My Delusions of Being a Professional Chef

This blog has changed not only what I cook, but in many ways how I cook. When I started the blog, I stole the idea of showing a picture of all of the ingredients for the recipe from a number of other cooking blogs that I viewed. In order to get that picture, the very first thing is to get everything out on the counter at once. Previously, I would often start one part of a recipe and use the downtime when something was cooking to get more ingredients out and prepped.

There is a sub set of recipes that both require quite a bit of prep (i.e. chopping or measuring out) and very fast cooking steps (cook for 1 minute then….). There is nothing like having all the ingredients at your fingertips for that kind of recipe to delude you into feeling like a professional chef. As noted in a previous post, I am now the owner of quite a few ramekins. Besides baking in them, they are ideal for holding small quantities of ingredients.

This Pork Pad Thai was excellent. Lighter than you would expect and very flavorful.

Lots of ingredients.

Starting the sauce.

Look at that completed prep work. Everything cut or chopped, measured and ready. I count six ramekins, two small glass dishes, two other small bowls, two measuring cups and my favorite container for large prepped ingredients, a large plastic container that originally held packaged lunch meat.

Frying up the pork.

The wispy noodles cooking up.

Getting the onions started.

Adding the noodles.

Beginning to look like Pad Thai.

Pad Thai

Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 20 mins | Makes: 2


  • 1/3 cup fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar
  • 1/2 cup tamarind juice concentrate
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 ounces dried rice stick noodles
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ cups thinly sliced chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, or tofu
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup carrots, match sticks
  • cup green onion cut diagonal in ½ inch segments
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • cup cilantro
  • cup toasted peanuts chopped
  • Lime wedge


To make pad thai sauce, heat a small pan on medium low and add fish sauce, palm sugar, tamarind concentrate, and garlic. Cook sauce until palm sugar has completely dissolve. At this point, you will want to taste the sauce and tweek the sweetness or hotness (be careful, the sauce will be hot). To make it more spicy add a little Thai chili powder. Remove from heat and allow to cool 10 minutes before storing it in a jar or plastic container.

Boil noodles for 4-5 minutes and drain immediately rinsing with cold water for a few seconds. Noodles should be slightly firmer than Al dente. But don’t worry, they will continue to soften and cook later when stir frying. Using kitchen shears, cut the noodle clump in half. This will make it easier to fry and eat.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a wok or frying pan on high and cook raw chicken, pork, beef, tofu or shrimp for 3-4 minutes. Remove meat/tofu/seafood into a small bowl. Next, heat the remaining oil and then add garlic and red onions to the hot pan and stir fry for 1 minute stirring the garlic mixture so it will not burn. Add noodles and stir for 1 minute. Add 3-4 tablespoons Pad Thai sauce continually stirring noodle mixture until well coated with sauce. Add cooked meat/tofu/seafood back and fry for 2-3 minutes. Move the noodle and meat mixture to one side of the pan and crack an egg on the other side. Scramble the egg with a wooden spoon and cook for 30 seconds. Add carrots, green onions, and sprouts and cook for one more minute frying everything together. Test the firmness of the noodle. If the noodle is too firm, fry for an additional minute. If your noodles need more flavor, add another tablespoon of sauce and fry another half minute. Remove from heat and serve. Garnish with remaining raw carrot match sticks, spouts, cilantro, toasted peanuts, and a wedge of lime. Enjoy!


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Fried, Lunch, Main Dish 2, Pasta, Pork, Recipes, Thai, Vegetable2

Author:The Ranting Chef

Check out the best recipes at

18 Comments on “My Delusions of Being a Professional Chef”

  1. September 30, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    DEFINITELY have to try this! Man, I swear today I think you have smell-a-vision. My mouth is watering, too.


  2. midatlanticcooking
    September 30, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    You learned the secret of being a chef. The motto of the CIA cooking school: “preperation is everything.” We do it everyday on the line in the restaurant, but our ramikins are not quite so small.


  3. Chef Heidi
    September 30, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    Amen to the photo of ingredients and the prep! Ahhh and I can only hope I was part of your inspiration! Hmmm or did you inspire me? Either way, it’s brilliant for both of us! Now it’s time for you to abandon the ramekins and cuddle up to a few sets of Pampered Chef prep bowls…they come with lids too! You’ll love them! Maybe I’ll have to send you a set in the mail to test!


    • September 30, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

      Love Pampered Chef products. We have a variety of items from them throughout the years (including a set of pots and pans) but my absoulte favorite item is the litte brown plastic scraper. Probably the cheapest thing they have and it is great for helping to clean off the baking stones or non-stick ware. I hadn’t seen their prep bowls.


  4. September 30, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    It’s interesting how the act of writing about what you cook changes your approach, I’ve found that after 11 months of blogging what I cook I have changed and it has made me value good food more and preplan. I’m much less daunted by the thought of cooking something nice at short notice. I like your pictures of all the ingredients gathered together, I might steal the idea 😉


  5. Shannon at
    September 30, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    Don’t worry about your delusions of being a professional chef, most chefs I know are a bit deluded 🙂 your pad Thai looks great!


  6. September 30, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    Agree prep is important, however circumstances usually prohibit getting out EVERYTHING you need before starting when cooking professionally. Having some prep work done is important, but you also must have the sequence of steps/ingredients down in your head so that you meet the food production schedule. It also helps to walk really fast.


  7. September 30, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    Looks very authentic! Everyone likes a phad thai!


  8. September 30, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    It looks so delicious! I love seeing all the prepped vegetables and other ingredients…. my husband does it when he’s doing a balti curry. I’m going to show him this recipe… it loos so good!
    We’ve collected quite a few little dishes that we bought containing other food, paté, cheese,tapas… quite a nice little range of pots and dishes.


  9. September 30, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    Goodness, that looks gooood!


  10. September 30, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    I only really discovered true prep when I started cooking Chinese and Japanese dishes. They are almost 90% prep.

    And I find myself even getting spices, and vegetables all together before I start with other dishes too.


  11. September 30, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    I have three parts to every recipe: Get ready, Get set, Go! – It means that like you, the prep is done first, before any cooking starts. I’ve found it makes things much more organized, less panicky, and just plain easier. Learning new ways: one of the joys of blogging!


  12. September 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    Love the way you display your recipes. Ones day, I’m going to try to cook. I should make a blog, the reluctant cook. But it wouldn’t have anything on it.


  13. September 30, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    In my career I spent many hours in a restaurant, prepping, preparing and organizing for the execution of cooking an item. But it took starting my blog to bring the same practices home. Nice to hear I’m not the only one with lots of ramekins that never see a Creme Brulee in them. Love your blog.


  14. September 30, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Ooooh, I never thought of pad thai with pork (which is weird cos I love all things pad thai). Thanks for the inspiration


  15. September 30, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    You must me fast at prepping that would take me like two hours.


  16. October 3, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    I’ve had Pad Thai on my cooking bucket list for far too long…thanks for giving me the inspiration to Just Do It!



  1. I’m a One Trick Diner | Rantings of an Amateur Chef - March 3, 2013

    […] Gingery Peanut Noodles with Chicken, Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies, Peanut Noodles With Edamame, Pork Pad Thai, Thai Shrimp, Thai-Style Veggie Kabobs With Spicy Peanut Sauce, Vietnamese Spring […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: