In today's Chef's Kitchen is a Pad Thai unlike you've ever had before. It feels lighter – thanks to Florida flavors.
“Ya know, I've never had the same day twice.”
That's what Chef James K. told us, during a recent demo at the Orange County Convention Center. Chef K. is the Sodexo OCCC Executive Chef. (Sodexo is the international hospitality company servicing the convention center.)
“You've gotta love what you do,” he laughs, but with the upmost of sincerity.
Chef is inviting us to learn how to make his twisted version of Pad Thai. The “twist” comes from touches of Florida, like Orange Blossom honey.
During his demo, Chef took us to a completely different side of the convention center. That's where he literally hand-picks his greens from an indoor garden called Center-To-Table.
“They [grow and last] anywhere from a month to six weeks,” he explains. “The freshness of it is unbelievable.”
No garden? No prob. Just find your favorite, crispiest lettuce. Let's cook!
Florida Shrimp Pad Thai with Hydroponic Greens – by Chef K. (Sodexo LIVE: Orange Co. Convention Center Executive Chef)
21-25 large shrimp (peeled)
2 tbsp. red curry paste
2 tbsp. fresh ginger
2 tbsp. fresh lemon grass
2 tbsp. chopped scallions
1 package elephant rice noodles
2 tbsp. canola oil
4 oz. carrots, julienne
4 oz. bean sprouts
4 oz. arugula
1 oz. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 oz. pickled radish
1.5 oz. canola oil
1 tbsp. orange blossom honey
1 oz. red bell pepper, julienne
8 oz. hydroponic lettuce
optional: cilantro, basil mint, orange slices,
and peanuts for garnish
Clean shrimp. Mix shrimp, red curry paste,
ginger, lemon grass, and scallions in large bag and
marinate for 1 hour.
After shrimp has marinated, blanch in a large pan
with 1 tbsp. canola oil (3-4 min total). Set aside.
*Do not drain shrimp*
Soak noodles and drain. Add remaining canola oil
to a hot wok.
Brown noodles for 1 min.
Add carrots, bean sprouts and arugula to the pan
and heat for 1 min.
Add white vinegar, cayenne pepper, paprika,
pickled radish, canola oil, honey and bell pepper
to a boil and combine. Add to the hot wok and toss
with noodles and vegetables.
On a separate plate, arrange hydroponic lettuce.
Place noodle and vegetable mix inside lettuce
cups. Top with shrimp and drizzle remaining
Top with garnish and enjoy.
Hydroponic Greens grown fresh from the Center-To-Table gardens at the Orange County
Convention Center. Recipe provided by Sodexo Live! Executive Chef James "Chef K" Katurakes.