Over the past 6 years, I’ve donated a few dinners to various charities. It started with the Easter Seals but most recently I donated one that was auctioned for a local autism awareness group, Families on the Spectrum. When I offer one of these donated meals, I give the highest bidder the choice of cuisine; typically, it’s Thai, Indian, or Italian. So far, everyone has chosen Thai food.
Part of the bargain is that I will provide all the food for up to 10 people and can cook at their home or mine. They provide the adult beverages and I cook a fun meal.
The lucky winner was a lady from Marshall County and she requested, wait for it, a Thai dinner. We worked out a date and I started making the preparations - I even purchased a new Thai Cookbook and honed a few new recipes. She and I selected the dishes for the evening including the classic Pad Thai and a couple of new vegetable recipes.
As my winner had requested that I cook at her house, I decided to do a lot of the prep for the dinner in advance. Cooking Thai food is like cooking Chinese food - there is a lot of chopping and marinating, but the cooking time is generally short and quick. For that reason I was able to get many things ready at home and then load up the car with everything I needed to cook them in a new location.
Our menu for the evening included a kale and mushroom salad (one of the new dishes), marinated and grilled Thai chicken, shrimp Pad Thai, Chu Chee fish, Jasmine rice, sautéed sugar snap peas, and bananas in coconut milk for desert.
As I mentioned, this meal included two new recipes. One was a kale and mushroom salad with a chili-lime dressing. The other was sugar snap peas cooked in oyster sauce. The salad was good but the peas were the hit of the evening. Even the picky eater who didn’t like green things had two servings! Next time you are whipping up a stir-fry and need a green side, I highly recommend this dish.
The Pad Thai was also a favorite. Pad Thai is the “hamburger of Thai land”! Its prepared all over the country, but in slightly different ways depending on the region. There are as many variations of Pad Thai in the world as their are different styles of hamburgers! I’ve included the recipe as its well liked and not too difficult to prepare.
Live, Laugh, Love and Eat Well.
Sautéed Sugar Snap Peas with Oyster Sauce
Recipe from True Thai: Real Flavors for Every Table by Hong Thaimee
- 2 TBSP vegetable oil
- 2 Large Cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
- 2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed
- 2 TBSP oyster sauce (found in Asian section of grocery)
- 1 tsp sugar (I used palm sugar)
- ½ to 1 tsp ground white pepper to taste
In a wok or medium sauté pan, heat the oil until just smoking. Add the garlic, sugar snap peas, oyster sauce, and sugar and cook until the green of the peas intensifies but they remain crunchy, 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer the peas to a plate, sprinkle with the white pepper and serve.
Note: I tripled this recipe for a party of 10
Time total 2 hrs 40 minutes (2 hours inactive, 40 minutes active)
- 1 – 8 oz package of Pad Thai rice noodles
- Water for soaking noodles
- 1 LB of protein – Tofu, chicken, or pork (cubed in ½ pieces) or shrimp (shelled and deveined)
- 8 to 10 oz of snow peas or sugar snap peas cleaned and strings removed
- 1 – 14 oz can of bean sprouts rinsed and drained
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 tsp chopped fresh ginger
- 1 TBS Oyster Sauce
- 3 to 4 TBS Fish Sauce
- 1 TBSP Red Curry Paste (more if you like it spicy)
- 1 tsp to 1 TBSP Palm or Raw sugar (optional)
- ½ cup Peanuts – Dry roasted (optional)
- 8 TBSP or ½ cup Peanut or good vegetable oil
- 1 cup Coconut Milk
- Cilantro or Green onions (sliced) for garnish
- ½ Red bell pepper cut into thin strips
- Lime Wedges for serving
Place your rice noodles in a large bowl and cover with water. Allow to soak for at least two hours before using. In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, oyster sauce, red curry paste and sugar (optional) and mix well. Set aside for use later.
After you have cleaned and chopped all your ingredients, heat a wok or deep large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 or 2 TBSP oil to pan on high heat. Stir fry the peanuts to get lightly brown stirring constantly. Do not burn. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel.
Place 1 to 2 TBSP oil in the pan and allow it to get hot then stir fry the peas and bean sprouts and stir fry for 3 or 4 minutes. Add the red pepper and cook another minute or two then remove from pan and set aside in a large bowl. Add 1 TBSP of oil in the wok and quickly scramble the beaten eggs to well done. Remove and add to the vegetables.
Add 1 to 2 TBSP of oil in the wok and stir fry your protein with the ginger. If using Tofu, I recommend using firm type and stirring as little as possible to keep it in tack. When cooked, remove and add to vegetables and eggs.
Add 2 or 3 TBSP of oil in the wok and bring back to heat. Drain the noodles and remove as much water as possible. Add the noodles to the hot pan and stir fry for 1 minute then add the fish sauce mixture and coconut milk. Stir for another 3 to 5 minutes, and then add all the ingredients back to the wok. Continue to stir fry for 3 to 5 minutes while mixing all the ingredients.
You can serve directly to plates from the wok or transfer to a nice platter. Garnish with chopped cilantro or sliced green onions. Just before serving, squeeze fresh lime over the noodles.