Stick Shifts and Pad Thai

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Just another manic Tuesday!


Second mid afternoon snack:  mini bowl of some generic organic cereal.


After work, I headed to the gym to sweat it out on elliptical for 25 minutes.  It was a sweaty but relaxing workout.  I’m definitely loving the easy-on-the-knee cross training days! 🙂


So lately, the Husband has been driving my car (a 2002 Honda Civic) and I have been driving his car (a 1991 Toyota MR2).  He drives further every day to school and work, so he gets the good car.  I used to drive the 1991 MR2 very infrequently because it’s a 2-seater stick shift and that scared the crap out of me. 


But I’ve officially mastered stick! :)  I drive it to the gym every time now!  It’s not always pretty, but I can drive it safely.  Even though it’s getting to be decades old, this crappy car holds all these special memories for me — our first date, etc.  :)  I should take a picture of it tomorrow!


Hahah! That was random, now on to dinner….


I was cravvving Pad Thai, so I grabbed this box out of the pantry.  I was excited to try Annie Chun’s Pad Thai and was hoping it would look and taste like this:


REAL Pad Thai (I ate this back in March).  NOTE:  This is NOT Annie Chun’s:


Ugh, my crappy Annie Chun’s Pad Thai:


OK, crappy isn’t exactly the right word, but this was just blah in comparison to restaurant-quality Pad Thai.  I’m guessing it’s because there was less yummy, greasy sauce?  And the sauce was generally less flavorful.


My Pad Thai contained:


  • Noodles and Sauce
  • Baked Tofu
  • Green Onions
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Broc


Totally mediocre. 


Help! Does anyone have a restaurant-quality and spicy Pad Thai recipe?



  • Nicole ( April 7, 2009, 5:12 pm

    I love Pad Thai and I’m totally craving it now! I’ll be searching for a fabulous recipe now too 😀

  • Bec April 7, 2009, 5:17 pm

    boo to your crappy pad thai, that sucks that it was a disappointment! When I first started driving standard I hated it but now that I am use to it I actually kind of like it.

  • Sarah (lovINmytummy) April 7, 2009, 5:18 pm

    I DO!!!! You’ll have to add siracha or something else if you like it spicy, but here’s mine:

  • VeggieGirl April 7, 2009, 5:30 pm

    Yep, use Sarah’s recipe (above)!!

  • iowagirleats April 7, 2009, 5:32 pm

    Ohh what a sad comparison shot!! My easy, 4 step pad thai recipe is here:

    love it!

  • Graze with Me April 7, 2009, 5:41 pm

    Never had pad thai but I’m very intrigued. It seems like all the cool kids are eating it 🙂

    I love driving stick, my old car was a standard and I miss it. Automatics are just so boring sometimes…

  • Amy April 7, 2009, 6:03 pm

    Not for pad thai..but I have finally mastered thai chicken with chili and basil!

    Sooo yummy

  • Karen April 7, 2009, 6:04 pm

    My cousin sent me a great pad thai recipe that is FABULOUS and definitely has some kick to it. I usually make it with a mix of chicken and tofu. (don’t let the fact that it was created by Paula Deen scare you like it scared me at first!)

  • Melinda April 7, 2009, 6:07 pm

    I always use a peanut sauce, you can use peanut butter also for spiciness add in red pepper flakes and I think a little paprika will help give it more spiciness.

  • Ava April 7, 2009, 6:07 pm

    I think the brand my mom stocks up on (and I mean as in growing up we’d have it like 3 times a month) is Taste of Thai. Super easy and really yummy

  • K from ksgoodeats April 7, 2009, 6:07 pm

    Way to go with the stick! I’m SO not car savvy at all! Sorry about the dinner disappointment 🙁

  • thecleanveggie April 7, 2009, 6:22 pm

    wow Annie’s pad thai looks so…blah compared to the other pad thai! sorry it didn’t bring delight! haha

  • hareandtortoise April 7, 2009, 6:27 pm

    I love this recipe!

    Highly recommended 🙂

  • Meg April 7, 2009, 6:35 pm

    Now I am craving Pad Thai! The Annie’s version definitely doesn’t look like the “real” thing!

  • jenngirl April 7, 2009, 6:35 pm

    I honestly do enjoy the easy cross-training days lately too!

    I never mastered the stick shift, so I’m impressed with your skills!

  • Run Sarah April 7, 2009, 6:40 pm

    I find boxed pad thai is often too salty for me. It still looks good though, but you can’t beat restaurant fresh stuff!

  • Matt April 7, 2009, 6:41 pm

    I’ve made that recipe before and it is AMAZING. It takes some time but it is worth it in the end!

