Pad Thai is easily one of my favorite thai dishes, easy and quick to make, and absolutely delish.
I have spent many late nights eating this from a food carts in Bangkok on the famous and very touristy Khao San Road. For about 40p you can enjoy fried noodles with beansprouts and eggs, much better than any chippy or McDo late night treat. Also a perfect dish to start your Thai adventure with as it lacks in spice and can easily be made vegetarian, incase of sensitive stomachs.
However when I moved to Thailand to do volunteer work, I rarely ate it unless I went to a restaurant or to markets in touristy areas. The first time I had it after moving the village where I worked, I did not know they had used chicken intestines for it, I was taken off guard but it did taste delicious anyway.
Some of the ingredients, such as the tamarind paste or sauce, you might have to go to an Asian supermarket to find, the rest you should be able to find in a ‘regular’ grocery store. Here is my version of Pad Thai that I learnt whilst in Thailand, the amounts of the ingredients are after my taste, less beansprouts or chili etc is after your own taste.
- 1/2 package of flat thai rice noodles, think it’s around 200g.
- 3 cloves of garlic
- minced or dried chili, amount depends on how spicy you want it (half a chili is enough)
- 250-300g bean sprouts washed, and trimmed (removed dark ends if needed)
- 3-4 spring onions, chopped
- 2 Eggs, whisked
- 200g of shrimps or 2 chopped chicken breasts (if you want to add meat)
Pad Thai Wok Sauce Ingredients
- 1 1/2 Tbsp of Tamarind paste, dissolve in 1/2 dl if water.
- 2-3 Tbsp of Fish Sauce
- 2 Tbsp of Thai Chili sauce, (not to be confused with sweet and sour sauce)
- 3 Tbsp of Soy Sauce
- Pinch of Salt
- White pepper (ground)
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- handful or crushed peanuts as garnish
- handful of chopped coriander
1. Preparations: When all that needs to be chopped is prepared and ready, mix the wok sauce in a bowl and pre-fry the chicken/shrimps if you want to use meat. To add some flavor to the ‘meat’ you can toss in some minced garlic and chili.
2. Prepare noodles: put them into a pot, and pour hot boiling water over them, and then rinse with cold water after 1 minute, and let stand in cold water or lukewarm water until ‘al dente’ soft. Often if you pour cold water over them and let them stand in the pot, they will warm up the water and get softer after a couple minutes. A tiny hard tinge to them is good, because when fried they will get softer.
3. Warm pan with oil 2-3 Tbsp of vegetable oil and throw in the garlic, and minced chili (be careful and turn down the heat, do not burn the chili as it will evaporate into the air and you will cough your lungs out). Throw in the noodles and pour over the Pad Thai Sauce and let fry for about 2-3 minutes.
4. Toss in the green onion and chicken and mix (don’t stir, but lift the noodles when mixing, otherwise the noodles will get mushed). After another 2 minutes, throw in the beansprouts and wok for another 2 -3 minutes.
5. Serve hot, with sprinkled crushed peanuts on top, and coriander, with lime wedges on the side. Also put some soy sauce or chili sauce on the table so people can add flavor after their own accord.
Tip: If vegetarian, add more bean sprouts, spring onions, sliced carrots and egg to make it more filling, enjoy.