I splurged and got Thai take out recently (I know, I know…) and I am ashamed to admit that I could have eaten for a whole week off of what that one meal cost (a meal for two). While it was insanely delicious, I couldn’t stop thinking, “How can I make this… how can I make this… I need to make this…” as I gobbled it up.
Instead of making a sauce from scratch, I used oyster sauce as my base and added a healthy dose of fish sauce and lime juice for that pad thai flavor. I didn’t have access to any nice Thai peppers, so I just added some good ‘ol sriracha for heat (can’t go wrong with sriracha!). If you want to make a mild version, just leave the sriracha out and you’ll still have an amazing, savory, pad thai-like sauce. I kept the vegetables simple, with just some onion, bell pepper, and garlic, but you could add shredded carrot, bean sprouts, or some snow peas to veg it out some. I had 1/2 lb. of ground pork in my freezer that needed to be used, but you could sub with ground chicken, turkey, or just leave out the meat all together! Woot.
Oyster sauce and fish sauce shouldn’t be too expensive at most major grocery stores and if you make Thai or Asian food even just a few times per year, they’re worth it. Both keep for extended periods when refrigerated, so you don’t have to worry about the rest of the bottle going to waste.
Oh, one more note. This dish is not saucy. The sauce gets absorbed into the noodles so you have a wonderfully flavorful noodle, plus a light coating on the meat and vegetables. If you like it saucy, I suggest doubling the sauce ingredients. :)
Spicy Pork Pad Thai
- 8 oz. flat rice noodles ($1.85)
- 1/4 cup oyster sauce ($0.72)
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce ($0.07)
- 1 medium lime 3-4 Tsbp juice ($0.33)
- 1 Tbsp sriracha ($0.09)
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil ($0.02)
- 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
- 1/2 lb. ground pork ($1.48)
- 2 large eggs ($0.28)
- 1 medium onion ($0.33)
- 1 medium green bell pepper ($0.88)
- 1/2 bunch cilantro ($0.45)
- Place the rice noodles in a dish and cover with hot water. Let the noodles soak for 30 minutes to soften.
- Prepare the sauce by stirring together the oyster sauce, fish sauce, sriracha, and the juice of one lime (3-4 Tbsp). Mince the garlic and thinly slice the onion and bell pepper.
- Add one tablespoon of vegetable oil to a large skillet, along with the minced garlic and ground pork. Sauté the pork and garlic until the pork is cooked through. Push the pork to the outer edges of the skillet, then crack the two eggs in the center. Scramble the eggs with a spatula until they are lightly set, then mix them in with the ground pork.
- Add the sliced onion and bell pepper to the skillet. Continue to sauté until they just begin to soften (3-5 min.). Drain the soaked noodles, then add to the skillet along with the prepared sauce. Stir and Sauté for 1-3 minutes more, or until the noodles fully soften and the sauce has coated the contents of the skillet.
- Top with freshly chopped cilantro, then serve.
Step by Step Photos
Start by soaking the rice noodles. Place them in a bowl or dish and cover with hot water. Let them soak for 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the recipe. I soaked the whole 16oz. package, but soon realized that was WAY too much. You only need to soak about a 1/2 lb. and can save the rest for the next time you make pad thai.
Next make your sauce. Combine 1/4 cup oyster sauce, 1 Tbsp fish sauce, 1 Tbsp sriracha, and the juice of one lime (about 3-4 Tbsp). If you want to make this a mild dish, just leave out the sriracha.
Prepare the vegetables so they’re ready to go when you need them. Mince two cloves of garlic and thinly slice one onion and one bell pepper.
Add 1 Tbsp vegetable oil to a very large skillet, then add the minced garlic and 1/2 lb. ground pork. Sauté the garlic and pork over medium heat until the pork is fully cooked.
Push all the pork to the outer edges of the skillet, then crack two eggs in the center. Scramble the eggs just until they are lightly set, then mix them in with the pork. You don’t want to over cook the eggs, so move on when they’re still slightly wet.
Add the sliced onion and bell pepper. Continue to sauté a few minutes more, or just until the onions begin to soften. Again, don’t over cook here. They will still have more time in the skillet.
Finally, drain the noodles and add them to the skillet with the prepared sauce. Stir and sauté these ingredients for a couple minutes more, or until the noodles become soft (this should happen fairly quickly).
Finish off the dish with some chopped fresh cilantro. If you’re not a cilantro fan, sliced green onions are also great on this!
NOMNOMNOM. Now I just need to get my hands on some Thai basil…