I love spaghetti, so it's only fitting that I love the Thai equivalent of my go-to carbo classic, Pad Thai. I love me some Pad Thai! Every time I go out for Thai I say, "Kathryn, don't be so lame and order the pad Thai again, you fool," and, I shouldn't - I mean, heck, there are lots of green and red curries that are absolutely to-die-for - but I cannot squash the call of the this classic, and oh-so-simple, noodle dish. Oh man does it beckon. And when food calls your name, you must oblige. (I have this same philosophy when it comes to Oreos and really anything with a crinkly wrapper.)
Pad Thai is a street food in Thailand; it's cheap, quick, and easy. I read that it should optimally be whipped up in small batches, but I love me some short cuts, so here's a large recipe for the taking. You can add radish if you'd like, or tofu in addition to shrimp or chicken. Really anything goes. Well, except the tamarind. The tamarind gives it that slight bitterness and is an absolute necessity. I found a large jar of the stuff in the Indian section of my local grocer for about four bucks. I guess I'll be making a lot more Pad Thai with that, but I'm not complaining!
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 2-3 Tb. brown sugar
- 2 Tb. tamarind concentrate mixed with 1/3 cup water
- 1 tsp. chili pepper flakes
- 1 package rice noodles (12-14 ounces, usually)
- 2-3 glugs of canola or olive oil
- 6-8 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 eggs, mixed (as if you were to make scrambled eggs)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 cups bean sprouts
- 1-2 bunches scallions, chopped
- 1 cup ground peanuts
- Either: 1 lb shrimp/chicken/tofu, previously sauteed
- 1 lime, cut into wedges to dress dish
- cilantro, to garnish (optional)
Prep the sauce: over medium heat, blend fish sauce, brown sugar, chili flakes, and tamarind concentrate mixture. Then, in a wok or large skillet, add garlic and eggs to hot oil. Scramble the eggs. Then add your protein and noodles. Stir. Add sauce and salt and stir into noodles mixture. Noodles should soften quickly (2 minutes or so). Quickly stir in peanuts, scallions, and bean sprouts.
Serve with additional peanuts - if desired - and a lime wedge. Makes four large servings.