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Pad Thai is often called the signature dish of Thai cuisine. There are several regional variations, indeed it has been said that Thailand has not only a different curry for every day of the year, but also a different pad Thai for every cook in Thailand! This is our variation, and please see our street vendor photos & videos (below) for others. For a very simple, fast, easy-to-prepare Pad Thai, please click here for an instant version–you can start with that and add more ingredients to change the flavor as well.
Our version of Pad Thai is tried-and-true, follow these directions and you’ll be amazed at the results. As with many Thai chefs, we prepare our own Pad Thai Sauce first.
This recipe requires dry roasted, unsalted peanuts. For best preparation, coarsely break them up in a stone mortar and pestle.
First, prepare your Pad Thai Sauce:
Ingredients for Pad Thai Sauce (makes four large servings)
1/4 cup palm sugar
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
1/4 cup Sriracha sauce (We use Shark brand. Use less for a mild taste)
Method for Pad Thai Sauce
Put tamarind concentrate into a measuring cup, and add enough water to make 1/4 cup, stir, this is your tamarind juice.
In a small sauce pan, put palm sugar, fish sauce, tamarind juice, and sriracha sauce. Cook on low heat until the palm sugar dissolves, then increase heat. Let it start to boil, then quickly remove from heat, and set aside. You can make this Pad Thai sauce ahead and put in a jar in the fridge up to a week.
Ingredients for Pad Thai (makes 2 servings)
1 egg lightly beaten
3/4 cup (or more) fresh shrimp, uncooked
1 tablespoon sliced shallot
1 tablespoon chopped salted radish
1/4 cup diced firm tofu
1 handful rice stick noodle
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1/4 cup fresh chives, cut into one inch long pieces
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanut
vegetable oil for frying
Rinse the radish several times under cold water, gently squeezing off the water. Chop it and add a little bit of sugar to sweeten, mix well.
Soak the rice stick noodle in warm water for about 15 minutes, leave in water until you are ready to use.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok at medium-high heat. Add egg and cook it quickly, scrambling into small pieces (see video below). Remove, set aside.
Add 2 tablespoons of oil in the same wok. Add shrimps and cook until done. Transfer to a bowl, set aside.
Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok. Add shallot, radish and tofu fry until aromatic. Increase the heat of your wok. Add a handful of soaked noodles followed with water. Stir-fry this mixture for about 5-6 minutes. The noodles will start to get soft. Add 1/4 cup of Pad Thai Sauce and mix well. Add sugar, cooked egg, bean sprout, chive and cooked shrimps. Stir well for another 1-2 minutes until everything blends together. Turn off heat, transfer to serving plate with sliced fresh lime, roasted peanuts, and more bean sprout on the side. Now dazzle your friends with the fact that your Pad Thai looks and tastes just as good as any restaurant. Enjoy!
You may add Thai chili powder, sugar and crushed peanuts at the table on the side.
For a very simple, fast, easy-to-prepare Pad Thai, please click here for a variant recipe.
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