Pad Thai is a dish made with stir-fried rice noodles with egg, a sauce, a protein like shrimp or chicken, and other extras like bean sprouts, and peanuts. I have had my eye on this little Thai market in the neighborhood and I went in today to see what I could find. I discovered that unlike Vons, the check out lady knew exactly where the Tamarind paste was. I could have substituted the harder to find ingredients (galangal, palm sugar, etc) for brown sugar and ginger but I decided not to. I’m happy with that decision because I can work with a new set of flavors now.
The Pad Thai turned out really nicely too. It wasn’t as rich or sweet as restaurant Pad Thai. It had a nice balance of sour, sweet, and spicy. I took note from other bloggers and prepped everything before cooking the noodles. I now understand how easy it would be to burn the noodles while you run around looking for an egg. This dish does take some work but is well worth the effort.
Pad Thai Sauce
(Makes about 2 Cups)
- 1/2 Cup Tamarind Paste
- 1/2 Cup Fish sauce
- 1/2 Cup palm sugar
- 1 tbsp red chili paste (10 dried peppers)
- 1 1/2B tsp Lemongrass Powder
- Boil the dried chili peppers to soften them. Remove the seeds and stems and mince the peppers to form a paste.
- In a saucepan, heat the tamarind, fish sauce, sugar, chili paste, and lemongrass until the sugar is dissolved.
(Makes 2 Servings)
- 8 Oz. rice noodles (1/2 package)
- 3 tbsp Canola or Peanut oil
- 1 Serving Shrimp (optional)
- 1 Serving Chicken Breast (Optional)
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 3 tbsp Galangal (or ginger), chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
- 4 tablespoons blanched peanuts (roasted and chopped)
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 2 green onion, chopped
- 1 lime, juice
- 2-3 leaves basil, chopped
- In a large bowl, combine the dried noodles with hot water. Soften until the noodles are pliable, or a very hard al dente. Drain the water and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a pan and saute the galangal, shallots, and garlic until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the chicken and shrimp with a little sauce and saute for a few minutes on each side.
- Add 1/2 cup of the sauce and the noodles to the pan, tossing the noodles constantly.
- Move the noodles to the side of the pan and add in the egg. Let it set a little, and then mix it in with the noodles. Add more sauce if the noodles start to get dry.
- Mix in the peanuts and bean sprouts and cook for a minute.
- Add the green onions, lime, and basil and remove from heat.