Pad Spaghetti Kee Mao

Back when I lived in Austin, I'd always go to this Thai restaurant called Madam Mam's.  It was cheap, delicious, and they always gave you enough food to have some left over to take home.  Now I am not a huge fan of leftovers, but when it came to Madam Mam's, you better believe that I got territorial over people sneaking my food (mainly honey).  Since being away, I have not yet found a Thai restaurant in Dallas comparable to the simplicity and goodness of Madam Mam's so I decided to reproduce one of my favorite pasta dishes at home: Pad Spaghetti Kee Mao.  It's basically a linguine tossed with thai basil, thai peppers and mushrooms, and it is quite spicy (or at least that's how I always ordered it, extra hot please!).

I love this dish for many reasons -it's vegetarian but you don't even notice because of the meaty taste of the mushrooms, it is light and refreshing with the Thai basil, the flavors are simple yet complex and it was really easy to make!  I am sure I probably fudged the ingredients but I have to say the end result was pretty darn close. I think because I used less oil it didn't taste as epic as I'd want it to be, but seeing that my pants barely fit because of the holidays it was probably better this way :)  I also used three different types of mushrooms: King Oyster, Shiitake, and Porcini -- it really gave the dish a more earthier and meatier flavor and of course plenty of umami.

Ingredients for Pad Spaghetti Kee Mao: (serves 2)

  • 1/2 package of linguine
  • 1 cup thai basil, rinsed - 2/3 chopped, 1/3 whole
  • 1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup king oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup porcini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 shallot, minced
  • 2 thai peppers, minced
  • 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper (you can use less or omit if you do not like spicy food)
  • 2 tablespoons water (only use if pasta is too dry)
  • salt to taste

Fill a large pot with water and bring to boil.  You can add about 1 tablespoon of  salt to the water to add flavor to the pasta if you choose.  Once water comes to a boil, place the dry linguine and cook until al dente, about 7-8 min.  Drain pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the oil at medium heat.  Sautee the garlic, shallots, peppers, and crushed red pepper until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Next add the mushrooms, and cook until softened, about 4-5 minutes.  Place pasta into pan and mix well with spices and mushrooms, add soy sauce and increase heat to medium high.  If the mixture is too dry, simply add more water, if it is too wet, cook until it dries out a little bit.    Add the chopped basil, mix well and season to your liking with salt. Remove from heat and serve immediately.  Garnish with remaining basil leaves.

See how simple that was?  I am dedicating this post to my best friend Karolina, this is actually her favorite dish at Madam Mam's.  I miss you Karol and wish you were here to eat this with me :(

I have also made some minor changes with the layout -- and added some SNOW to be festive ^_^ (wordpress tells me it is only available til Jan. 4)!!! I will continue making changes throughout, I am very web script illiterate so the process is quite slow, so please bear with me.  Also, if anyone has any Thai recipes, do share! I have always wanted a good Pad Thai recipe -- tried making it at home once and it turned out pretty not good, it had the Pad but lacked the Thai.  Anyways, I will also be posting easy to make gift ideas (soon-ish) since Christmas is literally a little over two weeks away, WHERE DOES THE TIME GO?! Til then, happy eating everyone -- don't hold back, it's the holidays!   We all need a couple extra pounds to keep us warm during the winter :)