Pad Thai, for real. Like you’re in Thailand
I love Thai food. It’s one of my favorite cuisines. It’s just so quick, accessible and delicious.
up until not so long ago I wasn’t really aware of the importance of technique (especially being meticulous about timing and order). Well, it makes a HUGE difference.
Here’s something I picked up while watching several online Thai cooking techniques, and proclaimed as my own, all because of a little twist 🙂
That’s how you’ll make Pad Thai that tastes like Thailand (or the wonderful Thai food scene in NYC):
- Preparation time: 15-20m
- On the fire: 5-7m
- Serves: 2-3 people
Ok. First, you’re gonna need a wok. If you don’t have one go buy one and get back here. Mine was actually bought in Thailand and it’s made out of tin (I think) that is very light and thin.
For the concentrate / sauce:
- Lime juice
- Palm sugar / regular sugar / date honey
And.. My secret ingredient… Peanut butter!
For the dish:
- 1 Garlic clove
- 1/2 Shallot
- 100gr. Shrimp
- 150gr. Diced Chicken
- 1 Egg
- 1/2 pack of Sticky rice noodles
- Bean sprouts
- 1 Spring onion
- Crushed peanuts
- Chili flakes
The magic happens really fast so it requires alertness, but first we need some prepping:
- First, soak the rice noodles in tepid water for 2 hours, so they soften.
- Then, prepare the sauce in a bowl or anything you feel comfortable whisking in: mix the 4 ingredients in the following proportions: 3 tablespoons of tamarind, 6 tablespoons of sugar (or equivalent. I prefer date honey), 2 tablespoons of lime juice and a few squirts of Sriracha. Then add 1 tablespoon of peanut butter. Taste it. If one flavor is too dominant, try balancing with the missing tastes. The only somewhat dominant ingredient should be sugar, and you’re good.
- Give it a good whisk.
On to the dish:
- A generous portion of oil (not olive oil!!!) to the wok. Fire to max.
- let it warm up, then throw in the tofu. Just a few blocks, nothing too dramatic. Unless you’re a vegetarian/vegan in which case try to improvise.
- after a minute, add in the finely chopped garlic and shallots (sliced thin vertically, not chopped). Stir and stir some more for about 30 seconds, Then add the protein (chicken and shrimp) and stir until it’s nicely seared (but not cooked through). Push it all aside and drop the egg in the empty space. Let it fry for ~10 secs and then start breaking it (like you’re making scrambled eggs). Then mix it with the rest.
- Now, add the noodles. Stir a lot! At least 1 minute. Then add the sauce and stir until the entire mix absorbs the color and there’s no visible liquid at the bottom. Add the crushed peanuts, roughly chopped spring onion and a skimpy handful of bean sprouts. Also, add the Chili flakes (to taste. It really affects spiciness). It’s usually not more than a pinch.
- Stir like there’s no tomorrow. After about 2 minutes, it’s done!
- Empty the wok into a large plate, and add: 1/4 lime (don’t squeeze, let them do it if they wish to), some leftover spring onion, bean sprouts and chili flakes in the 4 corners of the plate respectively. Spread some more crushed peanuts generously.
And… Voila! Let me know how it was!