Prep 15 mins
Cook 5 mins
This Pad Thai recipe is how you actually find it in Thailand. This is very similar to what I learned in a home there on New Year's Day. Pad Thai is the ultimate street food. The best of these cooks have cooked the same dish day-after-day, year-after-year, constantly perfecting it.
- 1⁄2 lime
- 1 egg
- 4 teaspoons fish sauce
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground dried chili
- ground pepper
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons tamarind paste (or liquid)
- 8 ounces Thai rice noodles
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1⁄2 lb shrimp
- 1⁄2 banana flower
- 1⁄3 cup tofu, extra firm (optional)
- 1 1⁄2 cups chinese chives, green (optional)
- 2 tablespoons peanuts (optional)
- 1 1⁄3 cups bean sprouts (optional)
- 1 tablespoon preserved turnip (optional)
- By far, the trickiest part is the soaked noodles. Noodles should be somewhat flexible and solid, not completely expanded and soft. When in doubt, undersoak. 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.
- Tamarind adds some flavor and acidity, but you can substitute white vinegar.
- If you decided to include banana flower, cut lengthwise into sections (like orange sections). Rub any open cut with lime or lemon juice to prevent it from turning dark.
- The original Pad Thai recipe calls for crushed roasted peanuts. Many people in Thailand avoid eating peanuts because of its link to cancer.
- Soak the dry noodles in lukewarm water while preparing the other ingredients, for 5-10 minutes.
- Julienne tofu and cut into 1 inch long matchsticks. When cut, the extra firm tofu should have a mozzarella cheese consistency.
- Cut up 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 shallot and garlic together.
- Use a wok. If you do not have a wok, any big pot will do. Heat it up on high heat and pour oil in the wok. Fry the peanuts until toasted and remove them from the wok.
- Add shallot, garlic and tofu and stir them until they start to brown.
- The noodles should be flexible but not expanded at this point. Drain the noodles and add to the wok. Stir quickly to keep things from sticking.
- Add tamarind, sugar, fish sauce, chili pepper and preserved turnip. 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.
- Add shrimp and stir.
- Add bean sprouts, chives. Stir a few more times.
- The noodles should be soft and very tangled.
- Pour onto the serving plate and sprinkle with peanuts. Serve hot with the banana flower slice and a wedge of lime on the side and raw Chinese chives and raw bean sprouts on top.
- In Thailand, condiments such as sugar, chili pepper, vinegar and fish sauce are available at your table for your personal taste. Some people add more pepper or sugar at this point.
This is very delicious and very authentic. I opted out on the tofu, bean sprouts and preserved turnip as I had none. I started eating before I remembered the lime. That hit of citrus really does make a difference. If you start with your wok very hot the peanuts will take about 15-20 second...be careful, they will burn easily. The trick, as with any wok dish, is to have everything at the ready to throw into it. The actual cooking is quite fast.