Pad Thai is the ultimate “street food” The best of these cooks have cooked the same dish day-after-day, year-after-year and have achieved near perfection.
A great Pad Thai is dry and light bodied, with a fresh, complex, balanced flavour. It should be reddish, brownish in colour.
Pad Thai is another perfect vegetarian dish, just omit shrimp and substitute soy sauce for fish sauce. Add tofu if you like and viola perfect for a vegetarian.
1/2 pack Thai rice noodles
1-1/3 cup bean sprouts.
1-1/2 cup Chinese chives.
2 tablespoon cooking oil
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
2 tablespoon sugar ( I use palm Sugar)
1 minced or finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons peanuts ( Optional )
1/2-1/4 lb shrimp.
1/2 teaspoon ground dried chilli pepper
3 cloves minced garlic
1tbsp Soy sauce
4 teaspoons fish sauce
The trickiest part is the soaked noodles. Noodles should be somewhat flexible and solid, not completely expanded and soft. When in doubt, under-soak. You can always add more water in the pan, but you can’t take it out.
In this recipe, pre-ground pepper, particularly pre-ground white pepper is better than fresh ground pepper.
For kids, omit the ground dried chilli pepper.
Tamarind adds some flavour and acidity, but you can substitute white vinegar.
Now to cook……
Start with soaking the dry noodles in lukewarm or room temperature water while preparing the other ingredients. When you are ready to put ingredients in the pan, the noodles should be flexible but not mushy.
Cut the Chinese chives into 1 inch long pieces. Set aside a few fresh chives for a garnish. Rinse the bean sprouts and save half for serving fresh. Mince or finely chop shallot and garlic together.
Heat wok on high heat and pour oil in the wok. Fry the peanuts until toasted and remove them from the wok. The peanuts can be toasted in the pan without oil as well. Add shallot and garlic, stir them until they start to brown.
Drain the noodles and add to the wok. Stir quickly to keep things from sticking. Add tamarind, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce and chilli pepper. Stir. The heat should remain high. If your wok is not hot enough, you will see a lot of juice in the wok at this point. Turn up the heat, if it is the case.
Make room for the egg by pushing all noodles to the side of the wok. Crack the egg onto the wok and scramble it until it is almost all cooked. Fold the egg into the noodles. The noodles should soft and chewy. Pull a strand out and taste. If the noodles are too hard (not cooked), add a little bit of water. When you get the right taste, add shrimp and stir. Sprinkle white pepper around. Add bean sprouts and chives. Stir a few more times. The noodles should be soft, dry and very tangled.
Pour onto the serving plate and sprinkle with ground pepper and peanuts. ( I serve peanuts) on the side as do many restaurants now.
Serve hot with a wedge of lime on the side, raw Chinese chives and raw bean sprouts on top.
If you enjoyed this authentic recipe then please share or reblog as I love authentic dishes as many others do. and that is all you will get from me authentic cooking made from scratch.
Thank you for reading.