(Rather less than vegan
version. I got this recipe from my mom
; I don't know where she got it from.)
4 T tamarind juice (or 1/4 cup tamarind paste and 1/4 cup warm water, directions at bottom)
3 T fish sauce (soy sauce works too)
2 T sugar (unrefined sugar tastes best)
2 T lime juice
1/2 lb. rice noodles
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 cloves chopped garlic
2 T minced ginger (I really like ginger; you can use less)
Half of a skinless, boneless chicken breast, sliced (around 4 oz)
4 oz fried tofu, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
8 large shelled and deveined shrimp
6 T roasted unsalted peanuts, blended or chopped
1 cup bean sprouts
2 stems from a green onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 tsp roasted chiles (more to taste)
Strips of red pepper
Coriander leaves (fresh, not dried)
Wedges of lime
Nota bene: A couple things. First, pukesick ain't kidding about having stuff ready to go - look at the cooking times, everything needs to be done quick. That's why I've listed all the ingredients in their prepared states. When I make this, I have everything ready to go, in order and in bowls, like that freak Martha Stewart. Getting the timing down might take a few tries, but it comes eventually (you can do it slower by reducing the heat of the oil and cooking longer, but I don't think it tastes as good) Second, I know half a cup looks like an absurd amount of oil, but I can tell you from experience that you need it (or at least I did). Otherwise, the noodles stick together and taste gross. Once you get the timing down you can start cutting down the oil, but the less oil you use, the faster you have to go. I usually fill half a cup, add around 2/3 of it, and keep the rest handy if I need it.Third, Americans go by recipes too much. You can add more or less of whatever's in my recipe, or your own stuff. For example, I have a friend who doesn't use any ginger (blasphemy!), but throws just a load of bean sprouts and broccoli in there. Zucchini added at the same time as the sprouts might be interesting, and quite colorful.
Here we go!
Completely submerge noodles in cold water for at least 1 hour.
Add the fish sauce, sugar and lime juice to your tamarind juice. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
Heat the oil in a wok (or large frying pan) until it is almost smoking.
Add garlic and ginger and stir for about 30 seconds.
Add chicken and stir-fry for about a minute.
Add tofu and shrimp, stir-fry for another minute.
Break eggs into wok and let them fry without breaking them up for 1-2 minutes, until they're firm..
While eggs cook, quickly drain the noodles and then add to wok. Quickly fold them in, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Go from the bottom up, it's easier.
Add sauce and continue stir-frying, mixing everything together for just a couple minutes. The noodles will soften up.
Add about half of the peanuts (just eyeball it) and stir. Add the bean sprouts and all the green onion pieces and the chiles. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds and take off the heat.
Garnish with the rest of the ground peanuts, some strips of red pepper and fresh coriander leaves (more bean sprouts too, if you like them uncooked). Transfer the pad thai to a big bowl, and serve immediately. Stick a couple of lime wedges on the side. Goes great with iced tea.
To make tamarind juice: You can get tamarind paste in most any oriental food store. Soak tamarind paste in warm water for around 20 minutes. Mash
it up until it looks like mud, then a strainer
into a bowl
, and then the mud into the strainer. Squish
and mash the mud onto the side, forcing the juice into the bowl, then scrape off the juice at the bottom of the strainer. Presto! Tamarind juice! Throw the solid stuff out, or keep it for... something. I dunno. More tamarind juice?