or ripped in half

  • 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk

  • 2 heaping cups green cabbage, thinly shredded with mandoline

  • 2 heaping cups purple cabbage, thinly shredded with mandoline

  • 1/2 a red bell pepper, seeded & sliced

  • 1/2 a green bell pepper, seeded & sliced

  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets, optional

  • mung bean sprouts

  • fresh Thai basil, lots!

  • 1/4 cup peanuts, chopped

  • 1 lime

  • fresh mint or cilantro, optional

Instructions -

Using a mandoline, shred the green & purple cabbage until you have at least 2 heaping cups of each. It should be about half a head of each cabbage. Shred or cut it to about the thickness of noodles (not too thin or the cabbage might get soggy).

In a large pan, cook the chicken breast in 1 TB olive oil and garlic on medium heat, seasoning with salt, pepper, and red chili flakes for spice. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and allow it to rest on a cutting board before slicing.

In the same pan with the chicken & garlic remnants, add the sliced chicken back into the pan with fresh ginger, lemongrass paste (optional), tamarind concentrate, and red curry paste. Toss well to coat. (***Note: If you’re making this recipe using real noodles instead, cut down the salts by half [salt & fish sauce]. There’s extra sodium here to compensate for the large quantity of raw cabbage.)

Add 1 whole can of coconut milk to the pan and stir. Drop in all the lime leaves and some Thai basil to steep as it simmers on medium/low.

Prepare & slice the remaining veggies, herbs, and toppings.

Toss half of the green & purple cabbage in the coconut milk to coat. The liquid should thicken and become almost gravy-like. Add the remaining cabbage, bell peppers, and broccoli, if using. Toss everything to coat using tongs until the cabbage has tenderized and resembles the consistency of noodles. The liquid from the pan should mostly be soaked up into the cabbage “noodles” when it is ready to eat. You may remove the lime leaves before eating if desired - they are pretty tough to chew.

Divide into servings and top with lots of fresh Thai basil, mung bean sprouts, lime wedges & chopped peanuts. Optional: fresh mint, cilantro, or edible flowers for garnish.

Serve immediately and enjoy leftovers within 1-2 days.

Cabbage Pad Thai_QuinnsPlace-10.jpg

qp

cold & crunchy hot sesame noodles.

with a soft boiled egg!

it's the first day of summmerrrrrrrrrrrrr. yayyyyeeeeeeeeeee!

even though it's mostly still cloudsville in seattle washington, it is officially summer and a cold & flavorful noodle salad always sounds SO refreshing in the summertime. 

i must say that i've never felt deeper regret for forgetting an ingredient............OF COURSE this recipe NEEDS SESAME SEEDS. ugh what a dummy i am.

the amount of guilt i feel over the lack of those dinky little seeds is just ridic. so please just imagine some happy little sesame seeds dancing throughout these noods.

there's SO much flavor here though...

i marinated or kinda quick-pickled & chilled the cucumber ribbons in vinegar, salt & pepp for a little bit. then tossed the noodles in various flavors and chilled those, too. and then made an additional spicy oil dressing to top it off. aaand probably the best soft boiled eggs i've ever made. those take some practice. i finally GET IT now. 

and the cold leftovers! probably even better tasting than when its freshly made. flavor jive time, ya know.

lots of versatility here, too. use whatever veggies you like. add shredded chicken or some beef! i definitely think the cold marinated cucumbers and snap peas are staples in here, though.

perfect for picnics, too, i'll say! 

Cold & Crunchy Hot Sesame Noodles with Soft Boiled Egg

Makes about 4 servings

Total Time: About 30-40 minutes

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 large cucumber:  thinly sliced into ribbons (I recommend using a mandoline)
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper - marinate cucumber ribbons in a bowl & chill for about 15 minutes
  •  
  • 2 eggs:  soft-boiled for about 7 minutes and plunged into an ice bath
  •  
  • About 6 oz. of noodles (I used 2 servings of Lo Mein Egg Noodles): reserve a little noodle water before straining
  • 2 TB reserved noodle water, 1 TB. soy sauce, 1 tsp. rice vinegar, 1 tsp. fish sauce - toss & chill.
  •  
  • Oil Dressing:  1 TB. minced red chile, 1 TB minced green onion, 1 TB. olive oil, 1 TB hot sesame oil, 2 tsp. brown sugar, 2 tsp. rice vinegar, a few dashes of fish sauce - stir in small bowl. 
  •  
  • Other Veggies: broccoli florets, snap peas, cilantro, etc!
  • SESAME SEEDS.

Instructions-

Thinly slice the cucumber into ribbons using a mandoline. Marinate in a bowl with 1/3 cup white vinegar, 1/2 tsp. salt, & 1/4 tsp. black pepper; chill for 15 minutes. Drain the excess vinegars.

While the cucumbers are chilling, soft boil 2 eggs at a gentle rolling boil (like level 8/10) for about 7 - 7 1/2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove from the boiling water and immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water for about 10 minutes. Gently crack & peel the eggshells off and set eggs aside. 

Also, while the eggs are in the boil, you can boil the noodles in another pot. I boiled the lo mein egg noodles for about 3 1/2 - 4 minutes. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the noodle water. Strain the noodles and run under cold water. 

Transfer the noodles to a large bowl. Toss with 2 TB of reserved noodle water, 1 TB. soy sauce, 1 tsp. rice vinegar, and 1 tsp. fish sauce. Chill in the fridge while you prep your veggies and dressing.

Cut your broccoli crown into small florets. Snap the snap peas in half.  Slice a few green onions at a 45 degree angle, saving the green ends for the garnish, and further mincing the bottom end for the oil dressing. Mince a red chile til you have 1 tablespoon. 

Add the minced red chile, minced portion of green onion, 1 TB. olive oil, 1 TB hot sesame oil, 2 tsp. brown sugar, 2 tsp. rice vinegar, & a few dashes of fish sauce in a small bowl and stir. 

Remove the noodles and cucumbers from the fridge. Add cucumbers and all veggies to the bowl of noodles. Pour the oil dressing over the top and toss with tongs or forks. Slice the soft boiled eggs in half and nestle into the noodles. Garnish with the remaining green onion, cilantro, and SESAME SEEDS. Sesame seeds optional I guess...but come on, this needs sesame seeds.

ENJOY! happy cold noodle summertimes.

 

qp