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Recipes and stuff

Pad Thai

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It's adaptified a bit, and it looks daunting. Once everything's prepped it's a piece of piss though.

A good handful of dried thin rice noodles
1 tbsp palm sugar (jaggery in Asian shops)
1 tbsp tamarind water (tamarind comes in pressed blocks of pulp and seed, get it when you buy the jaggery. You can get ready made tamarind water too)
2 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
small bunch of baby spring onions (should be Chinese chives, good luck with that)
2 shallots chopped with a pinch of salt - don't overdo it, the fish sauce is salty (red shallots if you can get 'em)
1 egg
1 tbsp dried prawns
1 tsp grated mooli (white radish, Asian shop again)
handful of beansprouts
1 tbsp crushed roasted peanuts (unsalted)
good pinch ground roasted chilli (dried red chillis, dry roasted in a frying pan, ground in a pestle and mortar if you want to make your own)
lime wedge
another heaped tsp of ground roasted chilli
about 1 tbsp groundnut oil

You can add jumbo prawns or cooked roast chicken to taste instead of the dried prawns if you like, you heretic. Also a couple of split green bird's eye chillis can be added as a garnish.

Soak the noodles until they're soft, and drain well (takes a couple of hours, I do 'em the day before and chuck 'em in the fridge, take them out half hour before they're needed otherwise they'll kill the heat in the oil)

Simmer the tamarind water, palm sugar and fish sauce gently until the sugar's dissolved.
Chop the spring onions into 20mm lengths (keep the green tops for garnish)

Set the above aside

Heat the oil in a wok or similar until it's hot but not smoking, sling in the shallots, reduce heat and fry until they begin to colour. Crack in the egg, reduce heat a little and stir.

Up the heat, add the dried prawns, mooli (and fresh prawns/chicken if using), stir until well mixed, add the noodles and stir until they start to colour a bit. Chuck in the tamarind/palm sugar/fish sauce mix and the pinch of chilli powder. Stir for ~30 seconds and then add the beansprouts and spring onions and stir for another 30 seconds.

Pile on a plate, garnish with the chopped onion greens, and artistically place the lime wedge, crushed peanuts and the 1 tsp roasted chilli powder at the side. A drop or two, but no more, of peanut or sesame oil if you like.

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