Cookbook Challenge: Pad Thai

Blame this:

As soon as I stopped laughing, I could almost taste the sourness of the tamarind and umami of the fish sauce (which, of course, he doesn’t use, but you get my drift).

I have an addiction – not to Thai food, but to collecting recipes. I have hundreds that I’ve printed off the web and whole shelves full. And I never cook a bloody thing from them.

Well, that’s not entirely true, but it certainly does seem a waste when you have David Thompson’s Thai Street Food on the shelf and haven’t used any of the recipes within.

Anyway, onto the recipe. I have modified it slightly to match what was in my cupboard, which makes it a fairly simple recipe. I’ve also included the tradition condiments you see on street hawker carts in Bangkok.

A copy of the orginal can be found here.

Ingredients (You’re imagining this being said in a growly voice after watching the above clip, aren’t you?)

100gm dried thin rice noodles (rice sticks)
3 tbsp raw sugar
2 tsp tamarind paste (Ayam have a brand they sell in small jars, rather than big plastic tubs, which lasts longer)
3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp oil
4 red shallots, coarsely chopped with a pinch of salt
2 eggs
250g firm tofu, cut into one inch pieces
1 tbsp dried prawns, rinsed and dried
1 tbsp coarsely crushed roasted peanuts
5 snake beans, cut into 1 inch lengths
Half a bunch gai larn
Few spring onions, cut into 3cm lengths
Handful of trimmed bean sprouts
To serve: extra bean sprouts, crushed roasted peanuts and dried shrimp, along with lime wedges, chilli flakes and sliced chillies in vinegar.

1. Soak the dried noodles in a bowl filled with boiling water. Leave until they are cool enough to handle or you are ready to throw them in the wok.
2. Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat and fry the shallots. Crack in the eggs and stir for a few moments until they begin to look omelette-like.
3. Turn up the heat, then add the vegetables and tofu and fry for about 30 seconds while breaking up the eggs. Add the drained noodles, stirring them around the wok to ensure they don’t stick.
4. Add the tamarind syrup and simmer until it is absorbed. Mix in the dried prawns, peanuts then simmer, stirring, until almost dry.
5. Check the seasoning: pat thai should be salty, sweet and sour. Add more tamarind, sugar or fish sauce accordingly.
6. Divide between plates and sprinkle with the extra bean sprouts, peanuts and spring onions. Serve with lime wedges, chilli flakes, sliced chillies in vinegar, dried shrimp and extra fish sauce on the side, as pictured.

*This recipe can easily be modified to be vegetarian by swapping fish sauce for soy and omitting the dried shrimp.

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