Pad Thai w/Kale & Collards Kimchi

I’ve heard that Pad Thai (stir-fried rice noodles Thai-style), the sweet and savory dish many Americans think of as a Thai staple, is not easily found in restaurants in Thailand. It is commonly prepared by street vendors (video), and is apparently rather ubiquitous in touristy areas. Well, I hope some day to be able to find out for myself. In the meantime, I prepare it at home, and can make a pretty good version thanks to Robert Danhi.  Robert is a talented American chef who specializes in southeast Asian cooking. His book, ‘Southeast Asian Flavors‘ has won several awards. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to watch Robert prepare Pad Thai, and was careful to take lots of notes.

Pad Thai Ingredients:
1/2 lb Dried flat Thai noodles
1/4 Cup Red Boat fish sauce
2 TBS Tamarind pulp
1/4 Cup palm sugar
2-3 Dried roasted chilies, ground
2 TBS vegetable oil
1 TBS shallots, minced
1 TBS garlic, diced
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
1 TBS dried shrimp, chopped
3/4 Cup pressed tofu or chicken or protein, sliced into strips
1 TBS Pickled radish (daikon), chopped
1 Cup scallions (greens only), sliced diagonally
2 Cups mung bean sprouts
1/2 Cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped
Ozuké Kale & Collards Kimchi
Water as needed
Instruction #1
– Purchase excellent ingredients
Each ingredient is essential, and most important are those in the special sauce! They create the tasty balance between sweet and sour, and are the foundation of Pad Thai. Where does the sour flavor come from? It comes from the tamarind fruit.  I was able to find pure tamarind pulp (nothing added), and “seedless”. When I opened the bag, I found delicious pulp AND a gazillion seeds. Because of those seeds, preparing the tamarind pulp for the recipe took a bit more time than I had thought it would, but it was well worth it!

Where does the sweet come from? It comes from thick, rich palm sugar. Palm sugar is available in different forms. Because the paste dissolves more easily than discs, I prefer the paste.

Instruction #2 – Prepare all your ingredients before cooking
Begin by making tamarind paste for special sauce. Pad Thai1-001To prepare the paste, break off a piece of the gooey tamarind, and mix with water. Use fingers to massage the pulp, removing seeds and any other plant material. Add more water if needed. Place tamarind pulp through a fine mesh strainer. Using a spoon, push through strainer, and scrape the bottom to collect the tamarind paste.
Pad Thai2Add the palm sugar to the prepared tamarind paste, blend thoroughly. Then add fish sauce and chili flakes, whisk. Set sauce aside, and prepare other ingredients for deliciousness! making tamarind tamarind chiliNoodles next – soak noodles in room temp water for 25 minutes. Drain noodles, and set aside. DSC_0124While noodles are soaking prepare other ingredients – pan roasted peanuts (chopped), lightly roasted Thai chilies (ground), scallions (sliced), radish (chopped), shrimp (chopped), tofu (sliced), eggs (lightly beaten). Set up your cooking station – mise en place. prepped ingredientsInstruction #3 – Cook Pad Thai
Heat pan on medium-high, once hot, add oil & garlic. Cook until edges are lightly brown. Push garlic to side of pan, add beaten eggs, and scramble. Keep garlic off to side. Add tofu, shrimp and radish. Mix it all together.   Pad Thaieggs ingredientsOnce mixed, add noodles, 2/3 of the special sauce, and some water. Toss well. Noodles mixedpouring sauceContinue tossing until noodles are soft, but not mushy. Add water (for cooking) and more sauce (for flavor) as needed. Be sure to add water in small amounts to prevent noodles from getting soggy. Continue tossing.  Once noodles are cooked, chewy NOT soggy, add most of the scallions, peanuts, and bean sprouts, reserving some for garnish. Mix well.  above pad thai-001Instruction #4 – Eat
Serve and garnish with more peanuts, bean sprouts, scallions, and Ozuké Kale & Collards Kimchi – Voilậ! Pad Thai that is great tasting and good for your gut, too! And perhaps the best part, you too can watch Robert prepare this recipe in his Thai Cooking Essentials class available at

gin hâi à-ròi (Enjoy your meal)!

Root Down! New Denver Restaurant Review

Looking for a deliciously fun brunch, great ambience, and bottomless mimosa & bloody Mary’s? Then get yourself a reservation at Root Down (RD) in the Highlands neighborhood of Denver now! It takes some planning to get a table where tasty breakfast and lunch dishes are plentiful and doors close at 2:30 pm each weekend.

RD, Linger Eatery, and most recently, Root Down Denver International Airport (DIA), are where Chef D and his team work together with local farmers and artisanal food makers to create unique entrees. One of the most popular dishes at Root Down, is the vegetarian and gluten-free Eggs Benedict on the brunch menu. Instead of a traditional English muffin, hearty quinoa cakes are the foundation of this colorful eggs Benny. Atop the cakes is a generous layer of ozuké pickled beets that perfectly compliment the organic poached eggs, and the creamy rich dried tomato Hollandaise sauce. Citrus dressed arugula and roasted root vegetables complete this uniquely satisfying meal.
Recently Updated4 For some time now, Chef D has been using ozuké pickled things on his Root Down brunch and raw night menus. Recently, he and Mara have been brainstorming about plans to include ozuké pickled things in new and exciting ways at all three restaurants. Can’t wait to taste what he creates!
Recently Updated8In the meantime, we’ll keep enjoying brunch at Root Down Denver, and we’ll be sure to visit their DIA location in the C concourse on our next trip. I know there will be lots of eclectic art to check out, refreshing beverages, and yummy food combinations. Plus there’s the Lite Brite bar at Linger Eatery!

• 1600 W. 33RD AVENUE, DENVER, CO 80211 | 303.993.4200 | INFO@ROOTDOWNDENVER.COM

Monday – Thursday, 5pm – 10pm
Friday & Saturday, 5pm – 11pm
Sunday, 5pm – 9pm
(Bar stays open later – 12am-ish)

HAPPY HOUR (bar only)
Monday – Friday, 4:30pm – 7pm

Saturday – Sunday, 10am – 2:30pm

Preserve @ Home – CSU Extension Program web class

University of Idaho and Colorado State University Extension Services are offering Preserve @ Home to teach adults how to safely preserve a variety of food products. Participants learn how to produce high quality preserved foods and the science behind food preservation and food safety.vintage-canning-1930s-531x425

Enrollment Deadline:
January 13, 2014

Online Class Starts:
January 16, 2014

For more information please contact Anne Zander at the CSU Extension of Boulder County  303-678-6238

To view Preserve @ Home on-line course syllabus go to: