Are you craving takeout but have a freezer full of wild game to eat? This Elk Pad Thai is the perfect recipe to satisfy your cravings! Tender strips of elk roast with crisp-tender vegetables, chewy rice noodles, and crunchy peanuts enveloped in a deliciously zesty sauce make this recipe *chef's kiss.* Give it a try today!
Why You'll Love This Recipe:
Fresh Flavors: This Elk Pad Thai is packed with flavors from the tender meat to the zesty sauce to all the delicious veggies, crunchy peanuts, you name it! This dish has it all!
Meal Prep Friendly: This recipe makes a big batch so you can cook once and eat it for several meals. It's so delicious, you won't get tired of eating it, either.
Freezer Friendly: Elk Pad Thai freezes surprisingly well. Just put a serving or 2 in a vacuum-sealed bag and freeze it. You can heat it up by boiling the whole bag or removing it from the bag and heating it up on the stove or in the microwave. Just make sure you thaw it under refrigeration first for the best results.
- Elk Roast: I used an elk side of round roast but you can use any roast or steak cut. Any red meat will work. (venison, antelope, moose, beef, etc.)
- Napa Cabbage: You can use savoy cabbage or regular green cabbage in place of the Napa cabbage. Avoid using red cabbage because it will turn everything purple.
- Bean Sprouts: You can use canned bean sprouts in place of fresh bean sprouts.
- Rice Noodles: Rice noodles come in varying shapes and thicknesses. I buy the ones specifically labeled "Pad Thai Noodles" but you can use whatever rice noodle is available to you.
- Electric Skillet: This recipe uses an electric skillet because it makes a big batch and the whole batch can fit in a 6-quart skillet. If you're cooking it on the stove, you'll probably need to make a smaller batch or cook it in smaller batches unless you have an extra large skillet!
Step by Step Instructions:
How To Prepare Elk Roast for Stir Fry:
If you're not a big fan of preparing traditional roasts, elk roasts are great for slicing up for stir fry and other Asian dishes. After you try this Pad Thai recipe, try making elk udon soup, spicy stir fry, or teriyaki jerky.
Pro Tip: The process of marinating meat in a cornstarch mixture is called velveting. The mixture provides a protective coating on the meat and helps tenderize tough cuts of meat.
How To Make Pad Thai Sauce:
Pad Thai sauce has a very interesting mix of ingredients but all the flavors come together for the most deliciously zesty sauce. I go heavy on the lime juice and peanut butter to give it extra tanginess and body.
Pro Tip: You can also add all the ingredients to a jar and shake it up instead of stirring.
How To Make Elk Pad Thai:
Most of the work in making this Pad Thai is in the ingredient preparation. Once everything is prepped, it comes together pretty quickly!
Pro Tip: I like to prep all the ingredients in the morning so all I have to do is cook in the evening. This can totally be a weeknight-friendly meal if you work on it a bit in the morning or evening before! This recipe makes a lot of delicious meals so it's totally worth the effort.
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Putting it All Together:
You might be wondering what you're going to do with this huge batch of Pad Thai, but is so nice to cook once and have multiple meals! This dish freezes and reheats very well in vacuum-sealed bags. I like to keep individual servings on hand for a quick lunch or as a boil-in-bag meal for camping. You can eat it as is or top it with chili crisp for extra spice, a squeeze of lime juice, peanuts, and cilantro leaves. Enjoy!
Pad Thai is a noodle-based dish that typically has some type of meat (chicken, beef, shrimp, etc.), eggs, and a few vegetables that vary from recipe to recipe. The flavor of the sauce also varies widely but typically is very flavorful and zesty. Traditional Pad Thai sauce uses tamarind but you can use lime juice to mimic the tangy flavor of the tamarind.
Elk roasts are great for many recipes beyond the classic roast. Slicing it into thin strips and marinating it in a soy sauce and cornstarch mixture before adding it to noodle dishes like Elk Pad Thai is a great way to enjoy tender, flavorful elk roast!
Rice noodles will continue to cook after you drain them. To stop the cooking process, rinse them in cold water until they are completely cooled. Once all of your other stir-fry ingredients are cooked, add the noodles to the stir-fry and toss to combine. Continue cooking for only 1-2 minutes to reheat the noodles.
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Elk Pad Thai
- 1 lb elk roast, cut into thin strips (about ⅛" thick)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 ½ cup yellow onion, julienned (about 1 medium onion)
- 8 oz fresh bean sprouts
- 4 cup Napa cabbage, shredded
- 6 large eggs, scrambled
- 8 oz rice noodles (uncooked)
- ¾ cup green onions, finely chopped (about 1 bunch)
- ½ cup cilantro, finely chopped (about 1 bunch)
- 1 cup roasted peanuts (more for serving, optional)
- lime wedges, for serving (optional)
- chili crisp, for serving (optional)
- cilantro leaves, for serving (optional)
- To a medium bowl, add elk meat, soy sauce, peanut oil, and cornstarch. Stir to coat the meat. Let the meat sit in the fridge for 30 minutes before cooking.
- Add all sauce ingredients to a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. The peanut butter might not fully mix into the sauce but that's ok. It will melt when it cooks.
- Heat electric skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add julienned onions and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly softened.
- Add bean sprouts and shredded cabbage. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally or until vegetables are crisp-tender and cabbage is wilted. 30 seconds before the vegetables are done cooking, add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and stir to combine. Remove vegetables to a bowl.
- Add 1 tablespoon of peanut oil to the hot electric skillet. Add scrambled eggs and let them cook for 1 minute before stirring them. Stir the eggs and cook for 1-2 minutes more, or until cooked through. Break up the eggs into small pieces and add them to the bowl with the cooked vegetables.
- Add 1 tablespoon of peanut oil to the hot electric skillet. Add seasoned meat in a single layer. Cook for 2 minutes, flip the meat, and cook for 2 more minutes or until the meat is cooked through.
- While the meat is cooking, cook noodles according to the package directions. When noodles are done cooking, rinse them under cold water until they are completely cooled to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.
- Add cooked eggs and vegetables back to the skillet. Add sauce and peanuts. Stir to combine and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently to make sure the sauce doesn't burn.
- Add cooked rice noodles, cilantro, and green onions. Stir to combine and cook for 1-2 more minutes to heat the noodles.
- Serve with peanuts, lime wedges, and chili crisp, if desired. Enjoy!
- This dish freezes surprisingly well. Add your desired number of servings to a vacuum bag and vacuum seal it. I like to do individual servings so I can grab one for lunch. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw under refrigeration and "boil in bag" to heat it or remove it from the bag and heat it up on the stove or in the microwave.
- To make this a weeknight-friendly meal, prep the ingredients in the morning or night before so all you have to do is cook in the evening.
- Slice the meat while it is still mostly frozen to get thin slices. Once sliced, thaw the meat in a paper towel-lined bowl under refrigeration. This will help the meat brown better when you cook it.
- Turn down the heat and wipe the electric skillet out with a paper towel in between ingredients to prevent burning.