The back burner: Homemade Pad Thai

Maggie Gorman

This past Sunday, all I could focus on was my craving for pad thai. This surprised me, given Evanston’s over-abundance of Thai restaurants. There are at least 10 major Thai eateries within close walking or delivery distance from Northwestern, each offering a slightly different taste and ambiance to fit virtually any desired dining experience. Thai food is such a prominent Evanstonian diet staple that it starts to get boring. Despite its undeniable tastiness, it’s not unusual to get sick of it. But this time my craving was strong and true, and the dinner gods were on my side. I walked into my sorority’s kitchen and discovered, to my surprise, a bounty of Cozy Noodles we had ordered for dinner. This sort of coincidence just goes to show pad thai’s ubiquitous presence in the life of the average NU student. Not only are several of Evanston’s array of pad thai restaurants BYOB, making them popular with students for pre-games and dates, but they’re also generally tasty and cheap. But it’s precisely the perks of pad thai that can lead to burnout. Even an affinity for the boxed, microwaveable version will inevitably get old, and Thai dining options are exhausted incredibly quickly. So what do you do when you want the ease and tastiness of takeout pad thai, but don’t quite want to settle for the shame of preparing the meal from a box (a small step above ramen)? Here’s a recipe that’s easier, cheaper and less time-consuming than traditional pad thai recipes you’d find in a restaurant. It’ll be ready in the time it’d take to get your food delivered to your door or table, and it’s even a bit healthier. Somewhat more colorful than typical pad thai offerings, this dish has a refreshingly more complex flavor as well. It’s also open to interpretation: Feel free to throw in meat or seafood as desired. But perhaps most importantly, it symbolizes an important first step on the path to liberation from Evanston’s tried, true, but tired pad thai routine. Easy Homemade Pad Thai Ingredients: 1 package frozen stir-fry vegetables