SHRIMP PAD THAI (Thai stir-fried noodles, for four)
While still called rice sticks, the noodles used for pad Thai are flat and about ¼ inch wide.
7 ounces dried flat rice stick noodles
3 tablespoons tamarind pulp
3 tablespoons palm sugar or light brown sugar
2 tablespoons nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon Thai chili powder
7 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 small shallots, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
6 ounces medium shrimp, peeled with tail intact and deveined
2 ounces smoked or fresh firm tofu, diced
2 tablespoons tiny dried shrimp
half bunch Chinese chives or 4 scallions, green part only, cut into 2 inch pieces
¼ cup chopped pickled turnips (optional)
1-½ cups bean sprouts
¼ cup roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
1 lime, quartered
- Soak noodles in a large bowl of hot water until pliable, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside. Dissolve tamarind pulp in 1 cup water in a small bowl, then strain through a sieve into a medium bowl, pressing on pulp with the back of a spoon to push most of it through. Discard seeds. Stir sugar, fish sauce, vinegar and chili powder into tamarind liquid and set sauce aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggs and swirl around skillet to form an even layer. Cook until set on one side, about 1 minute, then turn and cook on other side until set, about 20 seconds more. Transfer omelette to a cutting board, thinly slice and set aside.
- Heat remaining 6 tablespoons oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add shallots and garlic and stir-fry until soft, about 10 seconds. Add medium shrimp and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Add tofu, dried shrimp, chives, turnips, half the bean sprouts, half the peanuts, the noodles, the sliced omelette and the reserved sauce and stir-fry, tossing constantly, until noodles absorb most of the sauce and sauce thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish each serving with the remaining bean sprouts and peanuts and serve with limes.
from Bangkok’s Thip Samai restaurant, a street stall facing the Ratchanatda Buddhist Temple, printed in Saveur Magazine
PAD THAI RICE STICK NOODLES, THAI CHILE POWDER