Pad Thai Rolls – Thug Kitchen Party Grub
So, if you have any interest at all in cooking and love to drop f’ bombs, then you likely already own at least one of the Thug Kitchen cookbooks. The cookbooks are colorful, engaging and full of motherfuckers and bitches. The Thug Kitchen authors hilariously walk you through recipes using sayings like “this protein packed cilantro laced shit is refreshing as fuck,” and “fuck that chunky store-bought mayonnaise bullshit, eat a real potato salad.” Basically all the things that get you seriously pumped up and irrationally passionate about the recipe you’re about to make. I own two of the books, Thug Kitchen- The Official Cookbook (which I’ve reviewed here) as well as Thug Kitchen – Party Grub. Because of this macho talk, you can imagine the book is full of heavy meals with large chunks of red meat and chunky cheese dips. That’s probably the best part of these books… they’re vegan.
I’m not vegan myself, however I have a kiddo who’s lactose intolerant and picky with meat at the same time which always leads me to checking out vegan recipes by default. Plus, although we are meat eaters I personally try to have at least 2 or 3 vegetarian dinners per week, you know because of all that crap about it being better for you and the environment and such. I’ll save my commentary about the original Thug Kitchen for another time and for now focus on Party Grub.
This book is well written (if you base your vocabulary on the urban dictionary instead of Websters), well made and engaging. It has awesome pictures and easy to follow recipes. I have a soft spot myself for instructions like “taste and add more lemon juice, salt, pepper, you know, whatthefuckever you think might be lacking,” because that’s kind of the way I like to cook too.
I haven’t made many of the recipes from the Party Grub cookbook and today I decided to make the Pad Thai Rolls. I assume you can’t really screw up throwing Pad Thai into a spring roll so it would be a winner.
Like every Thug kitchen recipe I’ve ever made, this one was broken out into a few easy-to-follow steps with limited ingredients. First you make the sauce, which took like, 3 minutes.
Then you boiled your noodles and cut up your veggies, which was also quick.
Finally, you dip your spring roll wrapper in some hot water and set it on a plate, add your toppings, roll it up and dip. Easy, peasy.
So how did it taste? Well let me first say that in the world of spring rolls, I’m horribly biased. My husband’s family is Vietnamese and I’ve had some seriously great spring rolls over the years. Here at our house, we have spring rolls at least once every couple weeks, generally stuffed with tons of herbs and veggies, rice noodles, and either pork, steak, shrimp, or panko covered and fried tofu strips. So it is from my place of bias that I say that these rolls where just, eh. The lacked personality. The dipping sauce helped, but I would have preferred the peanuts just directly in the spring roll. I will admit though, that I totally missed the fact that the peanuts were supposed to be chopped up in the sauce and that would have helped somewhat.
Even without that mishap though, I feel that these rolls were really missing the mark. Because of the name, I assumed that they would at least remotely resemble one of my favorite noodle dishes, however they were about as close to Pad Thai as Tostino’s pizza rolls are to pizza. The fact that it was a vegan recipe definitely had an influence on some things, it just seemed like so many flavors you find in Pad Thai were just missing. The egg, tamarind, fish sauce and bean sprouts were just painfully absent and not replaced with anything of substance making the entire thing just blah. I think they actually would have been great with the peanuts inside and some fried tofu strips.
The authors of Thug Kitchen intended on this recipe being an appetizer, however without double dipping, each person needs their own little container for the sauce and I don’t think they’d make a great appetizer because of that reason. If the flavor inside was powerful enough to omit the sauce, they might work as an appetizer.
Ease and Convenience – 4.5 – Aside from actually rolling the rolls, this recipe was quick and easy
Taste – 2.5 – Eh. The book claims the recipe makes 12 rolls that “will have people talking for fucking weeks.” Um, no.
Cookbook – 3 – Unless you’re a hard core meat eater that wouldn’t consider eating a meal without meat or dairy or the language really offends you, you should probably have a Thug Kitchen cookbook… this just isn’t the one. Also, if you fell into the 2nd category, what the fuck are you doing reading this blog?
Recipe – Pad Thai Rolls – Thug Kitchen – Party Grub – adapted by Shawny*
*want the full recipe? Buy the book here:
- 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons chili garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
Ingredients – Rolls:
- 1 package (6.75 ounces) maifun, glass noodles or thin rice noodles
- 1.5 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 cups thinly sliced red or green cabbage
- 1 cucumber, cut into thin sticks
- 1 package large spring roll wrappers/rice paper wrappers
- 1 carrot, cut into thin sticks
- 1 cup thickly sliced fresh herbs – A combo of cilantro, mint and basil or whatever you have
First, make the dipping sauce. Bring vinegar and sugar to a simmer over medium heat in a small saucepan. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, add all other sauce ingredients except the peanuts. Pour into a small glass container and refrigerate.
Cook the noodles according to the package. Drain and run under cold water. Toss in a bowl with soy sauce and sesame oil. Chop veggies.
To make the rolls, warm about 3 inches of water in a wok or skillet over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Briefly place the spring roll wrapper in the water then remove it and place it on a plate. Using the half of the wrapper closest to you, load it up with the noodles, veggies and herbs. Roll the wrapper away from you (see photos above), fold in the two sides, then continue rolling.
To serve, add the peanuts to the dipping sauce and eat!