Imagine my surprise, after browsing your excellent food blog, Chez Pim, to find that we share some friends. Charming couple, adorable child, live in Oakland. She a good cook herself. You know—those guys. Shortly after I began my blog, my friend remarked, "Oh, you should look at my friend Pim's site." Pim? As in Chez Pim? I already had and was in serious awe. My friends insisted that you are as charming, smart, and kind as one might think. And so I am hoping you will help me.
You see, after reading your blog for a while I finally decided to cook something from it. What better to start with than pad thai for beginners? I was delighted that your recipe did not include ingredients like catsup, and I was able to find tamarind pulp containing nothing else but tamarind and water (although I was suspicious of the thai market I shopped at because it had something called hot crab paste in three different places in the store).
I had all my ingredients prepped and in a row and thought I was in business.
I cooked the chicken, in a little oil, with a little of the sauce. Smelled heavenly. I added the drained rice noodles, which I had soaked in hot water for about ten minutes. I moved them deftly about the wok, as instructed. And kept moving them. And moving them.
And . . . Houston, we've got a problem.
The noodles stayed tough—like half-cooked spaghetti. Which put me into damage control mode. I poured cup after cup of water into the wok in effort to soften up the noodles.
I realized that this was no longer pad thai, but I was trying to rescue something I could serve for dinner.
This did soften the noodels but not before turning the entire concoction into a big gloppy mess. Soldiering on (there were no other alternatives available for dinner, and my family kept remarking from the other room "Smells good! We're hungry!"), I added the other ingredients and served the glop.
Husband and Sophie were good sports, and we all agreed the flavors were right on. But the texture was just . . . well, you can see for yourself. Husband used the work gluey.
So Pim, I really want to make this again and will truly try to find fresh noodles (this being the bay area, I should be able to find anything, right?), but I really want to know what went wrong? In case it helps, here are the noodles I bought.
I appreciate any advice you can offer.
p.s. Our mutual friend and I were all set to try your quince caramels, but alas we waited too long and the quinces are gone. Can you recommend another fruit to try this with?