Pad Thai is all about balance. Sweet, salty, spicy, tangy. So how do we get there? For the sweet, let’s keep it simple, a little brown sugar. Tamari and miso team up for a one-two salty umami punch, as well as a little fermented flavor that you might find in traditional fish sauce. Red pepper flakes are probably not the spice you’ll find in Thailand or in Thai restaurants, but they are so pantry-friendly and they get the job done! Now for the tangy ... tamarind concentrate! It’s got an ethereal flavor, sort of tart like a plum, but also a little tropical, and I just love to keep it around for occasions such as these. It’s also nice and sticky, which is exactly what you want in pad Thai sauce. Brussels sprouts are a really welcome addition to this Thai standby. I first tried it this way in San Francisco in the 1990s. It’s like you’re wondering if pad Thai can get any better, and then suddenly there’s roasty brussels, and holy-moly something already perfect is made even more so.
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