Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pad Thai

During my 2001 visit with Auntie Bucksnort, she introduced me to Thai take-out. We ate Chicken and Vegetable Pad Thai and drank Thai Iced Teas. It's hard to imagine the world when this was all so new to me! Today, Thai fast-food is nearly as popular as Chinese fast-food (in New York, anyhow). Unfortunately, as the popularity increased, the quality became extremely unreliable and inconsistent, just like it did with Chinese food in the 80s. Light springy veggie-heavy noodles have arrived at my apartment door a decade later as fatty brownish slop. Here's a recipe from About.com, with my modifications.

--8 oz Pad Thai Rice Noodles (thin, flat linguine-like noodles)
--3/4 tbsp Tamarind Paste
--1/4 cup Hot Water
--3 tbsp Thai Fish Sauce (or 3 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce)
--1/2 to 2 tsp Thai Chili Sauce
--3 tbsp Brown Sugar
--1 and 1/2 cup Protein (such as Chicken, Shrimp or Tofu), marinaded in 3 tablespoons Soy Sauce and 1 teaspoon Cornstarch
--Peanut Oil for frying
--4 cloves Garlic, minced
--1 Shallot, finely chopped
--3-4 heads of Baby Bok Choy, or other Chinese cabbage, roughly chopped
--3-4 tbsp Chicken Stock
--2 Eggs
--2 cups Bean Sprouts
--2 Green Onions, sliced
--1/3 cup fresh Cilantro
--1/4 cup ground (or well-chopped) Peanuts
--Lime Wedges

Bring a pot of water to a boil and remove from heat. Soak noodles in the hot water for 6-10 minutes. Noodles are ready to drain when they are soft enough to eat, but still firm and a little bit "crunchy". Drain and rinse with cold water. Dissolve the tamarind paste in the 1/4 cup hot water. Add the fish sauce, chili sauce and brown sugar and mix well until sugar has dissolved. Set aside. Place your wok (or large frying pan) over medium-high heat. Add 1-2 tablespoons oil plus the garlic and shallot. Stir-fry 1 minute. Add the marinated protein and stir fry until cooked (7-8 mins for chicken. 3-4 mins for shrimp). Add the bok choy plus the chicken stock. Stir-fry 2 minutes, or until bok choy is bright green and slightly softened. Push ingredients to the side of the pan and add 1/2 tablespoon more oil to the middle. Add the eggs and stir-fry briefly to scramble them. Push them to the side and add a little more oil to the middle. Add the drained noodles and 1/3 of the tamarind sauce. Stir-fry everything together for 1 minute using 2 utensils and a tossing motion (like tossing a salad). Add a little more sauce and continue stir-frying in the same way for 1-2 more minutes, or until the noodles begin to soften and become sticky. Add the bean sprouts plus the remaining sauce. Stir-fry for 1-3 more minutes. Serve on a platter with the green onion, cilantro, and ground nuts sprinkled on top. Lime wedges on the side.

1 comment:

Unseen Rajasthan said...

lovely recipe !! Will surely try this !! Thanks for sharing..Unseen Rajasthan