Pad Thai is possibly one of the most popular and recognised Thai foods around. What’s more fascinating about this ubiquitous noodle dish is that it probably isn’t even Thai! (Click here & here to read more about it). Thai or not Thai, it is delicious to eat and very easy to make; below is a simple recipe that I use to cook my Pad Thai:
Prep Time: 40 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Course: Main Course
½ pack of rice noodles
4 brunches of Chinese chives
1-2 handfuls of bean sprouts
2 tsb small dried shrimps / fresh shrimps
1-2 brunches of Chinese shallots
½ pack extra firm tofu
3 cloves garlic (minced)
Rice noodles: soak the noodles in lukewarm water while preparing the other ingredients. Tip: this is the most important step of all, you don’t want the noodles to be too soft but soft enough to still maintain its flexibility and firmness. When in doubt, under-soak! You can always add water when cooking but you can’t undo the over-soaking.
Chives: wash & cut into 1 inch long pieces. Note: set aside a few fresh ones for garnish when the dish is ready to serve.
Bean spouts: soak in water & remove the ends if you have time to make it more ‘presentable’ otherwise just wash.
Shallots & garlics: wash & mince.
Extra firm tofu: rinse & cut into little cubes. Note: if you can’t find extra firm tofu, you can use the fried tofu as a substitute.
* It is best to use a wok to cook Pad Thai but if you don’t have one, a big pot is fine as well.
Pour barn rice oil into wok and bring it to high heat.
Fry the peanuts in oil until they start to turn brown. Remove them from the wok for later use.
Add garlic, shallots, tofu, dried shrimps and preserved turnips and stir them until they start to turn brown.
Drain the rice noodles and add to the wok. Note: you want the heat to remain high, so the excess water can evaporate quickly and noodles don’t become soggy.
Add fish sauce, tamarind, sugar, chilli pepper and stir quickly so the noodles won’t stick to the bottom.
Push the noodles to one side to make room in the wok for the egg. Crack the egg onto the wok, scramble it until it is almost cooked then fold the egg into the noodles and stir.
Pull a noodle out to taste the firmness of them; it should be soft and chewy when it is cooked. Tip: if it is too hard, stir in a little bit (just a little bit) of water to soften them
Pull a noodle out to taste again. When it is soft & chewy pour the toasted peanuts, chives and bean sprouts back into the wok and stir for a few times.
Pour the Pad Thai on to a serving plate and sprinkle with raw chives & raw bean sprouts on top with a slice of lime on the side. You're now ready to eat!!
NB: this is a recipe inspired by Thai Table where I usually look for Thai food recipes.
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