  • Julia April 7, 2009, 7:19 pm

    Your blog adds a little ray of sunshine to my life every day (and its not just because you’re in FL)!I absolutely love Pad Thai and have never been able to find a recipe that compares to my first restaurant experience. What a great post, I can’t wait to try the suggested recipes!

  • Kristi @ Sweet Cheeks April 7, 2009, 7:22 pm

    oohhh that 1st pic of the Pad Thai looks soooo good!!! I want some now!

  • HangryPants April 7, 2009, 7:33 pm
  • Jessica April 7, 2009, 8:23 pm

    I’m a huge thai fan, especially after being to Thailand. This is the recipe I always use although I usually use chicken or tofu instead of pork and leave out the dried shrimps:

    I’d say the most important ingredients for a good pad thai are fish sauce, cilantro and sriracha on top (but I like mine spicy).

  • Hi! I'm Erin April 7, 2009, 8:24 pm

    Yay Pad Thai! I actually had Thai food for lunch today, but I had Pad See Eiw instead. Not as good as Pad Thai, but I’m super picky about Pad Thai and I hadn’t had it from this particular restaurant before so I didn’t want to try it.

    I have a decent Pad Thai recipe but it involves lots of steps and ingredients. Too complicated to make most days. I’ll have to check out some of the ones the other commenters linked.

    And, stick shift. *shudder* My hubby has a stick shift. I tried to learn. It went very badly. I stay away from it now.

  • Rachel April 7, 2009, 8:32 pm

    I really like this recipe from Thai Kitchen:

    It’s the closest one I have found to restaurant pad thai.

    Bobby Flay also did one of his recent episodes of Throwdown on Pad Thai, so I’m sure you could find that recipe on Food Network.

  • lilveggiepatch April 7, 2009, 8:40 pm

    I really like the recipe from Moosewood; I’ve made it twice. I usually add more sriracha (sp?) sauce than the recipe calls for, and a little bit of brown sugar to add some sweetness.

    Here’s a (strange) link for it I found online (I have the cookbook):

  • Alison April 7, 2009, 9:22 pm

    Congrats on the stick shift! I’d love to learn…just to say I can.

  • LC April 7, 2009, 10:57 pm

    after looking at that picture of the restaurant pad thai i think i know where I am going to lunch tomorrow 🙂

  • wholefoodswholeme April 8, 2009, 12:11 am

    i LOVE pad thai, and have never attempted to create it at home in fear of letting myself down! i suspect it’s quite a difficult one to make for all te subtleties. that’s why i love ordering it when i go out :)sorry about the let down of your homemade one – i hope someone throws a good recipe at you(then i can steal it 😉 )

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point April 8, 2009, 3:25 am

    THANK YOU for all the wonderful pad thai suggestions!!! i am definitely going to try one of these VERY soon!! 🙂

  • Bridget April 8, 2009, 5:13 am

    This recipe is about the closest one that I can find to the one that we used on site in Thailand.

    I brought fresh tamarind back from Thailand, so I use that for the sweet/sour/spicy flavor and omit the fish sauce. Tamarind is the secret ingredient in authentic Pad Thai, and most of the packaged mixes don’t use much, if they use any at all. You should be able to find some sort of tamarind extract or something to be able to use in the recipe. Red chili peppers pack a lot more spice than the flakes. Since I don’t care for pad thai to be too sweet, I generally add more onion and little to no sugar.

    I hope you have fun making it!

  • Dori April 8, 2009, 5:55 am

    Your restaurant pad thai looks so rich and delicious — now I am craving it, thanks! Sorry the boxed one was blah, it looks blah.

  • Reborn Vegan April 8, 2009, 8:09 am

    Hi! I love your blog so much! I read it every day! I love pad thai from restaurants and when I make the sauce at home, I stir up peanut butter, low sodium soy sauce, lime juice, rice vinegar, agave nectar, and crushed red pepper until it tastes right. I put this sauce on all kinds of noodles and even use it as a dipping sauce for tofu and tempeh. Good luck!

  • Hallie April 8, 2009, 9:36 am

    I know I’m late in the game, but I made a Pad Thai the other day that was great (not quite restaurant quality because it was less greasy, but still REALLY good. A fair amount of ingredients though, so a simpler one might be better if you don’t have a lot of these things on hand:

  • livelovelaugheatlearn April 8, 2009, 2:43 pm

    I use this recipe exactly and then I add red pepper, mushrooms, celery and sprouts to it. So tasty!!! It doesn't take that long to make either!

  • Hamster April 8, 2009, 11:22 pm

    Try this Thai cooking website.
    It’s got a pad thai recipe from Thailand with video too

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